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III Sides to Every Story

Extreme

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Album Review

Extreme's brand of hard rock balanced ambitious, progressive tendencies with catchy melodies owing more to the Beatles than anthemic arena rock; on III Sides to Every Story, the former tends to dominate. The album is divided into three "sides of the story" — roughly speaking, "Yours" concentrates on politically oriented rockers showing off Nuno Bettencourt's virtuosity; "Mine" leans toward pop songs with warmly romantic sensibilities, plus an occasional philosophical lament; and "The Truth" tries to wrap things up into a coherent whole but dissolves into indigestible prog-rock excess. Thus, the thematic material can be likened to a less focused version of Pornograffitti. The album is wildly uneven, but amidst the indulgences there are some fine songs to be found: "Rest in Peace" displays both Bettencourt's technique and melodicism as a soloist, while "Seven Sundays" continues in their occasional lounge ballad vein, and "Tragic Comic" and "Stop the World" are two more intelligent, wounded-romantic pop gems.

Biography

Formed: 1985 in Boston, MA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Extreme's music was never easy to classify, since it rarely confined itself to heavy metal, hard rock, or pop. The Massachusetts-based band formed in 1985; guitarist Nuno Bettencourt had already played in a local band with bassist Pat Badger, while singer Gary Cherone fronted his own group with drummer Paul Geary. The two bands eventually merged, and Cherone and Bettencourt...
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III Sides to Every Story, Extreme
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