Peter Frampton became an overnight sensation with the 1976 release Frampton comes to life! But when the young rocker entered the studio to record his sequel, i am in youhe had nowhere to go but down.
After establishing himself in psychedelic pop-rock band The Herd and blues-rock supergroup Humble Pie, Frampton embarked on a solo career in the early 70s, releasing several albums and touring tirelessly before finally get his break with Frampton comes to life! The live double LP sold 8 million copies in the United States and cemented its identity as loud, loud rock ‘n’ roll.
Frampton had no time to bask in his newfound stardom, as A&M Records demanded a sequel to Frampton comes to life! The pressure to keep up with his hit live album and prove himself as a studio artist was daunting. To make matters worse, as the dashing guitarist’s fame grew, his perception also changed from believable rock star to teen idol.
This change was immediately evident in i am in you, whose cover features Frampton sitting in an unbuttoned shirt and giving a sultry gaze to the camera, while its title track and lead single is a tender piano ballad. It was a deliberate attempt to endear Frampton more to a pop audience – and it kind of worked.
i am in you peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and quickly went platinum, and its title track reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. But the album significantly undersold expectations, and the new pin model status -up by Frampton alienated his rock fans and supporters on FM radio. His career received another deathblow when he starred in the 1978 Reviled Critics sergeant. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band film, beginning a decade-long commercial downfall.
Watch the video below to learn more about Frampton i am in you, and tune into our “Doomed to Fail?” video series each week as we dust off ill-fated classic rock albums and determine if they’re hidden gems or better forgotten.
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