1990 was an amazing year for hard rock and metal. Boston’s Extreme treated us to one of the best albums of the year with Pornograffitti. To me, this is the very essence of what an album should be. A complete package. When you drop that hard-earned coin on a new CD, you can only hope for something as all-encompassing as Pornograffitti. This album covers the full range of emotions. All the while, Pornograffitti remains cohesive, and even tells a story. You get humor, sadness, and excitement. You can shake your ass, bang your head, or flick your Bic. Pornograffitti is billed as “a funked up fairytale”. Our protagonist is Francis — someone who manages to find (and eventually lose) love in a world where lust and gluttony has taken over.
Two enormous talents shine on Pornograffitti. First, there’s guitar wiz Nuno Bettencourt. The man could flat-out play! Lots of cool riffs and licks. And his tasteful acoustic work helped propel the album’s two radio hits: More Than Words and Hole Hearted. These two songs weren’t exactly the most representative tunes on the album, and they only showed a fraction of what Nuno could do, but they helped Pornograffitti reach double platinum sales. The second prodigious talent in Extreme was singer Gary Cherone. We all know that Gary’s stint in Van Halen was ill-fated, but if you listen to Pornograffitti, and put yourself back in time, you can understand why VH chose Cherone to replace Sammy Hagar. The man could sing anything. He made this album FUN. I love his jibba-jabba on songs like When I’m President and Get The Funk Out.
I love this whole album, but my favorites are Decadent Dance, When I’m President, Money (In God We Trust), Get The Funk Out, and especially Hole Hearted. As far as the song More Than Words is concerned, it may be a little played out, but you can’t deny its simple genius. Are you entertained? I am. My score: A+