Funk Metal / Hard Rock / Non-Metal / Glam Metal • United States
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Extreme is an American rock band, headed by frontmen Gary Cherone and Nuno Bettencourt, that reached the height of their popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Among some of Extreme's musical influences are Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, and Queen. The band played at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992, also jammed with Brian May and Van Halen, and Cherone joined Van Halen in 1996. The band has described their music as "Funky Metal" in the early days, but it would evolve much more in the mid-90s by blending classic rock influences with post-grunge and alternative rock. They have released five studio albums, two EPs (in Japan) and two compilation albums since their formation. The band was one of the most successful rock acts of the early 1990s, selling over 10 million albums worldwide. Extreme achieved their greatest success with their 1990 album Pornograffitti, which peaked at number 10 read more...
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Waiting For The PunchlineWaiting For The Punchline
Universal 2018
$15.56 (used)
Best of ExtremeBest of Extreme
Polydor Uk 1998
$1.70 (used)
Pornograffitti Live 25 / Metal Meltdown (BluRay/DVD/CD) [Blu-ray]Pornograffitti Live 25 / Metal Meltdown (BluRay/DVD/CD) [Blu-ray]
Surround Sound
Loud & Proud Records 2016
$19.96 (used)
The CollectionThe Collection
Polygram Uk 2002
$4.46 (used)
The Best Of Extreme: An Accidental Collocation Of AtomsThe Best Of Extreme: An Accidental Collocation Of Atoms
A&M Records 2000
$1.97 (used)
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2017
$24.84 (used)
III Sides to Every StoryIII Sides to Every Story
A&M Records 1992
$0.99 (used)
A&M Records 2006
$2.79 (used)
Waiting for the PunchlineWaiting for the Punchline
A&M 1995
$1.49 (used)
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EXTREME Discography

EXTREME albums / top albums

EXTREME Extreme album cover 3.29 | 11 ratings
Glam Metal 1989
EXTREME Extreme II: Pornograffitti album cover 3.96 | 34 ratings
Extreme II: Pornograffitti
Funk Metal 1990
EXTREME III Sides To Every Story album cover 4.04 | 14 ratings
III Sides To Every Story
Hard Rock 1992
EXTREME Waiting For The Punchline album cover 3.50 | 7 ratings
Waiting For The Punchline
Hard Rock 1994
EXTREME Saudades De Rock album cover 3.80 | 6 ratings
Saudades De Rock
Hard Rock 2008

EXTREME EPs & splits

EXTREME Extragraffitti album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Funk Metal 1990
EXTREME Running Gag album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Running Gag
Hard Rock 1995

EXTREME live albums

EXTREME Take Us Alive album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
Take Us Alive
Funk Metal 2010

EXTREME demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

EXTREME re-issues & compilations

EXTREME The Best Of Extreme: An Accidental Collication Of Atoms? album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Of Extreme: An Accidental Collication Of Atoms?
Hard Rock 1998
EXTREME The Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Collection
Hard Rock 2002
EXTREME The Best Of Extreme album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Of Extreme
Hard Rock 2002

EXTREME singles (12)

.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Kid Ego
Hard Rock 1989
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
More Than Words
Non-Metal 1990
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Decadence Dance
Funk Metal 1990
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Get The Funk Out
Funk Metal 1990
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Hole Hearted
Non-Metal 1991
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Song For Love
Non-Metal 1992
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Stop The World
Funk Metal 1992
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Rest In Peace
Funk Metal 1992
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Tragic Comic
Non-Metal 1992
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
There Is No God
Funk Metal 1994
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Hip Today
Funk Metal 1995
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Funk Metal 1995

EXTREME movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Classic Extreme
Funk Metal 2005
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Videograffiti: The Definitive
Funk Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Takes Us Alive
Funk Metal 2010



Album · 1989 · Glam Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
By 1989, the world was already getting a bit bored by what was commonly referred to as either glam metal or hair metal... or simply, 80’s metal. With its vast array of long-haired, grown men in spandex and makeup, there was a certain cheesiness and repetition to the subgenre that had run its course, and with the rising thrash metal scene and grunge on the horizon, people were looking for something a bit more serious and with more depth.

Which is why it’s such a shame that Boston four-piece Extreme seem to have become the poster child for everything that was wrong with 80’s metal.

