- 🇺🇸 Boston, MA
- Years Active
1985 - Now
Funk-metal quartet Extreme ignored the objections of label executives to release its anachronistic acoustic ballad "More Than Words" as a single, and scored its first and only number one pop hit.
Vocalist Gary Cherone, guitarist Nuno Bettencourt, bassist Pat Badger and drummer Paul Geary founded Extreme in Boston in 1985. Cherone and Bettencourt - a figure revered by guitar enthusiasts for his virtuosic technical prowess and searing, distorted tone - co-wrote virtually all of the fledgling band's material, and after Extreme won "Outstanding Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Act" at the Boston Music Awards in both 1986 and 1987, A&M Records offered a contract. Extreme's self-titled debut followed in March 1989, reaching number 80 on the Billboard 200 on the strength of the headbanger favorite "Kid Ego."
Only Cherone and Bettencourt appear on the version of "More Than Words" recorded for 1990's Extreme II: Pornograffitti. The album's first two singles, "Decadence Dance" and "Get the Funk Out," went nowhere on the charts, but A&M was resistant to release "More Than Words" to radio, fearing its simple, meandering melody and warm harmonies were too far out of touch with prevailing commercial tastes. "More Than Words" entered the Billboard Hot 100 on March 23, 1991 and topped the chart on June 8, boosted by its dramatic black-and-white video. The commercial ascension of grunge made metal bands like Extreme all but extinct, however, and the group dissolved in 1996.