Show Me the Way
Writer(s): Peter Frampton (see lyrics here)
Released: June 1975
First Charted: July 12, 1975
Peak: 6 US, 4 CB, 6 HR, 5 RR, 1 CL, 10 UK, 4 CN, 25 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 40.6 video, 114.98 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
Guitarist Peter Frampton was born in England in 1950. He was in a band called the Little Ravens by the age of 12. By 18, he had joined forces with Steve Marriott of the Small Faces to form Humble Pie. That group had a #4 hit in the UK with “Natural Born Bugie” in 1969 and a couple of minor hits in the U.S.
After four solo albums with Humble Pie, Frampton went solo. He released three albums with minimal success. His fourth album, simply called Frampton, reached #32 in the U.S. and went gold. “Show Me the Way” was released in June 1975 as a single, but – like the rest of Frampton’s solo output up to that point – failed to chart.
His fortunes changed, however, with a live recording released the following year. It soared into the top 10 and made the guitarist a superstar. Suddenly, “girls across the globe were gazing upon the bronzed, shirtless blonde that was pinned up on their bedroom walls.” UCR The song was lifted from his 1976 live album Frampton Comes Alive, which spent 10 weeks atop the Billboard album chart on its way toward being the biggest album of the year. It went on to sell more than 8 million copies in the U.S. alone.
“Show Me the Way” is marked by vague lyrics about a protagonist seeking guidance – “a drowning man looking for someone to throw him a life preserver.” SF Frampton kept it vague on purpose, but did admit he’d met someone who gave him confidence and his life “completely changed. All the lyrics in that song are about me and her.” SF
The song was also characterized by its use of a talkbox, “a device hooked up to his guitar that allowed him to create amplified, distorted vocal sounds with his mouth.” SF It created a sensation and many musicians bought or made talkboxes as a result. SF
First posted 7/27/2022.