III Sides to Every Story

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III Sides to Every Story
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 14, 1992[1]
RecordedEarly 1992
StudioNew River Studios, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Abbey Road Studios, London (orchestra)
Extreme chronology
III Sides to Every Story
Waiting for the Punchline
Singles from III Sides to Every Story
  1. "Rest in Peace"
    Released: August 24, 1992
  2. "Stop the World"
    Released: November 2, 1992
  3. "Tragic Comic"
    Released: January 25, 1993

III Sides to Every Story is the third studio album by the American rock band Extreme, released on September 14, 1992, through A&M Records. It was the follow-up to the very successful Pornograffitti album. It was the last album that fully featured the band's original line-up: Gary Cherone, Nuno Bettencourt, Pat Badger and Paul Geary; Geary later left, and was replaced by Mike Mangini.


The album 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.

Although this was their third record, bootleg recordings from Extreme's earlier days confirm that at least two tracks for this album ("Warheads" and "Our Father") existed and were performed in almost identical arrangements several years prior, dating back to the time of their first record.[3]

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 1963 "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; 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,

The 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. On the album cover graphics, the last ‘E’ in ‘Extreme’ is also the ‘III’ in the album title.


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". Additionally, Pat Badger is seen playing a Höfner 500/1 bass, similar to that used by Paul McCartney, in the music video for "Tragic Comic".


Professional ratings
Review scores
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal10/10[5]
The Daily VaultB[6]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[7]

Despite being considered one of Extreme's best albums by 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" (which reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1991),[9] from its predecessor Pornograffitti (although the single "Rest in Peace" reached number one on the Mainstream Rock chart). 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.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Gary Cherone & Nuno Bettencourt

2."Rest in Peace"6:02
4."Color Me Blind"5:01
5."Cupid's Dead"5:56
6."Peacemaker Die"6:03
7."Seven Sundays"4:18
8."Tragic Comic"4:45
9."Our Father"4:02
10."Stop the World"5:58
11."God Isn't Dead?"2:02
The Truth
12."Everything Under the Sun: I. Rise 'n Shine"6:23
13."Everything Under the Sun: II. Am I Ever Gonna Change"6:56
14."Everything Under the Sun: III. Who Cares?"8:19


  • "Peacemaker Die" is not included on the Korean edition.
  • "Don't Leave Me Alone" is available exclusively on the vinyl and cassette editions of the album, as well as on the Extragraffitti compilation album (3-CD edition), "Tragic Comic" single, "Stop The World" single, and as a separate promotional single.
  • On some CD editions of III Sides To Every Story, the tracks comprising the "Everything Under The Sun" arc were indexed and played as one track, whereas on others they are indexed separately (albeit with no break in the music between tracks). Running times are therefore listed for the combined track and for the separated tracks.


Additional musicians
  • Geremy Miller – violin
  • Thor (Steven) Sigurdson – cello
  • Mike Moran – orchestral arrangements ("Everything Under the Sun: III. Who Cares?")
  • John Preziosa, Jr. – rap ("Cupid's Dead")
  • Chicolini Bros. (Carl, Jim, Nuno) - music box
  • Sgt. Philip Meyers – "Warientation" intro ("Warheads")
  • Alex Andon – boy ("Warheads")
  • Avery Andon – boy ("Rest in Peace")
  • Ian O'Malley – newsman ("Cupid's Dead")
  • Martin Luther King Jr. – speech ("Peacemaker Die")
  • Dr. Edward de R. Cayia – priest ("Am I Ever Gonna Change")
  • Bob St. John – co-producer, engineer
  • John Kurlander, Carl Nappa – engineers
  • Bob Ludwig – mastering at Masterdisk, New York
  • Liz Vap – art direction, design
  • Michael Lavine – photography


Chart (1992) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[10] 42
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[11] 27
Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)[12] 10
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[13] 13
Finnish Albums (The Official Finnish Charts)[14] 3
French Albums (SNEP)[15] 29
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[16] 20
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[17] 5
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[18] 12
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[19] 17
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[20] 14
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[21] 14
UK Albums (OCC)[22] 2
US Billboard 200[23] 10


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[24] Platinum 100,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[25] Gold 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[26] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[27] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ "III Sides to Every Story".
  2. ^ Powers, Ann (October 4, 1992). "POP BRIEFS". The New York Times. Retrieved July 20, 2023. Extreme's leaders, Gary Cherone and Nuno Bettencourt, here reassert their loyalty to art rock.
  3. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: Extreme - Portugal - 1987 – via YouTube.
  4. ^ Huey, Steve. "Extreme III Sides of Every Story review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2023-04-20.
  5. ^ Popoff, Martin (August 1, 2007). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 3: The Nineties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. pp. 147–148. ISBN 978-1-894959-62-9.
  6. ^ Thelen, Christopher. "III Sides ofg the Story - Extreme". Daily Vault.com. Retrieved 2023-04-20.
  7. ^ Sandow, Greg (October 2, 1992). "Music review: III Sides ofg the Story - Extreme". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on April 21, 2009. Retrieved 2023-04-20.
  8. ^ "Extreme - III Sides to Every Story". Q. No. 73. October 1992. p. 82.
  9. ^ "Extreme's 'More Than Words': The Oral History". Rolling Stone. 6 February 2015.
  10. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Extreme – III - Sides to Every Story". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  11. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Extreme – III - Sides to Every Story" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  12. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 1904". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved May 28, 2021.
  13. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Extreme – III - Sides to Every Story" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  14. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin – levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  15. ^ "Le Détail des Albums de chaque Artiste – E". Infodisc.fr (in French). Archived from the original on 22 October 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2012. Select Extreme from the menu, then press OK.
  16. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Extreme – III - Sides to Every Story" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  17. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005 (in Japanese). Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  18. ^ "Charts.nz – Extreme – III - Sides to Every Story". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  19. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Extreme – III - Sides to Every Story". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  20. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Extreme – III - Sides to Every Story". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  21. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Extreme – III - Sides to Every Story". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  22. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  23. ^ "Billboard 200: Week of October 10, 1992". Billboard. Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  24. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Extreme – III Sides to Every Story". Music Canada. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  25. ^ "Japanese album certifications – Extreme – III Sides to Every Story" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved December 27, 2020. Select 1993年3月 on the drop-down menu
  26. ^ "British album certifications – Extreme – III Sides to Every Story". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  27. ^ "American album certifications – Extreme II – III Sides to Every Story". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved November 29, 2021.