Released: 2006, A&M Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
The latest video retrospective of an eighties metal band comes in the form of VIDEOGRAFFITI, which chronicles the four album career of Boston’s Extreme. After a stellar debut, the band became famous with the power ballad mega-hit “More Than Words” from 1990’s PORNOGRAFFITI, which solidified their position with long-hair-lovin’ women but basically threw any metal credibility they had right out the window and dogged them throughout the remainder of their career. The arrival of grunge in the nineties sealed their fate and after an ambitious, though overly-long, concept album entitled III SIDES TO EVERY STORY in 1992, the final Extreme album, 1995’s WAITING FOR THE PUNCHLINE, disappeared with little fanfare.
VIDEOGRAFFITI packages all thirteen of Extreme’s promotional videos and adds two alternate versions of “Rest In Peace” and “Stop The World,” as well as four live tracks taken from a 1992 performance at London’s Hammersmith Odeon and a 1993 clip from Wembley Stadium at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert. The early material, most notably “Kid Ego” and “Little Girls,” are simple performance videos that showcase the band but the street performance vibe of “Hole Hearted,” the funky “Get The Funk Out” and the ubiquitous “More Than Words” show the band stretching their artistic legs before the schlocky “Rest In Peace” and “Stop The World” take over. For what it was worth, WAITING FOR THE PUNCHLINE wasn’t a bad album and the oddly ironic “Hip Today” is a cleverly written song with timeless lyrics regarding the music business but Extreme never really rose to the upper levels. With a guitar phenom like Nuno Bettencourt and Gary Cherone’s voice, the band inexplicably stalled after being handed the golden ticket with “More Than Words” and the lesser hit, “Hole Hearted” but fans will revel in all Extreme’s glory on this collection.
As far as quality goes, the videos are available in either Dolby 2.0 Stereo or the far superior Dolby Digital 5.1, which is a nice touch. Even the bonus videos and live clips feature superior sound and appear to be professionally recorded. Besides the music clips, there is also a customizable Extreme music player which allows the viewer to program the running order of the clips.
Yes, you’ve seen these clips before but it was a treat hearing the first three tracks especially since I was a big fan of the self-titled debut. The live songs are the icing on the cake for anyone thinking this is just another cash grab/greatest hits collection, too. Overall, a fan of Extreme can’t go wrong here and for around $12, VIDEOGRAFFITI is a steal.