Peter Frampton - guitar, vocals; Mick Gallagher - keyboards; Rick Wills - bass; John Siomos - drums, percussion
Following modest success in the mid-1960s in the Herd and increasing popularity during his five-album tenure in Humble Pie, in 1971 lead guitarist Peter Frampton embarked on a solo career. At the time, many fans questioned his departure as Humble Pie was just breaking through to American audiences with the release of the studio album Rock On, followed by the two album set Rockin' The Fillmore, a raw exuberant live album that captured the original Pie lineup at the peak of their powers and showcased Frampton's guitar playing in a most positive light. Over the course of the next several years, Frampton released several promising albums, which gradually increased his profile but failed to capture the immediacy and excitement of his live performances. For his first album, 1972's self-produced Winds of Change, Frampton recruited an all-star cast of friends including Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, and former Herd partner Andy Bown, in addition to engineer Chris Kimsey, who had also engineered Pie's Rock On album. Kimsey helped Frampton better emphasize his acoustic guitar playing and lush melodic sensibilities.
For his second album, Frampton's Camel, which also became the name of his touring group, Frampton refocused on creating a true band sound. Assisted by Mick Gallagher, whose driving organ and tasteful piano work became the other prominent element, Frampton delivered a second album containing first-rate material, including the original much shorter studio version of "Do You Feel Like We Do?," a group composition that would become a permanent staple of classic rock radio three years later (in highly expanded form on the Frampton Comes Alive album). The Frampton's Camel album also contained harder edged electric guitar work than its predecessor in addition to Frampton's acoustic work, striking a better balance. As had been the case in Humble Pie, Frampton's Camel (and Frampton's subsequent solo work in general) was best heard live on stage. Unfortunately, few professional recordings of the Frampton's Camel lineup have ever surfaced and Frampton would regroup with different personnel the following year, leaving the band mostly forgotten beyond those who caught them live in 1973.
Although just a two-song snippet, presented here is an excellent example of Frampton's Camel live on stage. The recording begins with an incomplete recording of the band performing the original arrangement of "Do You Feel Like We Do?" Even at this early stage, the rhythm section of bassist Rick Wills and drummer John Siomos have begun slowing the tempo in comparison to the studio recording, and Frampton and Gallagher have begun developing the song as a launching point for group improvisation. Although the song would eventually become extended past the 20-minute mark on stage, this earlier rendition reveals the song's potential and is a memorable performance even without the talk box theatrics and improvisational flights of later years.
Equally interesting is the last song, "Shine On," which Frampton first recorded for Humble Pie's Rock On album and although not included, would become the title of his 1992 greatest hits retrospective. Never approached live on stage by Humble Pie, Frampton's Camel take right to it, delivering an exuberant performance that is sure to please Pie and Frampton fans alike. Also of interest here is the presence of a guest joining Frampton's Camel onstage, guitarist Frank Carrillo. A gifted guitar player himself, Carrillo was then the frontman of the early 1970s band Doc Holliday, a group which also coincidently featured guitarist Bob Mayo, who would soon become a member of Frampton's next band. That next band would eventually be responsible for the big breakthrough in 1976 when Frampton released his first live recording, Frampton Comes Alive, which literally exploded onto the charts, remaining in the Top 10 for over a year and eventually becoming the biggest selling live album of all time. Uncharacteristically for a live album, Frampton Comes Alive spawned no less than three hit singles and made "Do You Feel Like We Do?" a permanent classic rock radio staple, leading to a cover story in Rolling Stone, making Peter Frampton a household name by the end of that year.