Peter Frampton Discusses His New Cover of Stevie Wonder’s “I Don’t Know Why” in New Video (Shared on Wonder’s Birthday)

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Rock Cellar Magazine

One of the songs reimagined on Frampton Forgets the Words, the recent instrumental covers album from guitar legend Peter Frampton, is “I Don’t Know Why,” originally from Stevie Wonder’s 1968 album For Once In My Life.

The album was released on April 23 and is a revelation; Frampton and his host of backing musicians reinvent classics made famous by a wide array of acts as diverse as Wonder, Radiohead, Lenny Kravitz, Roxy Music, David Bowie and George Harrison — and as Frampton explained in a new video, his rendition of the Stevie Wonder tune was especially important to him:

Great timing, by the way, to share this video today, May 13, Stevie’s 71st birthday.

Here’s Frampton’s reinvention of “I Don’t Know Why”:

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In connection with the album release, Frampton spoke with Rock Cellar’s Jeff Slate regarding his work crafting instrumental covers, discussing some of the challenges in such a project:

Peter Frampton: “The thing is, when you’re doing an instrumental cover of a well-known song, you don’t have lyrics for the second verse to make it as interesting as the first verse. Therefore, I used what I’d learnt from The Shadows, and my dear pal Hank Marvin, how to approach an instrumental. Even when we were doing Fingerprints, in fact, and we wrote “My Cup of Tea” together, when we were recording it, for the third verse, Hank said, because I was going to play it the same was as I played it before, “Why don’t we do this little trill there and change it up?” And I did it, and I thought, that’s it!

“It’s the little changes that perk the interest. Keeps the interest level. Because you don’t have a lead singer — on TV, mind you — splaying his legs and waggling his hips, you know?”

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