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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 Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
This was so anticipated by everybody. I remember going up to London with my girlfriend to Petticoat Lane, where there’s a weekend morning market, and we were just rooting around. It was the week before Sgt. Pepper's… came out and we found a store, which was obviously illegal, that had got quite a bunch of Sgt. Pepper's… a week before it was released. I think the story goes that a lorry was ripped off and a lot of Beatles albums were stolen. So we got to buy - at full price I may say - Sgt. Pepper's… a week before it came out. We drove home as fast as we could and I remember sitting on the floor of my girlfriend’s parents’ house and having the album on repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat. And listening to side A, side B, side A, side B. I think it was light when we started and dark when we finished. It was so different and the recording techniques were so advanced, with not that advanced equipment for the time. It just made everybody go, “WHAT? Where did this come from?!” It was very, very different at the time. The Beatles were already at their peak so this was just something else entirely. It was the first semi-concept album, meaning the tracks were joined together. I’ve always been someone who is mostly interested in the sound of something first and then the technique of how it’s played afterwards, and the sounds on Sgt. Pepper's… were just streets ahead; they were futuristic for the time. We were all to catch up later, but The Beatles really set the stage for recording techniques to change completely. Then of course the songs! The songs were amazing. But for me, the overall concept and the sound and the production and the way things were put together for that album were very enlightening to me. I had to work it out, how they did it. It was magic to me when I first heard it. The flanging and phasing and backwards guitar, they literally took the analogue tape and threw it up in the air and then it came down and they played it back. It was very revolutionary.