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reDiscover Extreme’s ‘III Sides To Every Story’

It was the band’s third album and the last with their original four-piece line-up.

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Extreme III

One of Boston’s biggest rock band of the 1990s were making new strides on 10 October 1992. Extreme entered the Billboard 200 chart with their third album, III Sides To Every Story, a record that came to be their last in their original four-piece line-up, and their most recent visit to the US top ten.

After some initial success with a self-titled debut set for A&M in 1989, the band truly made the grade with 1990’s Extreme II: Pornograffitti (the double “t” spelling of graffiti being their own). Central to that success was their emergence on pop radio with the uncharacteristically soft ballad ‘More Than Words,’ which topped the Hot 100 and became an international hit. It was followed by further top five singles success with ‘Hole Hearted.’

III Sides To Every Story contained no such crossovers, with both ‘Rest In Peace’ and ‘Stop The World’ making only the bottom rungs of the US chart. But to emphasise what a force Extreme had become, the album nevertheless repeated the No. 10 peak of its predecessor, turning gold in a 23-week chart run.

III Sides…, themed around the idea of the three sides to any story being “yours, mine and the truth,” was another showcase for the quartet’s high-octane but melodic rock swagger with elements of funk. Gary Cherone’s lead vocals dovetailed with Nuno Bettencourt’s expressive lead guitar lines and the able rhythm section of Pat Badger on bass and Paul Geary on drums. Co-founder Geary then left, to be replaced with Mike Mangini, as Extreme went on to conclude their ’90s adventures with the 1995 release Waiting For The Punchline.

As III Sides was released, Bettencourt told Q magazine that Extreme had little appetite or energy for the archetypal rock ‘n’ roll existence. “This really is not the story of Guns N’Roses,” he said. “There’s nothing we really care about other than playing music and performing it live.

“A person who’s been drinking and drugging couldn’t come close to what we do for an hour and a half on stage. Extreme is a real band and we wanna be a great band; someone with a catalogue of music and some diversity, like Queen.”

III Sides To Every Story can be bought here.

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