Big hairdos, headbands (definitely an 80’s thing), bright clothing and cowboy boots... Yep, these guys checked off everything on the list of cheesy clichés that people were embarrassed by. But the reality is that Extreme consists of four incredibly talented and competent musicians, and this, their 1989 self-titled debut album, is chock-full of catchy, well-written and well-performed songs.

Courtesy of guitar virtuoso Nuno Bettencourt, ‘Extreme’ features non-stop energetic displays of musical prowess. Accompanied by Gary Cherones powerful and infectious vocals, and a solid rhythm section by Pat Badger on bass and Paul Geary on drums, this is a band of highly competent musicians with incredible chemistry. There’s a strong, punchy production that brings the music to life, and a big emphasis on backing vocals and harmonies gives the songs some great dynamics.

Tracks like ‘Kid Ego’, ‘Little Girls’, ‘Wind Me Up’, ‘Teacher’s Pet’, ‘Mutha (Don’t Wanna Go to School Today)’, ‘Play With Me’ and ‘Flesh and Blood’ make this album such a joy to listen to. Fun, upbeat, energetic and full of excellent musicianship, Extreme had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and while they’re somewhat respected today, being around in 1989 instantly put them in the firing line for anyone who was fed up with the big-haired pompous rock stars of the 80’s. Still, if you can look past the criticisms of the day and the ridiculous fashion sense, ‘Extreme’ is a fantastic debut album, and definitely shows that there was some serious talent to be found in the hair metal scene of the 80’s.

EXTREME Extreme II: Pornograffitti

Album · 1990 · Funk Metal
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siLLy puPPy
After catching the attention of the metal scene with their eponymous debut mostly due to the guitar wizardry antics of Nuno Bettencourt as well as the childhood themed syncopated funky metal sound that even got the track “Play With Me” included in a couple films including “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure”, EXTREME rode the momentum and cranked out their second album EXTREME II: PORNOGRAFFITTI which technically is followed by (A FUNKED UP FAIRY TALE) but absolutely nobody including me knew that it was the case and seems a little excessive actually. The band found huge success with this album as it cashed in just before the total collapse of the glam metal scene that was increasingly becoming more cheesy pop than metal. PORNOGRAFFITTI is no exception to that trend however EXTREME carried out the marriage of glam metal and cheesy pop with more sophistication than say Poison, Warrant or other kitschy purveyors of cheese of the day. Add to that the funk infused compositions and they were ready for primetime.

Nuno Bettencourt was a bona fide guitar hero of the day with technical chops so bold and daring that he was admitted into the big boys club that included the neoclassical greats such as Randy Rhoads, Yngwie Malmsteem and Steve Vai. His sophisticated riffing and soloing sequences were the wet dreams of guitarists of the day and he was admittedly brilliant in juxtaposing extreme speed and seemingly improvised techniques into some of the catchiest pop infused melodies in all of 80s metal. On the pop metal side of the equation, the band wrote some incredibly catchy funk metal tunes with addictive multi-part harmonies and ear worm quality melodies that the public ate up which catapulted the album all the way to the #10 position on the Billboard charts and earning them a double platinum release.

To say the least, PORNOGRAFFITTI is quite a diverse release however the tracks basically fall into two categories. The heavy funk metal rockers that display the assiduous riffing with funky syncopation and include extraordinary complex soloing and then… there are the others. The remaining tracks are softer, sweeter and more pop oriented. These tracks include the huge #1 hit “More Than Words” which was basically a duet between vocalist Gary Cherone and guitarist Nuno Bettencourt playing on an acoustic guitar. The track was so friggin’ popular during the day that it created a very unique situation in all of metal history that had 80 year old grandmothers lining up at record stores to buy a mostly metal album based upon the one song that touched them like grandpa never did! They most likely assumed that this was some new version of Simon & Garfunkel which led record store employees to have to convince them to buy the single rather than the album!

The followup single “Hole Hearted” was also a huge hit peaking at #4 on the charts. While also an acoustic number, this one sounded more like Supertramp’s “Give A Little Bit” as it was based on a 12 string guitar with an upbeat mid-tempo stomp sort of groove. Also on the album is a totally left-field turn in the form of “When I First Kissed You” which is a cheesy synthesized Frank Sinatra type of tune that showcases Cherone’s gift for crooning. Given that these mellower pop tracks were so popular makes me realize that Cherone was actually a better crooner on ballads than heavy rock vocalist because when he rocks out he sounds a lot like Paul Stanley of KISS while on ballads like this he displays more sophisticated subtleties. Sometimes on the heavier tracks his vocals just didn’t fit the bill but he always got the job done.

