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"More Than Words" is a song by rock band Extreme. It is the fifth track and third single from their 1990 album 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.

"More Than Words"
More than words.jpg
Single by Extreme
from the album Pornograffitti
ReleasedMarch 23, 1991 (1991-03-23)
Producer(s)Michael Wagener
Extreme singles chronology
"Get the Funk Out"
"More Than Words"
"Hole Hearted"
Music video
"More Than Words" on YouTube



The song is a ballad in which the singer wants his lover to do more to prove her love other than saying the phrase "I love you." Bettencourt described it as a warning that the phrase 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]

"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!'"[4]

Critical receptionEdit

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."[5]

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."[6]

Music videoEdit

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. Nuno and Gary are then seen performing the song, while the other band members are shown in front of them.

Track listingsEdit

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 performanceEdit

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.


Other versionsEdit

Westlife versionEdit

"More Than Words"
Promotional single by Westlife
from the album Grandes Exitos and Westlife
Released1999; 2002 (single)
Format3" CD single (CD3)
GenrePop rock, soft rock
LabelSony BMG/ Lideres
Songwriter(s)Nuno Bettencourt
Gary Cherone
Producer(s)Steve Mac

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.[37]

Track listingEdit

  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

Notable coversEdit



  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. ^ Carr, David;; 16 July 2009
  5. ^ "Billboard: Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard magazine (1991-03-23, page 75). Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  6. ^ "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music & Media (1991-04-27, page 11). Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  7. ^ " – Extreme – More Than Words". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  8. ^ " – Extreme – More Than Words" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  9. ^ " – Extreme – More Than Words" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. ^ Canadian Singles Chart [1] (Retrieved September 28, 2008)
  11. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  12. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  13. ^ " – Extreme – More Than Words" (in French). Les classement single.
  14. ^ " – Extreme Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  15. ^ Irish Single Chart (Retrieved April 7, 2008)
  16. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Extreme" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  17. ^ " – Extreme – More Than Words" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  18. ^ " – Extreme – More Than Words". Top 40 Singles.
  19. ^ " – Extreme – More Than Words". VG-lista.
  20. ^ "Top 10 Portugal" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  21. ^ " – Extreme – More Than Words". Singles Top 100.
  22. ^ " – Extreme – More Than Words". Swiss Singles Chart.
  23. ^ UK Singles Chart (Retrieved April 7, 2008)
  24. ^ "Extreme Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  25. ^ "Extreme Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  26. ^ "Extreme Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard.
  27. ^ 1991 Australian Singles Chart (Retrieved August 29, 2008)
  28. ^ "RPM 100 Hit Tracks of 1991". RPM. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  29. ^ "Single top 100 over 1991" (PDF) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 13 April 2010.
  30. ^ "End of Year Charts 1991". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  31. ^ 1991 Swiss Singles Chart (Retrieved August 29, 2008)
  32. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1991". Retrieved 2009-09-15.
  33. ^ Canada certifications Archived 2010-05-01 at the Wayback Machine (Retrieved August 29, 2008)
  34. ^ Swedish certifications Archived 2012-05-21 at the Wayback Machine (Retrieved September 11, 2008)
  35. ^ UK certifications (Retrieved August 29, 2008)
  36. ^ US certifications Archived 2007-06-26 at the Wayback Machine (Retrieved August 29, 2008)
  37. ^ a b "Westlife - More than Words (Single)". Retrieved 2014-07-12.
  38. ^ Banj (2016-12-04), Skam, Noora singing 'More than words', retrieved 2017-11-03
  39. ^ "Jimmy Fallon & Jack Black Recreate "More Than Words" Music Video". 4 May 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  40. ^ "More Than Birds (Extreme Parody)". 3 May 2017.

External linksEdit