British rocker Peter Frampton’s career peaked in 1976 with the release of his jaw-droppingly good “Frampton Comes Alive!” For my money, it’s still ranks among the top two or three live albums ever made and sounds as fresh and exciting as ever even after almost 40 years. Frampton has continued to make music over the years, and is justifiably respected as a true guitar great, but he’s never scaled those “Frampton Comes Alive!” heights again.
Two of Frampton’s mid-career offerings — 1986’s “Premonition” and 1989’s “When All the Pieces Fit” — are bring dusted off for reissues, courtesy of the folks at Omnivore. Both records include new liner notes and there are a couple of bonus tracks for the completists out there.
Frampton was scuffling by the mid-1980s. He’d parted ways with longtime label A&M and hadn’t had a hit album in years. “Premonition” was his first offering for Atlantic and enjoyed modest chart success, though it failed to yield any memorable singles. Lead tracks “Stop” and “Hiding From Heartache” are solid, as are the title track and “All Eyes on You,” but “Premonition” is probably best suited for hard-core Framptonites only.
The same goes for “When All the Pieces Fit,” released three years later. It too eked into the Billboard Top 200, but tunes like “Holding on to You,” “My Heart Goes Out to You,” “People All Over the World” and “Hard Earned Love” aren’t among his finest. (Jeffrey Sisk)