Lyrically speaking, the band utilized the same sort of childhood fantasies laced with nursery rhymes as heard on the debut such as on tracks like “Li’l Jack Horny” and “When I’m President” but on PORNOGRAFFITTI they also developed a sense of political satire as heard in the title track, “Get The Funk Out,” “Money (in God We Trust)” and “He-Man Woman Hater,” the latter of which opens with an outstanding display of Bettencourt’s sizzling guitar playing virtuosity before breaking into the main song. Some of the tracks are head scratchers like the lyrically WTF moment on “Suzi (Wants Her All Day What?)” which are the lyrics followed by “Suzie wants her all day sucker.” Perhaps the biggest cheesefest on the album comes in the form of “Song For Love” which is a rather hilarious sort of kumbaya moment where hippie ideals unite with sunshine pop embellished with metal backings. Pretty funny but amazingly addictive at the same time!

PORNOGRAFFITTI portended quite a few trends in the music scene that were about to unfold. Firstly, this album was perhaps the death knell for the glam metal world that was about to get dethroned by the grunge scene once Nirvana’s “Nevermind” hit the market. While glam metal of the 80s started out with a raw and gritty sound as heard on Motley Crue’s earliest albums, throughout the MTV years it continued to get more and more infused with cheesy pop hooks and uninspired ballads that eroded its credibility. While bands like W.A.S.P. and Guns N Roses gave it some sense of legitimacy, EXTREME’s “More Than Words” went the final step and completely eliminated any trace of hard rock or metal altogether resulting in nothing but a Simon & Garfunkel sing along type of guitar and vocal piece. While well performed, it didn’t exactly sit well with metalheads of the day.

Secondly, the funk metal scene and genre mixing would catch on with the ultimate culmination resulting in Mr. Bungle’s debut album the following year. While EXTREME may have been on to something as they saw the signs of a burgeoning alternative approach to metal brewing all around them, unfortunately they latched on to the most loathed aspects of the glam metal scene which would be their ultimate undoing. Personally, despite the negatives of PORNOGRAFFITTI, i actually find the compositions to be brilliant and the lyrics, while cheesy much of the time, are lighthearted and don’t irritate me like they seem to do to others. Perhaps the only problem i have with PORNOGRAFFITTI is that EXTREME are trying too hard to be too many different things and haven’t quite found their unique signature sound as they would on the followup “III Sides To Every Story.” Still though, this is a fun little spin that i’ve listened to a ridiculous number of times. While the production of the original is a little sucky, the newer remastered version makes up for it and possible the one to check out.


Album · 1989 · Glam Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
Coming from Boston, USA, the funk glam metal band EXTREME formed from the ashes of several other bands imploding before they barely got started. Gary Cherone (vocals) and Paul Geary (drums) from a band called The Dream, Pat Badger (bass) from a band called In The Pink and guitarist Nuno Buttencourt coming from Sinful. Once the four hooked up and began writing songs, the chemistry was complete and quickly caught attention in the live circuit of the Boston region. While forming in 1985 it only took a year to win the Boston Music Awards in both 86 and 87. This caught the attention of A&M Records turned PolyGram in 1988 and soon thereafter the band was signed and released their eponymous debut album catching the wave of the 80s alternative funk metal scene coupled with a glam appearance.

Despite the attempts to pigeonhole EXTREME into any sort of categorization however they were actually quite distinct from other bands of the day with their tracks consisting of catchy Van Halen-esque guitar riffs accompanied by funky syncopated counterpoints. Nuno Betterncourt was a particular developed guitarist offering super fast and technically advanced guitar soloing much in the vein of Eddie Van Halen. These guitar antics are most pronounced on “Mutha (Don’t Wanna Go To School Today)” and the track “Play With Me” the latter of which took parts of Mozart’s “Rondo Alla Turca in A minor” as the intro and outro with a sizzling classical infused solo in the middle. “Play With Me” track was featured in the films “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” and “Jury Duty” which helped get the band some greater national attention. Also, Gary Cherone had a deep voice sounding a lot like Paul Stanley of KISS and the band also employed three-part harmonies especially on the slower ballady tracks such as “Watching, Waiting” and “Rock A Bye Bye.”

