The Wind of Excellence Permeates All Aspects of Peter Frampton’s All-Analog Frampton@50: In the Studio 1972-1975 180g 3LP Collection From Intervention Records — a.k.a., How Vinyl Box Sets Should Be Done

I’m going to start my review of Peter Frampton’s excellent new Frampton@50: In the Studio 1972-1975 180g 3LP box set from Intervention Records with three key numbers: 100, 50, and 75. What do they mean? Glad you asked.

Let’s take them in order. First, “100” represents an important distinction regarding all the music in this historic collection being “100% analog from ½" safety copy of UK production master,” as per the text in a key graphic element on the back of each of the three Frampton LPs in this must-have Intervention Records box set.

Next, “50” stands for the 50-year designation in the box set’s core title itself, reflecting the vintage half-century nature of the music in this collection as culled from three of the first four albums that comprised Frampton’s early solo career on A&M Records, following his departure from Humble Pie — namely, July 1972’s Wind of Change, May 1973’s Frampton’s Camel, and March 1975’s Frampton. As many of us already know, October 1974’s Somethin’s Happening was deliberately left out of this box set’s equation for quite logical and mainly technical-oriented reasons both the artist himself and Intervention Records head honcho Shane Buettner explained near the outset of my interview with Frampton that posted on AP back on July 12, which you can read in full here.

Finally, “75” is the volume level I cranked my amp up to while listening back to all three of these albums, which I found to be the sweet spot required in order to achieve maximum AAA enjoyment with absolutely clean, fully rich, and wholly undistorted playback. (Your own preferred volume level may vary.)


Show Me the Packaging
Let’s begin the review proceedings in earnest by assessing the ultra-important Frampton@50 box set stats and packaging details. This numbered, limited edition AAA 180g 3LP collection tops out at 2,500 copies, sports an SRP of $159.99, and its official release date is this upcoming Friday, July 28. (Ordering information can be found at the end of this review.) My own copy arrived a few days early, packaged snugly — but not too snugly — in a sturdy Intervention Records-branded white cardboard box, with 1in of reinforced cardboard inside the shipping box itself on either side of the box set to keep it from moving around during the transporting process. If you’ve been reading our Album Reviews section faithfully, you already know we always point out how loose LPs, torn inner sleeves, random dust and/or residue on the discs themselves, and more can all be the result of less-than-meticulous shipping and packaging efforts — but Intervention had those bases covered quite handily here with the pristine condition of the Frampton@50 I received.

Each of these three Frampton@50 LPs was “100 percent” (that number again!) analog mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering from the “best-sounding” analog tape sources available (i.e., via the ½" safety copies of UK production masters that were cited earlier in this review). These 180g LPs were plated at RTI and pressed at Gotta Groove Records in Cleveland, Ohio. All three of my box set’s LPs were well-centered and clean when I removed them from the plastic-lined inner sleeves. The only minor flaw of note was one miniscule burr on the outer circumference of my copy of that was, if you were to draw an imaginary line from the literal edge of the disc on upwards, located on that edge under the right side of the label area where the lowercase “ir” logo and catalog number info appears. That said, let me be absolutely clear here — that burr in no way had any effect on the overall playback, playback speed, or sound of either side of this LP whatsoever.


The Frampton@50 box set itself measures 12.5 x 0.6875 x 12.07in (w/h/d), making it quite easy to shelve alongside most standard LP box sets. The size of the type used for the album title and the all-caps label name on the box set’s spine is big and bold in white on black — all of which makes it quite easy to locate and read from a distance.

The jackets for all three Frampton@50 LPs are “old-style” tip-ons and are courtesy Stoughton Printing, done with a QC standard that makes each of them among the most accurate cover reproductions I’ve seen in quite some time. Both Wind of Change and Frampton’s Camel boast the “brown-in” blanks true to their original UK LP releases, along with the period-accurate old-school red A&M-atop-trumpet company logo next to the track listings. (Said trumpet is in deference to label co-founder Herb Alpert’s instrument of expertise.) The Frampton label reflects the mid-decade A&M logo’s curve-and-fade style.

