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Baker's Dozen

Shine On: Peter Frampton's Favourite Albums
Valerie Siebert , November 4th, 2013 09:58

Ahead of his Roundhouse show tomorrow night, the singer-songwriter, former Humble Pie man and guitarist extraordinaire gives us a rundown of his top LPs


The Shadows - The Shadows
The day my father brought home our first record player he brought home two albums, and this was one of them. I’d been listening to all The Shadows’ singles, their instrumental hits, up until that point. This was pre-Beatles and I’ve always thought that, at least for me, they were the instrumental Beatles because it was so incredibly pervasive amongst anyone who wanted to play guitar or who loved the sound of guitar. It was our first homegrown three guitars and drums band. Their sound was what inspired me to want to start playing electric guitar. If you spoke to any British guitarists – and Canadians for that matter, I know even Neil Young has mentioned him – we are all inspired by and affected by Hank Marvin’s playing and his sound and his style. And not only were they a great band in their own right, they were brought to the fore for being Cliff Richards’ backing band and at that time in the late 50s/early 60s before The Beatles came along you’d either have Cliff at No. 1 and The Shadows at No. 2 or you’d have The Shadows at No. 1 and Cliff at No. 2. They sort of dominated the charts up until things changed with The Beatles and The Stones.

The one track that was really different for them at the time – and I think every band that did covers of The Shadows at the time – was called ‘Nivram’ which is Marvin spelled backwards, and it had a bass solo in it and was more of a jazzy-type piece. I was also influenced by jazz music – which we’ll get into – because my parents were into it during the war and it rubbed off on me, thank goodness.

In those days you didn’t make an album unless you had enough hit singles, and then you made an album so the record company could see if you were worth spending the money on to make an LP. Then the album would not contain any of the singles and would be completely different. So this was an album of brand new tracks so it didn’t clash with the singles we had already bought.