While exhibiting a funk metal approach to the compositions, EXTREME comfortably fit in the glam metal scene as well with the standard gaudy hairspray and stretch pants of the day but mainly with the catchy pop hooks wrapped up in heavy rock riffing and extended soloing. On this debut album the band was still struggling to shed their influences which despite having a fairly unique sound still has plenty of sections that sound like they would fit right off a Van Halen or Queen album. The band also displays their love of genre jumping with not only classic heavy rock but the more subdued slower tracks as well but nothing near the more expansive free reign of their second album “Pornograffiti.” The album enjoyed moderate success selling over 300,000 albums with the help of the singles “Little Girls,” “Kid Ego,” "Mutha (Don't Wanna Go To School Today)" and "Play With Me" which found airplay on MTV and select radio play.

EXTREME is a fairly pleasant album to experience. The musicians are all tight with Nuno Bettencourt showing a highly developed sense of melodic virtuosity beyond the standard of the day. The tracks have an innocent playfulness to them as they are all associated with childhood experiences and the rhythms are not only catchy but have a bouncy carefree delivery save the two slower tracks. This debut album is actually a pretty accomplished recording but there a few issues i have with it. First of all the production is a little lackluster and sounds a bit too thin as if it was released on an MP3 before they existed. Secondly the band tends to try too hard to be other bands on any given track and a unifying chemistry hadn’t quite gelled yet as they were still getting their feet wet. All in all, EXTREME is a decent debut for a band that had a larger musical palette than most of their contemporaries. This debut was successful in garnering enough attention that would allow their followup to break them into the mainstream.

EXTREME Extreme II: Pornograffitti

Album · 1990 · Funk Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Extreme come at the whole funk metal prospect from a glam rock background, and as such it's rather poppier than much similar material of the era. Primus may have been "Sailing the Seas of Cheese", but this is cheesier by far than their material, and flirts regularly with reverting into full-on glam metal. For those who don't mind the more pop-metal styles of the 1980s, it's a blast, and there's certainly some wit shown in the lyrics. The Van Halen-esque guitar heroics add a bit of technical prowess to proceedings which at least helps steer things away from the most vapid and insipid excesses of the glam metal era.

EXTREME Extreme II: Pornograffitti

Album · 1990 · Funk Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Decadancing to one of Glam's Best

I picked up Extreme's Pornograffiti at the urging of Guitar magazine like many albums before, and at the time thought I'd found the best album I'd ever heard. It was that good. Along with a huge dose of phenomenal guitar playing was some of the best songwriting ever to find itself into glam. The whole album is a commentary on the already cliched scene into which the band was catching the tail.

But a sharp wit and some intelligence would never have been enough. 1990 was smack in the middle of the age of the guitar, and Nuno Bettencourt was the wunderkind of the moment after Extreme's debut and the tapping extravaganza on "Mutha Don't Want to Go to School Today." On Pornograffiti, he not only lives up to his shredder rep, but sings harmony, grooves, and basically adds music to a genre that was running on fumes even before grunge put it out of its misery.

Getting "More than Words" out of the way, I must mention that this song was much better than probably any other glam power ballad save perhaps "Wanted: Dead or Alive." The finger plucked acoustic was a huge step forward from the mindless G-C strumming that had become the norm, and on the album we even got a little clean tapping extravaganza to finish things off. Similarly, the acoustic rocker "Hole Hearted" took the unplugged formula and pushed it. Interestingly, though I bought the album to listen to guitar solos, that is fairly far down the list in reasons I admire it now. That is not say that the solos are poor. In fact, they are example of the hottest gun at the peak of the shred movement. The fact that the music bests the wankery is a testament to the band, album, and artist.

The thing that blew me away from the beginning, however, was Nuno's tone. It was friggin' huge. Sizzling with harmonics, double tracked and thick, the entire album sounded fresh and powerful. The long build to "Decadence Dance" was a tasty appetizer before the great riff and perfect hook. To this day, this may be my favorite hair metal rocker ever. At the same time, the band is easing us into the theme, which is of course slamming the sleaze sex that had become part and parcel of bands who tried to look like the bimbos they were hoping to land.

At the time, the band was proud to be infusing a little funk into their metal. It wasn't the first time, but was perhaps the first album to push the sound start to finish. While Faith No More's Real Thing would be hitting at the same time, the move got a bit overshadowed. But songs like "Get the Funk Out," "Pornograffiti," and "He-Man Woman Hater" were great rockers with plenty of syncopation.

Almost 500 words to say...metal masterpiece. I knew from the first time I heard the first song. And 20 years later my opinion hasn't changed.

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