All three LP jackets in this box set are printed on heavy stock, and they’re also film-laminated. While both Change and Camel remain true to their single-LP slot origins, the original Frampton LP came with an inner sleeve containing lyrics printed on both sides — but here, Intervention decided to extrapolate them to instead comprise the interior panels of this album’s new 1LP gatefold, which is quite a-ok by me.


The Frampton@50 box set itself comes in a deluxe slip case, with a matte-textured finish and spot Gloss UV highlighting the main image, and it boasts double-pass foil numbering around back, near the bottom-right corner. Frampton@50 also comes with an authentic reproduction of the Peter Frampton promo poster that was included only in the earliest original LP copies of Frampton’s Camel (here, tucked inside and folded, in four-panel style), along with a Certificate of Authenticity adorned with a message from Peter himself.

About the only nit I could pick here in terms of packaging is that I would have liked to have gotten some historical liner notes that covered the inner history of these albums in more detail, especially in regard to the production teams and performance personnel and why Frampton chose to work with them — but that’s hardly a dealbreaker. Fact is, Intervention went the extra mile to guarantee packaging accuracy and durability for Frampton@50 — and, speaking as an inveterate collector-slash-critical listener who has more box sets to shelve than I care to admit, these efforts are beyond appreciated.


Wind of Change . . . for the Better
And now, let’s get to the listening sessions, plural! First, I have to commend Intervention for ensuring there was plenty of run-in groove on each side of each LP in the Frampton@50 box set — more often than not these days, both new and reissue LPs alike barely give you enough time to drop the needle and get settled into your favorite listening position before the music starts.

But not here! As I dropped the needle on Side One, I had ample time to nestle into my Eames listening chair perch and enjoy the full breadth of Track 1, “Fig Tree Bay,” a buoyant song that contains some critical sequences featuring strings arranged by Del Newman. “Fig Tree Bay” is also the immediate raison d’être start to Frampton’s solo career, and lesser pressings have failed to represent it accurately. Mike Kellie’s cymbal taps are clear and the strings buttress, rather than intrude, on Frampton’s first guitar solo. Newman also handles the flute and marimba you’ll hear elsewhere in this track, instrumental details that can get (and have gotten) swamped in the mixing murk on inferior LPs.


The shift to the acoustic-guitar focus that opens and then floats throughout Track 2, “Wind of Change” — a sequencing tone-shift strategy found on more than one Frampton LP during this era — emits a clear-hearted jangle and purpose of intent if ever there was. Side Two commences with a personal favorite of Frampton’s — and of mine, as well — “All I Want To Be (Is By Your Side).” Percussion is a notable part of the overall mix here, neither dominant nor distracting and right where it all should be to buttress Frampton’s vocals and guitarwork. As Frampton glides into the next three tracks — “The Lodger,” “Hard,” and “Alright” — there’s a palpable sense of utter joy in his playing, something that isn’t rushed or too show-offy, and I too felt that joy while listening to an album that benefits from being able to in its all-analog glory.

All this and more make the Intervention Wind LP preferred listening over both my U.S. and Japanese pressings.


Frampton’s Camel Gets Over the Hump
For the 1973 follow-up, Frampton decided to travel down more of a band-oriented route, hence the collective designation of the title. I can’t say the cover design is amongst my favorites in his canon, but Intervention gets full kudos for insisting on holding firm to capturing its quite vibrant purple hue — albeit to the detriment of the slightly washed-out band photo on the back cover, but that too remains true to form and initial intent — as well as going with Frampton’s own wish for the spinal type to remain upside down to mirror its UK pressing origins.

The opening tracks on each side — “I Got My Eyes on You” and “White Sugar,” respectively — share a certain “the band’s all here” mentality, with “Eyes” awash in a funky-tunk crunch and “Sugar” doing the anti-coke ramble-tamble accordingly. The more intimate nature of Track 3 on Side One, the perennial concert favorite “Lines on My Face,” and Track 2 on Side Two, “Don’t Fade Away,” both lean much closer toward the artistic intimacy that dominate the balance of .

