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Extreme - Take Us Alive

posted 25 Jul 2011, 07:37 by Paul Woodward   [ updated 25 Jul 2011, 11:24 ]

(Frontiers Records)

Review by Woody

Another live album from the Frontiers label, this time from US funk rockers Extreme. The band released their first album in 13 years in 2008 “Saudades De Rock”, again on the Frontiers label, and they followed this with a worldwide tour. This live recording is from the final date of the Take Us Alive ‘09 tour and was recorded at The House of Blues in Extreme’s home town of Boston on the 8th August. The band are really well known for the run away hit, acoustic ballad “More Than Words” which is far from indicative of the band’s sound of hard rock fused with heavy dollops of funk which makes most of their music born for the live stage.

We get a cross section of their back catalogue with four songs from their self titled 89 debut album although three are in the form of a medley “Kid Ego - Little Girls - Teachers Pet” & “Play With Me”. Five from their most successful album 1990’s pornograffitti “Decadence Dance”, “It’s A Monster”, “More Than Words”, “Get The Funk Out” & “Hole Hearted”. Three are from ‘92’s three sides to every story - “Rest In Peace”, “Cupid’s Dead” & “Am I Ever Gonna Change”. Surprisingly two are from critically hammered and in my personal opinion pretty shit ‘95 album waiting for the punch line (I’m still waiting!!!!!) - “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know” & “Midnight Express”. The band also throw in a healthy dose of four new songs from saudades de rock - “Star” , “Comfortably Dumb”, “Take Us Alive” & “Ghost”.

The fact the all the songs come from one show appeals to me, but also shows that the band were caught that night on the top of their game with great vocals and excellent musicianship all round.

As far as live albums are concerned this is actually quite good, although I do have to say I prefer CD two. Given the style of Extreme the album does show how good and energetic these songs can be live, it’ll never be as good as the real thing though. The crowd are very vocal throughout which helps lift this album out amongst other live albums and Gary Cherone’s interaction also gets the crowd going and gives the listener more of an feeling of been there.

The atmospheric “Ghost” is expertly reproduced and really hits me and is a definite stand out of the performance. “More Than Words” & “Hole Hearted” have lots of crowd involvement and that also brings them to the fore. The live energy of “Get The Funk Out” is amazingly brought to life on here too.

The album is a must buy for Extreme fans, but causal fans may want to check out the Live DVD with the visual aspect helping give the performance a closer to the real thing touch.

Track Listing:

CD1 - Decadence Dance / Comfortably Numb / Rest In Peace / It’s A Monster / Star / Tell Me Something I Don’t Know / Medley - Kid Ego - Little Girls - Teachers Pet / Play With Me / Midnight Express CD2 - More Than Words / Ghost / Cupid’s Dead / Take Us Alive / Flight Of The Wounded Bumblebee / Get The Funk Out / Am I Ever Gonna Change (no?) / Hole Hearted

Album Rating:


Woody’s Essential Track:


Take Us Alive is OUT NOW and available from all good retailers and