Extreme
III Sides to Every Story


4.5
superb

Review

by Batareziz USER (38 Reviews)
September 12th, 2017 | 17 replies


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The band releases their second superb LP following the all-around successful Pornograffitti.

With Pornograffitti Extreme managed to achieve critical acclaim and high sales. Although, in a twist of the irony, the double platinum LP became popular mostly thanks to ballads More Than Words and Hole Hearted, which did not reflect the primary sound of the band – funk-infused hard rock. Still, the record deserved such outcome, since it is easily one of the best efforts in the band’s brief discography. However, Extreme refused to rest on laurels for too long and soon released a new album III Sides to Every Story, which in a way ended up being their most ambitious effort.

Nevertheless, the beginning doesn’t suggest the scope of ambitions. At first after pressing play button the unprepared audience will note the thing they came for, that is confident rock numbers arranged around the always impressive guitars of Nuno Bettencourt and slightly tongue-in-cheek vocals of Gary Cherone. And they would be right. First 6 tracks do not indicate anything jaw-dropping, but continue in the vein of Pornograffitti, although one would note the expanded topical arsenal and apparent increase in scale. Now they narrate on such topics as war and peace (Warheads, Rest in Peace), politics and government (Politicalamity), racism (Color Me Blind) and media (Cupid’s Dead). However, as if having summed up on the topic of external turmoil that still shakes the world, on the 7th track the album suddenly does a 180 and slows the tempo. Now Extreme switches their focus to love and relationships (Seven Sundays, Tragic Comic). This should not come as a surprise, since they gained wide popularity with similarly themed songs, so attempt to step into the same river the second time is understandable. However, to our astonishment, the band doesn’t stop there. The next track Our Father moves to a more somber territory, narrating about a kid who dreams of his father coming back to the family. Two subsequent cuts – Stop the World and God Isn’t Dead" – partake in existential introspection, continuing on the topic of a father but in a much broader sense, before the album ends on a grand scale with a 20-minute last track, raising such questions as ‘what is truth"’ and ‘does anybody care about it"’. Obviously, your opinion may vary, but it does seem to be rather profound for a mainstream LP.

Certainly, III Sides to Every Story is one of those releases that must be listened to in full, from beginning to end, to get the complete picture. The conceptual division into three parts, devoted to external turmoil, inner trials and a desire to find the truth (which, as many of you know, lies somewhere in the middle) require some time to unfold. However, if you can go the whole way, most likely the outcome will be singular: this music journey will not leave you indifferent, making you ponder over various topics presented here. The album finds the band in an unmistakable creative peak, which urges them to expand their music arsenal to communicate their ambitions. Extreme uses all of the previously employed means for this purpose. As a result, we have excellent guitars from Nuno Bettencourt and great vocals from Gary Cherone, the arrangements are filled with acoustic guitars, piano, orchestral backings, Bettencourt and Cherone duets and harmony singing from all the bandmembers. And it doesn’t feel overstuffed, as if Extreme adds this or that element just for the sake of it, but quite the opposite, everything is in its place supporting the intent without any sense of pretentiousness.

In the end, it can be easily stated that III Sides to Every Story is a univocal success and a major accomplishment for the band, which began its creative career not long ago. In terms of its realization the album can stand on the same level as Pornograffitti, while being its nominal opposite: when the Extreme’s second LP is more a collection of excellent songs, here a full submersion is required (although, it should be acknowledged the cuts can function as great singles, still it is better to appreciate them within the album context). Unfortunately, III Sides to Every Story was released at a time when the 80s bands were losing on all fronts to alternative rock, so it managed to achieve less popularity than it deserved. However, it is never too late to give the album a spin, as it is worth all the time you might spend on it.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
tempest--
September 12th 2017


20577 Comments


Politicalamity is probably the best song ever written

Batareziz
September 12th 2017


135 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Alright, tempest, I'm glad you dig it :-)

BigHans
September 13th 2017


28549 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

oh man, this album. I had this on cassette, lmao. Extremely cheesy in places but an ambitious effort.

mindleviticus
September 13th 2017


9212 Comments


love Cupid's Dead

mindleviticus
September 13th 2017


9212 Comments


Nuno Bettencourt is a severely underrated guitarist

BigHans
September 13th 2017


28549 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Rise and Shine and Am I Ever Gonna Change are substantially better than anything else here.

mindleviticus
September 13th 2017


9212 Comments


is this satire?

tempest--
September 13th 2017


20577 Comments


dude Warheads is basically thrash

mindleviticus
September 13th 2017


9212 Comments


a lot of this album is tbh

BigHans
September 13th 2017


28549 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Tragic Comic is Thrash as fuck

Batareziz
September 13th 2017


135 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yes, BigHans, it does have some nice cheese, but in this case I see it as a Queen kind of cheese in terms of quality, not the typical 80s cheese.

Batareziz
September 13th 2017


135 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I can say it many times, mindleviticus, Nuno is awesome. Too bad there's not much albums that he plays on in his own style, not the grunge idolatry phase he went through on most of his solo stuff.

BigHans
September 13th 2017


28549 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The best Nuno moment is the guitar line in "Unconditionally" which was off some random album that came out after this one.

Batareziz
September 13th 2017


135 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, it's on Waiting for the Punchline. That album is pretty sweet too, despite the change in the sound.

Batareziz
September 13th 2017


135 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Damn, double post.

BigHans
September 13th 2017


28549 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I just remember my friend teaching me how to play that song on guitar and sincde absolutely no one knew it, I used to tell chicks in college that I wrote it

Batareziz
September 14th 2017


135 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh, Hans, you devil you :-)



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