That said, the Side Two closer, “Do You Feel Like We Do,” is a stone-cold marvel — a perfect album-ender clocking in at 6:45 that’s well worth a listening refresh for anyone used to the more frenetic version that’s on Frampton Comes Alive!. The soundstage is nice and wide on this one, wholly allowing Frampton’s gnarly lead guitar lines some air to snarl all about — the character of which you simply won’t feel digitally, by the way — with a fine bed of Mick Gallagher’s Wurlitzer electric piano rightly underneath as support (plus, he gets to take one well-deserved soloing counterpoint). Also, pay special attention to how the layered vowel sound in the second “you” gets drawn out with slight variations in the oft-repeated, pronoun-modified titular phrase query, “Do you — you! —feel like I do?”


Frampton in Studio Foreshadows Frampton Comes Alive!
The self-titled 1975 release Frampton rounds out the box set in its above-noted and much appreciated gatefold form. Frampton had more commercial impact than its three predecessors, and it gave even more clues as to where the ensuing blockbuster double-live album, January 1976’s earlier-noted Frampton Comes Alive!, would be going.

Track 2 on Side One, “Show Me the Way,” marries Frampton’s instantly recognizable acoustic strum with that signature talkbox effect in an almost demo-like way, given how the song has opened up considerably in the live arena in these subsequent decades — but I also like how the talkbox is used as support in various spots on the verses and choruses in addition to its featured solo spots.

Besides that, I reconnected with both the sentiment and vocal effects on the final track on Side One, “Fanfare,” as well as the thrust of the instrumental intro section for the somewhat sentimental Side Two opener, “Nowhere Too Far (For My Baby).” And that, of course, leads directly into the one-two punch of Tracks 2 and 3, “Nassau” and “Baby I Love Your Way” — technically listed as a “Medley” here. I still love the noodly, sunset-vibe nature of the guitar-and-piano interplay on “Nassau” that sets the table for “Baby I Love Your Way,” which I guarantee will hit you somewhat differently than the audience-singalong version you may be used to hearing. Zero in especially on the freewheeling acoustic guitar and John Simon’s rim taps during the verses to see what I mean here.


Frampton and Intervention Records Are a Perfect AAA Match
I could go on and on, but the bottom line here is clear — Intervention Records has achieved a new plateau with the full-on AAA excellence of Frampton@50: In the Studio 1972-1975. This is one box set that holds up upon repeated listens, and it’s also one that will be revisited across the years, especially when future Frampton AAA catalog installments arrive — yes, I’m looking directly at you (you!), original tapes and safety masters of Comes Alive!.

Why wait? Since Frampton@50 is a limited edition of 2,500 and likely to sell out sooner than later, I suggest you order your copy STAT, if you haven’t done so already. The wind of Frampton@50’s complete AAA-level brilliance could soon enough be upon your ears — and then, you too can truly feel like we do while you’re listening to it all.

The Frampton@50 box set (SRP: $159.99) can be ordered directly from Intervention Records here.
Additionally, Frampton’s own official webstore has an exclusive allocation of 250 Frampton@50 vinyl box sets that include an autographed version of the Frampton's Camel promo poster, with the proceeds benefitting the Peter Frampton Myositis Research Fund. This SRP for this special version of the box set is $259.00, and it can be ordered here. Supplies are limited, as the saying goes.



180g 3LP (Intervention Records)


Side One
1. Fig Tree Bay
2. Wind Of Change
3. Lady Lieright
4. Jumping Jack Flash
5. It’s A Plain Shame
6. Oh For Another Day

Side Two
1. All I Want To Be (Is By Your Side)
2. The Lodger
3. Hard
4. Alright


Side One
1. I Got My Eyes On You
2. All Night Long
3. Lines On My Face
4. Which Way The Wind Blows
5. I Believe (When I Fall In Love With You It Will Be Forever)

Side Two
1. White Sugar
2. Don’t Fade Away
3. Just The Time Of Year
4. Do You Feel Like We Do


Side One
1. Day’s Dawning
2. Show Me The Way
3. One More Time
4. The Crying Clown
5. Fanfare

Side Two
1. Nowhere’s Too Far (For My Baby)
2a. Nassau
2b. Baby, I Love Your Way
3. Penny For Your Thoughts
4. (I’ll Give You) Money


HiFiMark's picture

As Mike enthuses, this set is tremendously well done - mastering, pressing, packaging, etc., etc.



