Extreme releases III Sides to Every Story
III Sides To Every Story was the third album by the Boston funk-metal band Extreme, released in 1992.
Their most ambitious work, it is structured as a concept album in three sections labeled as "sides" — a play on the notion of "different sides to a story" and that of "sides" of an album (in LP and cassette media). The sides, mentioned in the song "Cupid's Dead" as "three sides to every story" are named "Yours", "Mine" and "The Truth", and each features a distinct musical style and lyrical imagery. The band considers it to be their best album.
Yours is made of hard rock songs, the guitar-centric style which the band had explored the most on their previous albums. Their funk-metal tendencies are present in tracks such as "Cupid's Dead", which also features a rap section performed by guest John Preziosa Jr. As a whole, this side deals with political subjects: war ("Warheads"), peace ("Rest In Peace"), government ("Politicalamity"), racism ("Color Me Blind"), media ("Cupid's Dead"). Summing up these matters, the side closes with "Peacemaker Die", a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., which features a recording of his famous I Have A Dream speech.
Mine, in total contrast, deals with introspective subjects. In accordance, the band departs from its guitar sound and experiments with different arrangements on this side, with Nuno Bettencourt playing keyboards in addition to (and in some tracks, instead of) the guitar. The side opening song, "Seven Sundays", is a slow waltz with prominent keyboards and no guitars. "Tragic Comic" is a mostly acoustic track telling a light-hearted love story. "Our Father" is sung from the perspective of the child of an absent father (although many interpret the song to be dealing with God as The Father). With "Stop The World", the album starts to delve into more philosophical questions, expressing existential doubts — a theme that leads to religion, with "God Isn't Dead?" (written with the verb form as an affirmation but with a question mark — the chorus says "Please tell me God isn't dead... I want to know") and "Don't Leave Me Alone", a dramatic plea. The latter was not included in the CD version because of lack of space; Nuno Bettencourt recalls leaving it out "was like cutting off my arm". Despite not being bound by the limitations of the CD format, the version of the album downloadable from iTunes also omits "Don't Leave Me Alone".
Finally, The Truth consists of a three-part opus, titled "Everything Under The Sun", ending the three-part album. This side nods to progressive rock not only in format but also in musical style, with changes in time signature and an intricate arrangement, featuring a 70-piece orchestra. Lyrically, the spiritual theme set up in the end of "Mine" is further developed and Christian imagery is very present. However, no final single "truth" is given — instead, the album builds up to a grand finale where the listener is left with a question: "Who Cares?".
Despite being considered Extreme's finest work by the band, most of their fans, and music critics, III Sides To Every Story was a commercial failure (only selling about 700,000 copies, compared to the double platinum Pornograffitti), since it did not feature a hit single such as "More Than Words", from its predecessor Pornograffitti (although the single "Rest in Peace" reached #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart, a feat which "More Than Words" did not accomplish). Also, the particular brand of hard rock for which Extreme was known was falling out of favor with the rise of the grunge movement around that time.
Most of III Sides was recorded at New River Studios, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and the orchestral parts were recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London. The use of Abbey Road may be perceived as yet another nod to the Beatles, besides the various lyrical references throughout the album: "Cupid's Dead" quotes a line from "A Day in the Life"; "God Isn't Dead?" quotes "Eleanor Rigby"; and "Rest in Peace" quotes John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance". Pat Badger also used Paul McCartney's typical Hofner bass guitar in the video for "Tragic Comic".
It was the last album with the band's original line-up: Gary Cherone, Nuno Bettencourt, Pat Badger and Paul Geary. Geary later left, to be replaced by Mike Mangini.
The seemingly strange use of Roman numerals in the title is intended to denote "III Sides" as the band's third album and to continue the theme from their previous album, the full title of which was Extreme II: Pornograffitti.