Saturday, April 13, 2013

Too Extreme?

One of the best albums produced in the early 90's was the ill-fated


Never heard of it?  Don't be surprised. 

Except for the die-hard fans, not many did. 

What a shame too as it truly is one of the most amazing albums I've ever had the pleasure to listen to, over and over again. I actually worked this record when I was at Polygram Records and let's face it, by writing this piece, I'm still promoting it.

The writing, singing, the many changes made throughout this album shows an insight and strength to song writing and production. it's now over two decades later and I still enjoy listening to this, dare I say... yes, a masterpiece. 

This was Extreme's third album, and it was the followup to the hugely successful "Pornograffiti," their second album, which features the massive airplay hit "More than Words."

The first time I met Extreme, Gary, Nuno, Pat, and Paul, we all ended up playing tug-of-war over someone's recent acquisition of the newly popular Gameboy. They were on tour for the recently released "Pornograffiti" and it wasn't a success... yet. We as a company purposely held back on promoting "More Than Words" - we knew it was going to be huge - so the band hadn't broken the "hit barrier" just yet. We promoted to their rock audience first before we released the pop ballad. So here we were at a restaurant, The Country Place, in Colony Square here in Atlanta, and they were passing the Gameboy around the table. It was the first time I ever played "Tetris." It was addictive
and everyone was fighting for a turn. Who needed food? We had the Gameboy man

There is also a story of a woman, a Harley, and both of them riding down the hallway of the hotel room...

.. but I digress.. let's get back to "my side" of "Three Sides to Every Story." It would have been of interest to me to talk to them at length about this album, find out where the inspiration for this wonderful collection of songs and just where did this phase came from? It received positive response from some fans and critics, and also confusion from the same lot. This was understood as it was a different direction, and experimental to some degree.

This release, their third album, came at a time when the music was changing course with the "grunge" sound that was beginning to take over. This album appears to have gotten lost in the new atmosphere of radio. Again, it was still very different from a mainstream release so I'm not sure it would really have gained any foothold in radio anyway. I know it was a courageous  effort for them to release this album. It was not an easy sell. Wikipedia reports that it sold 700,000 albums. As the previous album sold 2 million, it's easy to attribute some of this popularity for "Three.." to fans who were collected during that sophmore run in "Pornograffiti." I'm a bit surprised that it even made it to gold status (500,000) given this very different direction.

Out of all three Extreme albums at the time, I think "Three..." is a perfect album, and Extreme's best. I liken this release to KISS's "The Elder" which was quite a different album for them, experimental, and here again it's my favorite KISS album. I won't go into it here, as I'm sure I'll have more to say about the "The Elder" at another time, but these two experimental albums both achieved clarity and substance that these bands other albums never even got close too.

The best
way to show you this is to have you listen to the album, but for now here is a piece "Everything Under the Sun (all 3 parts),"  that will give you an idea of what this album is made of:

Greatness in rock n' roll.

Play the above piece and let me know what you think.


~  Dave

1 comment:

  1. Ummm. Sounds very expensive to make. Was that the tour for this record?