I certainly had a fling with Extreme back
around 1992. More Than Words from 'Pornograffitty' is the tune that people
always refer to, but that wasn't my thing: Nope, 'III Sides to Every Story'
always and remains to this day the real dog's bollocks from the four Bostonians.
I even managed to see them live at the Roskilde Festival in 1991, but that was
before I thought anything of them (did the same with Pearl Jam before I started
appreciating what they did, but that's another story). Back then I thought
Extreme's music was pop crap, but the show was highly efficient, that much I
acknowledged before trekking off to one of the other stages.
'III Sides...' changed my view entirely. This was a an intelligent take on the
hard rock genre, with a high level of technical skills, most notably on Nuno
Bettencourt's behalf, eventhough it's probably not fair to just highlight him in
that company of professionals.
Sadly, what came after 'III Sides...' never really made the grade for me, but,
still, one sublime album is not bad, right?
Following the comeback album 'Saudades de Rock' (which I never even listened to,
I have to admit), Extreme went out where the real fun (and money) is: on the
road. 'Take Us Alive' is the recorded evidence, and it shows us punters who
weren't there that Extreme is certainly still very much alive and kicking.
With a selection of songs taken from all recorded efforts, the album is a choice
cut of all the great songs Extreme has spawned, played with conviction and
Cherone's voice is still strong, the rhythm section impeccably tight and
Bettencourt playful as ever.
I'd call this recording a must for Extreme fans, but also a tip for those who,
like my self, left off during the beginning of the 90s but still have a place
for high-quality American hard rock.