Given it is a limited edition and there are easily 2,500 PF fans with enough disposable income, no doubt it will be a success. But, no way can I justify spending $50+ per record as terrific as Herr Frampton may be.

That said, IF this also included a well done remaster / pressing of Comes Alive, I'd have placed my order days ago...

Tom L's picture

Clearly a careful, well-done package, but seems overpriced to me. I still have my original LPs of these three releases and they sound fine, although Wind of Change is a bit crackly.

IR Shane's picture

genuinely curious what the point of reference is.

HiFiMark's picture

Blue Note Tone Poet and Craft OJC for a couple. $40 or less per LP versus $53 in this set.

I understand that you put a great deal of care into packaging, poster, pressing etc. and it's a limited run. I think that's great. Whatever the market will bear! Capitalism at work...

But $53 each for three pop/rock albums is still a lot of money. Just an observation, that's all.

IR Shane's picture

What would Tone Poet charge for 3 180G LPs and a premium box, poster, etc?

Again, my point is value, and specifically that the set is "overpriced."

I'm not charging $53 per LP. It's $40 per LP plus the extras.

PS- bear in mind that Blue Note is not paying itself royalties and licensing fees, how much of the $40 goes into UME's coffers vs thirds party like IR or AP.

HiFiMark's picture

I have to think that I am in, or near, the sweet spot of your target customer for this offering. Younger baby boomer, sufficient money, great hi-fi, love vinyl and classic rock, and keep track of jazz and classic rock reissues in particular because they generally float my boat.

What you are saying then is $40 for the box, poster, and COA. Plus taxes and perhaps shipping as well, depending on retailer.

Ultimately, after the nice initial impression of a COA and poster (likely to not be looked at again), and a nice slip cover, the enduring content here is the music. I suppose it would be a little different if these records were otherwise unobtanium, but they aren't. And yes, I've no doubt that the remastering and re-pressing are top shelf.

Anyway, that still effectively comes down to $53 per disc for the essential stuff, the music. Customer feedback: too much IMHO.

I would likely pull the trigger on this if it was, say, $180 without poster, COA and with a lesser box AND (here's the biggy) "Comes Alive" included. What a great combo that would be, studio and live cuts of many of the songs in the same set.

Maybe that's impossible, but there you go, customer feedback, in the event you are interested. And for FWIW I spent a good deal of the business portion of my career in market research, business analysis, marketing, and strategy for a large, successful, and very well known retailer, so I'm not completely ignorant of what it takes to do this stuff.

Do your business how you like and I do hope you sell through on these! I really do, as I hope you continue to be successful and can do more releases. A final thought, would 5,000 copies have leveraged fixed costs and brought down retail a bit, or allowed for FCA to be included?

OK, enough. God Bless and I wish you the best.

Mike Mettler's picture
I don't think I've ever seen one person "like" the price of any box set of this nature, whether it be on vinyl or CD, but such is the cost of doing business in the physical goods universe we live in. We all have personal price thresholds and we all reflexively balk at pretty much any SRP we see, but it always comes down to being an individual choice as to what we're willing to pay for any collection, whether it be box set, 1LP, 2LP, or "other."

I would add that many consumers tend to overlook the idea that part of any SRP for box sets also covers the packaging and manufacturing, especially if it's a limited edition run. In this case, and as I discussed extensively in my review, Intervention Records went the extra mile with their choices for how the outer box shell was constructed and presented, the quality of the inner sleeves, how the colors were processed to best mirror the originals and who they partnered with to do so, where the LPs themselves were stamped and pressed and who did them, etc., etc. The overall end result of getting three truly stellar AAA LPs concurrent with all of that is a win-win in my book.

