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Articles Home » 1989 Articles » Extreme - 1989 Extreme
Extreme - 1989 Extreme

ARTIST: Extreme
ALBUM: Extreme
SERIAL: SP 5238 (LP), CD 5238 (CD)
YEAR: 1989


LINEUP: Gary Cherone - vocals * Nuno Bettencourt - guitar, piano, synth, percussion, vocals * Pat Badger - bass, vocals * Paul Geary - drums, percussion, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Little Girls * 02 Wind Me Up * 03 Kid Ego * 04 Watchi' Waiti' * 05 Mutha (Do't Wanna Go To School Today) * 06 Teachers Pet * 07 Big Boys Do't Cry * 08 Smoke Signals * 09 Flesh '' Blood * 10 Rock A Bye Bye * 11 Play With Me


Over the years, I have to say I have't been a great admirer of this band. They've been extremely (excuse the pun) popular, and they've had some huge hits, but for me, the consistency has't been there. Except for the debut album.. haha! Why do I see the world through different eyes? lol! The city of Boston, famous for bands such as Aerosmith and of course Boston, cam up with a new contender in 1989, with Extreme. But the origins of this band go back a few years before. The members came together from two different bands, and eventually signed with A&M after dazzling local Bostonians with their talent during the mid-late 80s. Described as a fusion of Queen and Van Halen, the band would realise their potential on their next album 'Pornograffiti', but would raise and turn heads with this debut effort, which more than anything showcases the musical wizardry of Portuguese guitarist Nuno Bettencourt and lyrical wittiness of Gary Cherone. The album was produced by Mack and Bob St John.

The Songs
It appears the album has a theme, to do with childhood. Back in 1989 they got away with a concept like this, in 2008 they might've been subject to a bit of hassle from the conservative right movement - with childre's rights and all. My how the world has gotten precious and righteous in between times! The album has a few stand outs. The single 'Kid Ego' rocks big time (check out the video below). 'Play With Me' will bring back reminders to those fans of the 'Bill And Ted's Big Adventure' movie. Nuno gets to showcase his immense guitar vocabulary on 'Mutha (Do't Wanna Go To School Today)', the intro solo (after a minute and a half) makes way for some big Van Halen inspired riffs that I'm sure the kids of the day (now adults in 2008) will remember with great fondness! There's more EVH guitar-head wizardry on 'Teachers Pet', enough for the critics of the day to go 'ga-ga' over Bettencourt's talent. 'Big Boys Do't Cry' must surely be 'Kid Ego' Part II' such is the similarity, while 'Rock A Bye Bye' is a sweeping atmospheric ballad that probably gives us an indicator to their future direction on 'Pornograffiti' and 'III Sides Of Every Story'.

In Summary
A very good impression was left after this album. It remains my favourite Extreme album out of their discography, primarily due to the hair metal flavour of Bettencourt's guitar playing. Of course the band would field two hit singles on their 1991 album 'Pornograffiti' - namely 'More Than Words' and 'Hole Hearted', neither rock oriented songs, but acoustic pieces that ironically showed their lighter side. After disappearing off the map for several years during the later 90's and into the new millennium - which saw Cherone join Van Halen for their critically panned 'VH III', and subsequently form Boston band Tribe Of Judah - the band returned in 2008 with their comeback 'Saudades De Rock' on Frontiers Records. Good to see them still on the landscape.

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#1 | sabace on October 01 2008 16:32:24
not bad!
#2 | rkbluez on December 13 2009 21:59:48
Great band kinda like the East Coast Van Halen...they used to play to packed houses all around my area of New England...Nuno has a ton of talent...hope they get back to doing more new music...they were a class act...too bad they are mostly know for the mellow More Than Words as they had a ton of killer rock tunes with Nuno's smoking solo's.

This album was a classic little rock album IMHO.
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