03/07/1994 at 01:00 AM EST
Here is the man regarded as the symbol of 70s feel-good rock. Peter Frampton, whose assured but mellow guitar solos were complemented by a spaniel-like shag of curls and a boyishly sunny stage presence, spent a dizzying 10 weeks at No. 1 with a two-disc concert album, Frampton Comes Alive. It eventually sold 15 million copies worldwide. But after 1977's I'm in You, Frampton's career went into eclipse. The British rocker blames promotional overkill. "It's the nature of the beast," says Frampton, 43, who now lives in L.A. And it probably wasn't a good idea to costar with the Bee Gees in that saccharine 1978 movie disaster Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. But Frampton, a seasoned performer who played with the Herd and Humble Pie before going solo in 1971, still tours, still records. His recently released album, Peter Frampton, "is without a doubt the best record I've made since the 70s," he says. So far it's not performing like Alive. "You never know why something hits like that," says Frampton. "If you did, you'd be bottling and selling it. But if I have to talk about Alive the rest of my life, it's not such a bad thing to talk about."