by Emery Columna –
Here is the album that changed the Music business forever:
Frampton Comes Alive!
Mobile Fidelity has taken a good sounding, historically important album and made it sound great. MoFi’s proprietary mastering technique, a time consuming effort the majors mimic at a mass produced level, results in MoFi’s consistantly great sounding Original Master Recordings. Mobile Fidelity’s proprietary mastering process is called the Greater Ambient Information Network, or GAIN system. The quality of MoFi’s process is driven home with this reissue of Frampton Comes Alive!. The Ambience of this stellar recording is evident throughout this two CD set, capturing the intangible, electric intimacy that occurs between Artist and audience on special occasions. This recording was one special occasion! There is an unbelievable amount of crowd response and spontaneity, an event where the audience sounded as good as the performers on stage!
Within a year of its release, Frampton Comes Alive! sold 8 Million units, no doubt, part of the reason for such remarkable success lies in the captured performances on this album which everyone everywhere could hear, relate to, and want to be a part of. Listen for Peter’s “extra top” tone, as he calls it, revealed here in the clearest context on songs like Something’s Happening, Doobie Wah and Lines On My Face. The resonance coming out of Peter’s acoustic guitar on songs like All I Want To Be (Is By Your Side) and Wind Of Change shimmers with the metal in the six strings. Listen for the firecracker 55 seconds into the latter song and you’ll know for sure that MoFi Nailed the ambiance!
Vocally, Peter’s legendary voice is reproduced as clearly as the engineers intended Peter’s voice to be heard. Kudos to Ray Thompson, Chris Kimsey, and Eddie Kramer for capturing this album in a live setting. Kudos also to Peter Frampton for producing this remarkable gem.
John Siomos’ drums sound great, especially his snare, high-hat and ride cymbal. Siomos’ snare has the right cack and once again, the cymbals chime and the high-hat squeezes with beautiful brassiness.
Bob Mayo’s Fender Rhodes Piano solo on Do You Feel Like We Do is a lesson in nuances. Stanley Sheldon held down the bottom in concert with Siomos’ crafty control drumming. Sheldon’s bass has got a richness to it MoFi’s mastering reveals.
Essentially, this iteration of Frampton Comes Alive! is the definitive version of the historic live album that changed the face of the Music Industry.
MAAF BOX listening pleasure: Something’s Happening, Show Me The Way, All I Want To Be (Is By Your Side), Wind Of Change; Baby, I Love Your Way, Penny For Your Thoughts, Shine On, Lines On My Face, Do You Feel Like We Do.
MAAF BOX rating: