More Than Words
|"More Than Words"|
|Single by Extreme|
|from the album Pornograffitti|
|Released||March 23, 1991|
|Extreme singles chronology|
"More Than Words" is the fifth track and third single from Extreme's 1990 LP Pornograffitti. It is a ballad built around acoustic guitar work by Nuno Bettencourt and the vocals of Gary Cherone (with harmony vocals from Bettencourt). The song is a detour from the funk metal style that permeates the band's records. As such, it has often been described as "a blessing and a curse" due to its overwhelming success and recognition worldwide, but the band ultimately embraced it and plays it on every show.
The song was described by Bettencourt as a song warning that the phrase "I love you" was becoming meaningless: "People use it so easily and so lightly that they think you can say that and fix everything, or you can say that and everything's OK. Sometimes you have to do more and you have to show it—there's other ways to say 'I love you.'"
"That song gave us the freedom to make the record we really wanted to make when we started recording our third disc," Cherone told KNAC. "It got us doing huge tours all over the states and around the world… As the nineties went on, however, we really started to resent the song. We were tagged 'the More Than Words guys'. We didn’t like the perception the song created about the band. I remember being on tour with Aerosmith in Poland… it was on that tour we decided we would not play the song. We just didn’t do it. A couple nights into the tour, Steven Tyler writes in big letters on our dressing room door, 'Play the fucking song!' His attitude was almost father-like. He was like, 'Look, this is your first time in Poland. When do you think you will be back? They want to hear it, so play it!'"
Billboard wrote about the song: "Tender, sparsely produced rock/love ballad proves that sometimes less really is more. The spotlight here is on the band's striking vocal harmonies, as well as its shimmering acoustic guitar work."
Music & Media wrote: "The follow-up to the wild funk metal single Get The Funk Out is a calming piece of music, aptly produced by Michael Wagener. It shows the band from a totally different angle. And it must be said, they handle this ballad—already top 30 in the US—extremely well."
The song's music video was filmed in black and white and was produced and directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. It starts with Pat Badger turning off his amplifier and putting down his bass, and Paul Geary putting down his drumsticks.
- CD maxi
- "More Than Words" — 5:33
- "Kid Ego" — 4:04
- "Nice Place to Visit" — 3:16
- 7" single
- "More Than Words (Remix)" — 3:43
- "Nice Place to Visit" — 3:16
On March 23, 1991, "More Than Words" entered the US Billboard Hot 100 at number 81 and soon after reached number one. It also reached number two in the United Kingdom, where the group had success before its American breakthrough. Though they had made a few European charts before, this brought the band to their first mainstream success in the United States.
Extreme followed "More Than Words" with another acoustic ballad, "Hole Hearted", which peaked at number four in the United States and number three in Canada.
|"More Than Words"|
|Promotional single by Westlife|
|from the album Grandes Exitos and Westlife|
|Released||1999; 2002 (single)|
|Format||3" CD single (CD3)|
|Genre||Pop rock, soft rock|
|Label||Sony BMG/ Lideres|
|Songwriter(s)||Nuno Bettencourt |
Irish boyband Westlife covered the song for their 1999 debut-album Westlife and released as promotional single in their Venezuelan only compilation album Grandes Exitos (2002), peaking at #3 on the Venezuelan singles chart. The single featured exclusive remixes of three of the group's biggest hits.
- "More Than Words"
- "I Lay My Love on You" (Single Remix)
- "World of Our Own" (Single Remix)
- "Uptown Girl" (Radio Edit)
|Venezuelan Singles Chart||3|
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- Italian singer Mina made a cover in duet with her daughter Benedetta Mazzini in 1995.
- BBMak in 1999-2000, made a cover on their first album, released in Asia in 1999, and as a B-side in 1999 for the UK "Back Here" single.
- David Cassidy made a cover in 2003 for the album A Touch of Blue.
- Naturally 7 made a cover in 2003 a cappella for the album What is It?.
- Frankie J in 2005, made a cover as the third single from his album The One.
- mink, a Japanese-Korean singer, did a bossa nova version on her first album mink ~prologue~.
- Aloha Sex Juice performed a cover in Hawaiian in the 2008 film Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
- Ruben Studdard covered the song on his 2009 album, Love Is.
- Mike Kinsella of Owen has performed covers of the song live, with versions appearing on the Japanese import of I Do Perceive and on The Seaside EP in 2009.
- Brazilian singer Ivete Sangalo covered the song at her show in Rock in Rio IV in September 30, 2011.
- Performed by Julianne Hough and combined with Heaven by Warrant in the 2012 film Rock of Ages.
- Soul singer Algebra Blessett covered the song in a duet version with musician Eric Roberson in 2013.
- Performed by Josefine Frida Pettersen in the Norwegian teen drama Skam. 
- The video for "More Than Words" was parodied by "Weird Al" Yankovic for his original song, "You Don't Love Me Anymore".
- The comedic duo Paul and Storm produced an original pastiche of the song entitled "More Than Two" on their album Gumbo Pants.
- Amateur Transplants wrote a comedic song to the same tune as "More Than Words" entitled "Northern Birds", which was released on their 2006 album "We Are So Bad".
- The video was parodied by Jason Segel and the cast of How I Met Your Mother in an online tie-in music video on the episode "The Sexless Innkeeper".
- An Indian styled version of the song and video featuring a sitar was parodied by Mike Myers and Manu Narayan in Mike's 2008 film The Love Guru.
- ApologetiX parody of the song asserts the Christian proposition that one cannot earn salvation with "More than Works".
- ZDoggMD has performed a parody-PSA version about HPV and HPV vaccination, entitled "More Than Warts".
- On May 4, 2015, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon covered the song and video with Fallon and Jack Black.
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