It’s 30 years since Extreme announced themselves as funk rock heroes with their self-titled debut. Here we count down the band’s top 10 tracks:
Get The Funk Out (1990)
This pumped-up funk rock anthem might have been a step too far for some radio stations but its fusion of cheeky chap Gary Cherone’s edgy vocal and guitar god Nuno Bettencourt’s rabid riffage marked out Extreme as ones to watch. And that bass line…
Play With Me (1989)
Proved to be the band’s first big break after the fourth single from their self-titled debut dropped on the Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure soundtrack – featuring in the memorable mall scene. Leans on Mozart’s Alla Turca as Bettencourt goes to town on the intro.
Take Us Alive (2008)
Track four on the band’s ‘comeback’ album and the song which gave its name to 2010’s career-spanning DVD. Proved Bettencourt and Cherone could still pull the cat out of the bag as a songwriting duo and the former’s rockabilly-style riff is a real earworm.
More Than Words (1990)
What more can be said about the ballad that almost broke MTV? Extreme shifted more than half a million copies of the laid-back acoustic-led classic in the US alone and More Than Words made it to number two in the UK.
Stop The World (1992)
Or maybe the title should have Stop Grunge. By the time this single reached number 22 in the UK it seemed Extreme had already fallen out of favour back home as Nirvana et al made their move. Still, Stop The World offers further evidence of a band unafraid to innovate.
Hip Today (1995)
Or not, as it proved. By the time Extreme’s fourth studio album, Waiting For The Punchline, was released the band was far from hip and this was the last single the quartet released before their near decade-long split. But it’s a cracking tune and an overlooked gem.
Hole Hearted (1990)
The ‘other ballad’ from Pornograffiti. Like More Than Words, it peaked at number two in the UK but failed to match its predecessor’s massive success in the US. Nevertheless, cemented Cherone and Bettencourt as darlings of MTV and poster boys of the hair metal generation.
The first post-reunion single release and memorable for its harmonised intro and the self-reflective line ‘You’re a star/be careful what you wish for’. Cherone doesn’t hold back with a powerful vocal and Bettencourt adds some chunky fret work to a rousing rocker.
Decadence Dance (1990)
With a wild video directed by Alex Winter, who played Bill in the Bill And Ted films, this upbeat banger built on Extreme’s potential and announced second long player Pornograffitti as a major player at the back end of the hair metal boom. Charted inside the UK’s top 40.
Rest In Peace (1992)
Notable for Bettencourt’s use of Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Child (Slight Return) towards the end of the guitar solo, the third single from III Sides To Every Story portrays Extreme in a more mature and reflective light. Reached 13 in the UK but limped into the Billboard Hot 100 at 96.