Introducing: Frampton Forgets The Words

An introduction to Peter Frampton’s forthcoming instrumental album comprised of all covers entitled Frampton Forgets The Words…

by: Jennifer Parker

Guitar luminary Peter Frampton has a new album coming out on April 23rd entitled Frampton Forgets The Words, one that features all covers and no lyrics. It is uniquely captivating in that it grabs your attention immediately as although absent of words, the lyrics are somehow present in the music, almost as if the music sings the words. The slyly named latest studio album by The Peter Frampton Band realizes covers of David Bowie, George Harrison, Stevie Wonder, Lenny Kravitz and others. Frampton Forgets The Words is the successor to his 2007 Grammy Award-winning instrumental album, Fingerprints, and invokes the spirit of Frampton’s signature “talk box” guitar effect featured in the 1976 classic rock album, Frampton Comes Alive! (pick a track, any track, but “Show Me the Way” rings in my inner earworm). 

“My guitar is also a voice and I have always enjoyed playing my favorite vocal lines that we all know and love,” Frampton explained in a statement about his latest release. “These tracks are my great band and me paying tribute to the original creators of this wonderful music. So much fun to do and I really hope you enjoy it too.”

Created using his venerable 1954 Les Paul Phoenix — which vanished in a cargo plane crash in 1980 and was recovered more than thirty years later — Frampton Forgets the Words is co-produced by Frampton and famed producer Chuck Ainlay (Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler). How the guitar survived when tragically, the flight crew did not, is teased out in Frampton’s, 2020 biography, Do You Feel Like I Do? (It involves an explosion, someone taking the guitar for “safekeeping,” and many, many years before the grand reunion between guitar and guitar master).

To whet fan’s appetite, Frampton teased his forthcoming album with a cover of Roxy Music’s “Avalon” and Radiohead’s “Reckoner.” The “Avalon” cover comes from Roxy Music’s eighth and final studio album’s title track. It’s true to the 1982 dreaminess of Bryan Ferry’s voice which had evolved into a croony, lush tonality from his earlier glam rock beginnings. There’s a parallel evolution of Frampton as a straight up albeit talented rock star from his early success with Frampton Comes Alive! to the seasoned, purposeful artist that he is today.

Peter Frampton’s “Avalon”

Peter Frampton’s “Reckoner”

It is tempting to claim that “Reckoner” is almost so true to the original Radiohead version that you forget you aren’t hearing Thom Yorke’s falsetto voice throughout the track. However, what Frampton and his band are doing with a purely instrumental version of a lyrically potent song is reimagining it with the voices of guitars, drums and keyboards, as they do so stunningly throughout the entirety of Frampton Forgets The Words.

Frampton Forgets The Words tracklist:

If You Want Me To Stay
One More Heartache
Isn’t It A Pity
I Don’t Know Why
Are You Gonna Go My Way
Loving The Alien

Preorder Frampton Forgets the Words here!

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