More Than Words

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"More Than Words"
Single by Extreme
from the album Pornograffitti
Released March 23, 1991 (1991-03-23)
Format CD maxi, 7", 12", cassette single
Recorded 1990
Length 5:33 (Album version)
4:09 (Radio edit)
Label A&M
Writer(s) Gary Cherone
Nuno Bettencourt
Producer(s) Michael Wagener
Extreme singles chronology
"Get the Funk Out"
"More Than Words"
"Hole Hearted"

"More Than Words" is a ballad written and originally performed by American rock band Extreme. It is built around acoustic guitar work by Nuno Bettencourt and the vocals of Gary Cherone (with harmony vocals from Bettencourt). Released in 1990 on the album Pornograffitti, 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.'"[3]

Music video[edit]

The song's music video was filmed in black and white and was produced and directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.

Parodies and other uses[edit]

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. Also, 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 also 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 was parodied by Mike Myers in his film "The Love Guru". ApologetiX 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.[4]

"More Than Words" was a favorite song of Hispanic singer and actress Selena Quintanilla Perez. When she was murdered in 1995, the band played and dedicated the song at a Selena Perez tribute.[citation needed]

Chart performances[edit]

On March 23, 1991, "More Than Words" entered the U.S. 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.

Track listings[edit]

CD maxi
  1. "More Than Words" — 5:33
  2. "Kid Ego" — 4:04
  3. "Nice Place to Visit" — 3:16
7" single
  1. "More Than Words (Remix)" — 3:43
  2. "Nice Place to Visit" — 3:16


Chart successions[edit]

Preceded by
"I Don't Wanna Cry" by Mariah Carey
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
June 8, 1991
Succeeded by
"Rush Rush" by Paula Abdul
Preceded by
"Rhythm of My Heart" by Rod Stewart
Canadian Singles Chart number-one single
June 8, 1991 – June 29, 1991
Preceded by
"Are You Ready" by AC/DC
New Zealand RIANZ number-one single
July 5, 1991
Succeeded by
"I Wanna Sex You Up" by Color Me Badd
Preceded by
"Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless)" by Crystal Waters
Dutch Top 40 number-one single
July 13, 1991
Succeeded by
"Driver's Seat" by Sniff 'n' the Tears

Westlife version[edit]

"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
Length 3:53
Label Sony BMG/ Lideres
Writer(s) Nuno Bettencourt
Gary Cherone
Producer(s) Steve Mac

Irish boyband Westlife covered the song for their debut-album Westlife and released as promotional single in their Venezuelan only compilation album Grandes Exitos, peaking at #3 on the Venezuelan singles chart. The single featured exclusive remixes of three of the group's biggest hits.[28]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "More Than Words
  2. "I Lay My Love on You (Single Remix)
  3. "World of Our Own (Single Remix)
  4. "Uptown Girl (Radio Edit)


Chart (2002) Peak
Venezuelan Singles Chart 3

Other cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ "VH1's 40 Most Softsational Soft-Rock Songs". Stereogum. SpinMedia. May 31, 2007. Retrieved July 31, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Best Acoustic Rock Song of All Time Poll: "More Than Words" Vs. "Layla (Unplugged)"". Guitar World. NewBay Media. July 18, 2015. Retrieved September 8, 2016. 
  3. ^ Billik, Kira L. (1991-06-20). "Extreme: Boston Group Riding the Funk-O-Metal Machine". Albany Herald. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  4. ^ "Jimmy Fallon & Jack Black Recreate "More Than Words" Music Video". 4 May 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2016. 
  5. ^ " – Extreme – More Than Words". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  6. ^ " – Extreme – More Than Words" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  7. ^ " – Extreme – More Than Words" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  8. ^ Canadian Singles Chart [1] (Retrieved September 28, 2008)
  9. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5. 
  10. ^ " – Extreme – More Than Words" (in French). Les classement single.
  11. ^ " – Extreme Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  12. ^ Irish Single Chart (Retrieved April 7, 2008)
  13. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Extreme search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  14. ^ " – Extreme – More Than Words". Top 40 Singles.
  15. ^ " – Extreme – More Than Words". VG-lista.
  16. ^ " – Extreme – More Than Words". Singles Top 100.
  17. ^ " – Extreme – More Than Words". Swiss Singles Chart.
  18. ^ UK Singles Chart (Retrieved April 7, 2008)
  19. ^ a b c Billboard (Retrieved August 29, 2008)
  20. ^ 1991 Australian Singles Chart (Retrieved August 29, 2008)
  21. ^ "Single top 100 over 1991" (PDF) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 13 April 2010. 
  22. ^ 1991 Swiss Singles Chart (Retrieved August 29, 2008)
  23. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1991". Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  24. ^ Canada certifications (Retrieved August 29, 2008)
  25. ^ Swedish certifications (Retrieved September 11, 2008)
  26. ^ UK certifications (Retrieved August 29, 2008)
  27. ^ U.S. certifications (Retrieved August 29, 2008)
  28. ^ a b "Westlife - More than Words (Single)". Retrieved 2014-07-12. 

External links[edit]