That said, are all of those processes and decisions worth it to you to pay the freight? Again, only you can decide, but in this particular case, and taken as a whole, Frampton@50 more than justifies its cost of entry.

IR Shane's picture

Thank you for this Mike!

I couldn't be more surprised that the cost if this set is the only thing people are commenting on when there are frequently single releases selling for as much ...

As noted, my releases are premium in every respect and I spare no expense in creating best-ever, archival-quality reissues. These records have NEVER sounded this good before and won't ever be bettered. Same with the album art and jackets, etc

Now to cost vs value, all of our costs in the reissue business have gone up in the last 3 years. Licensing is more, jackets are more, 180G LPs are more, center labels ... all of it, and a LOT more. Not a little.

In spite of that, the price for a premium 180G LP remains fixed at $40 by market forces. If these records alone had anything like the typical 5-7x cost of goods multiplier to retail that most things do they'd cost at least twice as much.

For this set, the box alone in quantities of 2,700 cost me nearly $8 each. I could have done it cheaper, by a bit, but not better.

So adding the poster, COA, and the exclusivity of a limited, numbered set, while it might be "expensive" to some, I am supremely confident in the value proposition for people who want to experience these albums the way Peter and the band would have wanted.

Tom L's picture

I'm sure this release will sell out, and people will be happy with it. It will likely become collectable due to the limited run. I didn't mean to say it's badly overpriced. In my personal case I have original copies of the three albums, they're in good condition, and I don't feel the need to pay $53.33 per LP plus shipping for premium packaging, a poster, and heavier vinyl. You say yourself that "price for a premium 180G LP remains fixed at $40 by market forces". Other music will take precedence because my resources don't match those of some other collectors. I'm not one of the people buying the REALLY expensive vinyl reissues! Also, even with all the care taken in production, you're dealing with tapes that are 50 years older than the ones used for the original LPs, which sound really good. Many Frampton fans will disagree with me, and more power to them, but that's my situation. Thanks for taking so much care with these releases, and good luck in the future.

IR Shane's picture

Adding a premium box, poster and COA is on top of $40 x 3.

Tom L's picture

It's just my opinion. Different vinyl reissues are aimed at different markets. I buy LPs for the music, not the extras. Plenty of others will disagree and be happy to pay more for the poster, box and certificate. You will do fine with these Frampton LPs and I'm happy for you, and for Peter as they get more attention for his early work.

Tom L's picture

By "early work" I mean his early solo releases. Excellent albums. His REALLY early work was of course with Humble Pie and as a teenager with the Herd. I enjoyed his book Do You Feel Like I Do very much, he seems like a heck of a guy.

IR Shane's picture

And since you posted in a public forum I assumed your intention was to interact ...

You're the target audience for this and your feedback is super meaningful, and I've never done anything like this. I've done series, but never gone for the limited/numbered or scarcity play. The only extras I've ever offered were extra tracks on an additional LP.

Tom L's picture

I may not buy this release myself but considering the quality and care you've put into it, and the prices for near mint original LPs, I have to admit that it's not overpriced. Clearly a labor of love for you, as well. Thanks for all the information, and for caring enough to produce the package and interact with us here. Best of luck to you and Intervention Records in the future.

IR Shane's picture

and for your comments below. I could not have anticipated the turn this conversation would take but I'm glad these topics came up.

bwbo's picture

Just a heads up if you are planning to buy one of the 250 with a signed poster. They are a subset of the 2500 with nothing to distinguish them from the other 2250 other than the number stamped on the box. Mine is 92 of 2500 so I assume he signed the first 250 but that is a guess. So if buying it as a sealed collectible there is really nothing to prove it has the signed poster unless you open it, which of course means you no longer have a sealed collectible. They could have at least put a sticker on it declaring it is one of the signed 250. I know it rubs some the wrong way that so many buy to flip, but that's the world we live in now.

IR Shane's picture

It's the Frampton Store exclusive, and I was not sure how they'd handle that.

It's not the first 250, the numbers are random.

