Tag Archives: gary cherone

Extreme/Take Us Alive(2010)

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Do not Judge a band because they had a huge Acoustic Ballad(More Than Words) that sold a ton at the time of its release as a single(1991) and then vanished after Kurt Cobain and his ripped up Cardigans demolished a whole Musical Genre in One Grunge Swoop!

Extreme to my ears have always been a solid band and to prove this theory I have purchased all their stuff including this Friggin Fantastic Live Album that was recorded in the bands hometown of Boston in 2009!

Anyone who owns an Extreme album and there are a few of you out there  do know that these cats can play the Rock N Funk and add textures to a track(Horns/Tempo Changes) plus the fact that there lead and backing vocals are top-notch! One of the few bands that can actually Sing and sound the same live as in the studio!

Extreme/Take Us Alive proves this point!

Extreme is..

Gary Cherone – lead vocals
Nuno Bettencourt – lead guitar, 6 and 12-string acoustic guitar, brass/orchestration arrangements, keyboards, piano, backing and lead vocals
Pat Badger – bass, acoustic bass guitar, backing vocals
Kevin Figueiredo – drums, percussion

Nuno! What a resume!

Hear are the tracks featured!

“Decadence Dance” – 8:12
“Comfortably Dumb” – 5:23
“Rest In Peace” – 5:21
“It’s A Monster” – 5:29
“Star” – 5:42
“Tell Me Something I Don’t Know” – 7:59
“Medley: Kid Ego/Little Girls/Teacher’s Pet” – 6:00
“Play with Me” – 9:06
“Midnight Express” – 4:10
“More Than Words” – 7:26
“Ghost” – 4:51
“Cupid’s Dead” – 6:58
“Take Us Alive” – 6:04
“Flight Of The Wounded Bumblebee” – 1:51
“Get the Funk Out” – 7:37
“Am I Ever Gonna Change” – 6:57
“Hole Hearted” – 4:13

Wowzer’s! Look at that track listing! Thats a Greatest Hits Sonic Funk  Rock Assault if I ever seen one!

Shall we discuss a few of these Tunes?

The show opens with Decadence Dance and were off! Love the interplay between the Guitar and Bass playing the same notes at the end of each verse! Makes it heavy and make no mistake Bassist Pat can play the 4 String and provides real good backing vocals but no one ever says that! Props here for a Fella who over on Stage Left to Badger goes by the name of Nuno who  is well…. a Virtuoso! Watch the video below to prove my Findings!

All those fun-loving Extreme tracks are here like Rest In Peace/Get The Funk Out/Hole Hearted. Nuno and Gary though don’t rest on their laurels as they prove that they can still write new stuff that fits right in as Star and Comfortably Numb(a great song title) are added in the set and the song’s don’t dip in quality!

The boys dip right back into the fist album with a medley that includes Kid Ego and some Van Halen like riffage in the tune Teacher’s Pet. You can hear how the writing of Gary and Nuno has advanced from album to album.

Nuno though can play that guitar as Flight OF The Wounded BumbleBee proves! Man oh Man Nuno solos off the hook and everything is wrapped up in One Minute 51 Seconds! Boom! Done!

Take Us Alive is a Fav of mine on this album.

This shows you Extreme’s diverse Music Muscle as Nuno picks faster than Mike Ladano clicking the mouse on a computer for yet another order from CDJapan! Drummer K Fig drives the pace with some hyper swing action that propels the tune. Love Cherone as he’s all over the stage with some pretty decent energy and watch him at the 2 minute mark of the video(above). Yea-Haw is all I will add!

This is a must own Friends…..

 

 

Cool Vs Gah! Round 4….Van Halen..

One I Want Vs How Many Say I

I’m not going to go down the whole Lead Singer debacle in regards to VH as I have written about it countless times so just search under David Lee Roth/Van Halen/Sammy Hagar and my diabolical writings in this matter will rear its ugly head. Actually I wrote something called L.S.D a few months back about bands flipping out singers at such at a speed that’s quicker than Tbone flipping  Finnish Pancakes!

What i’m gonna ramble on about are two tracks from VH3 that featured new vocalist Gary Cherone( Extreme) and for all intent and purposes tanked quicker down the toilet than me chugging  down a bottle of Silent Sam Vodka from way back into a toilet!

VH Mach 3….Featuring…

Eddie Van Halen – guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Alex Van Halen – drums, percussion
Michael Anthony – bass, backing vocals
Gary Cherone – lead vocals

I think its safe too say when looking at the band members that you can tack on’ Bass’ beside EVH’s name! By that point Anthony was just there…

The production angle is ludicrous as Mike Post (yeah exactly) a guy who had provided the music for the 80s Tv Show Hill Street Blues was brought onboard to co produce with Eddie…

Whut Da Fuk Is Going On Here?

VH3 had some decent stuff on it.

One I Want is a decent track. I dig the flip-flop of backing vocals to lead vocals and that little solo Ed blasts off at the end of the first verse. I posted the live track of this and VH3 cuts across real good live but man look at Alex behind the kit! Dudes all banged up from the shoulders up. Was he going for an Iron Maiden Powerslave look? Dunno but still this is Good VH….Not Great VH….But Good…

Which leads us to the last song on VH3…

How Many Say I is a Ed only piece with  him at the piano doing his singing as well sounding like Tom Waits and basically man this one was a tough  slog through…

At over 6 minutes worth of noodling I realized back in 1998 that this was indeed a EVH solo album from the production down to the Bass playing  to Ed singing lead on a track….

Whose gonna tell Ed no?  New Boy Cherone? Nope…Anthony..Brother Alex..Nope…Mike Post?..Hahaha..

The real clincher was my wife Sue at the time when I put on 3 in our living room and was playing it for perhaps the first time commented to me  when How Many Say I came on with a  “What Is This?”

Exactly Sue Exactly…..