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Lou Reed vs. Peter Frampton – Ultimate Classic Rock Hall of Fame, Round One

Peter Frampton and Lou Reed

In the latest January 2014 Ultimate Classic Rock Hall of Fame first-round challenge, we’re lining up a powerhouse guitarist and former teen idol against one of rock’s most unyielding iconoclasts. It’s Peter Frampton versus Lou Reed — who gets your vote?

Before embarking upon successful solo careers both of this round’s artists established their rock ‘n’ roll bona fides as members of a beloved band. For Frampton, those early years came as part of Humble Pie, a group he helped co-found (at the age of 18, no less) with Steve Marriott of the Small Faces. It didn’t take him long to leave the lineup, and although his early solo LPs failed to drum up major sales, that all changed in a big way with his 1976 concert album ‘Frampton Comes Alive!’ Frampton struggled in the shadow of that album’s massive success for years, but he’s continued to record, tour, and play with other artists, adding to his legacy as one of rock’s premier guitarists and songwriters.

Reed, of course, was one of the founding members of the Velvet Underground, a band whose unyielding, occasionally inscrutable cool set the template for the rest of his career. He stepped out on his own in 1972, releasing both his self-titled debut and his classic ‘Transformer’ LP the same year. While he certainly had his share of critical and commercial ups and downs over the ensuing decades, he rarely did the same thing twice — and when he scored the occasional hit record or single, it was because trends had caught up to him rather than the other way around.

They’re very different artists, but only one can make it past this round. Fortunately, you can keep casting your ballot once a day between now and Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014 at 11:59 PM EST. The winner will be announced on Feb. 3. Be sure to read our official rules, and good luck to both of our latest Ultimate Classic Rock Hall of Fame candidates!

Next: Joe Walsh Vs. Jackson Browne

January UCR Hall of Fame Bracket

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