Mr Frampton himself is receiving 0001 ....

bwbo's picture

so the only way to be sure I have a signed poster is to open it.... not real happy about that, but thanks for the info

IR Shane's picture

that people wouldn't want to open the set and play it.

And if there were a sticker, would you be that much more certain?

bwbo's picture

Like I said earlier, I know some people are shocked or think it is somehow unsavory that some of us speculate on limited edition records, but it is very common. I read somewhere that a lot of people buy vinyl who never play any of them. I sometimes buy several of something with the idea of keeping a copy and flipping the others at a profit. I flipped the UHQR Bob Marley a few months ago and made a few $100 dollars. I flipped a few of the recent Cars release from Rhino and doubled my money, Some you lose on. So paying an extra $100 for the signed version and not having any proof it is one of the 250 means I probably wasted $100.

Thanks for the discourse

IR Shane's picture

You are welcome for the discourse, and let me continue and also tell you that the net outcome of this kind of speculative buying comes at the cost of fewer labels and fewer releases.

Speculators driving up the numbers on these "limited" releases has driven up all the minimums on licensing deals from the majors for total numbers, opening order numbers, repress numbers etc.

It's made it way harder for smaller independent labels like mine to get deals and put out records. It's leaving only room for the deep pocket labels and the choices they make.

So just know that this practice has consequences.

Tom L's picture

Nonetheless, I regard those who indulge in it with considerable scorn.

bwbo's picture

But it works both ways, If so many weren't getting into the game on your end trying to cash in by trying to sell so many reissues maybe it would be different. There is article after article posted on this site and others about the flood of reissues coming out. From Blue Note almost 100 Tone Poets to date many of which were recently reissued by Music Matters after Classic records and Analouge Productions had reissued them. There are 512 versions of Kind of Blue listed on Discogs and we just got yet another $150 version released. I'm sure for some it is a labor of love and that may include you, but I'm also sure some are just trying to cash in.

Anything in high demand with a limited supply is going to go up in price. That's just the way it works.. with everything.. Rare records have demanded high prices for a very long time. So one can either work within the system or sit on the sidelines with scorn while others take advantage.

However, I didn't start it, it is not going to stop, so should I not participate because some view me "with considerable scorn." Do they look at jewelers with considerable scorn because they deal in rare diamonds, or art dealers selling rare art, or vintage car dealers ... well, you get the picture.

thanks again for sharing

IR Shane's picture

Your phrasing suggests some cynicism.

I can't speak for others' motives in this biz, but I think my label's catalog shows I'm trying my best to expand the breadth of the kind of artists whose work gets top-shelf treatment and not just grab the money.

Speaking of, after almost 10 years I still have a "day job" to pay the bills so this isn't some instant path to independent wealth.

I don't cut corners and by that I mean I eat costs on my side to deliver a better product. I am very proud of the quality of product I produce and how it serves the artists and fans. I also work hard with the artists to try and create revenue opportunities.

I think here we are seeing each other clearly and those who are reading can decide for themselves who's making the cash grab and who's offering value.

Tom L's picture

I certainly never expected to change your behavior with my distain. I do detect a certain defensive attitude from you because you're aware that, as opposed to those actually putting out a product people want to buy, you are hitching a ride on their work and not adding value in any way. Have a nice day.

bwbo's picture

like price gouging for water after a natural disaster.... we're talking about vinyl records that nobody needs, what amounts to a luxury product. I certainly don't understand someone's scorn for somebody else making an honest profit, so no, I don't feel bad or defensive about it.

And don't you think your "hitching a ride on their work" comment is rather ironic given that every one of these companies doing reissues is "hitching a ride" on someone else's work.

There are currently about 49 million records for sale on discogs and a considerable percentage of them are priced higher than when they were new. Do you have considerable scorn for all of those resellers too

I am having a lovely day, thanks

bwbo's picture

as already stated, I'm not adding any value to the process... as a proud American capitalist who believes there is no shame in exploiting the laws of supply and demand to make a buck, I am definitely going for the cash.

Tom L's picture

but you don't seem proud. In fact, you're awfully defensive about it. Some tiny, miniscule part of you is ashamed.

bwbo's picture