"Frampton Comes Alive" and "Rumours" set worldwide album sales records. "I'm in You" and "Tusk" prompted massive record biz lay-offs. "What the hell happened?" has been asked for decades.
It's interesting to hear a music-as-business take on that moment. For me, of course, it was about the music. Like many, I liked the Frampton album for its fresh take on guitar-centric rock. But I didn't need more of that--sort of the way the first Boston album was a unique sound but all the rest sounded the same. The elephant in the room was Fleetwood Mac. I loved the Danny Kirwan-Christine McVie-Peter Green FM; I hated Buckingham-Nicks FM, and had to listen to my college roommate play it constantly. Rumours was worse, and I thought Tusk was simply awful. To me, the transformation of FM symbolized the end of whatever was left of 60's magic. It's actually shocking to compare the Billboard top 50 from 1968 vs. the top 50 from 1972--it's like popular music got a lobotomy. In 1968 the great stuff (Beatles, Cream, Doors, Hendrix, etc.) WAS the popular stuff. But then it was "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head", and the best stuff went underground--who even knew about Velvet Underground or Patti Smith? By 1976 the patient was terminal. I was just happy for Mick Fleetwood and John McVie that they finally got to cash in on all their years working in the mines. (For me, the defibrillator was the B-52's on Saturday Night Live. But that is a whole new topic and a new world of music!) Sorry for the rant, and thanks for the Recommendation!
Peter Frampton wasn't really my thing back in the late 70s as I was still listening to Disco and some Country, but I will never forget my aunt's obsession with "Frampton Comes Alive". She would talk about how much she loved that record decades later.