Still as defining as it was 25 years ago…
Review by Ian Savage
Release date: 9 February 2015
The reissues are coming thick and fast lately, aren’t they? Seems that pretty much any noteworthy album from the late 80s and early 90s is being treated to the 20th or 25th anniversary ‘Deluxe Edition’ treatment – anyone would think record labels had noticed that the only people still buying CDs are the 30+ guys who were there first time around…
Be that as it may, the latest for our collective delectation is Extreme’s 1990 sophomore LP Pornograffiti, the album that cemented Nuno Bettencourt as the axeman du jour and gained the band practically blanket radio and MTV play with ‘Get The Funk Out’ and the genuine ‘number-one-smash-hit’ ‘More Than Words’.
The album itself is still as defining as it was 25 years ago, a collection of songs with one foot firmly in the 80s American hair-metal scene but with the other poking toes into funk, soul, British rock and even swing (see: the utterly sore-thumb ‘When I First Kissed You’). It hasn’t dated especially badly, although much of the wordplay and double entendre is very ‘of its time’; if you enjoyed ‘Get The Funk Out’ on a dancefloor once and never got around to picking the album up, Pornograffiti‘s definitely worth an hour of your time.
As far as the extras go, though… there’s no easy way to say this, if you already own the album and haven’t got a tattoo of Gary Cherone’s face or something, don’t bother. No less than four added versions of ‘More Than Words’ (as if most rock radio listeners haven’t heard the song a hundred times already), none adding anything of any interest; edits of a few album tracks which similarly re-tread the same water; ‘Sex ‘n’ Love’, a B-side which borders so close to Queen that it’s practically invading, lifting the harmonised vocal melody from ‘Hammer To Fall’ wholesale.
When re-releases are done right they can easily manage nostalgia-inducing and enlightening at the same time (The Almighty’s latest back-catalogue reissues being a case in point, reviewed here); when they’re done wrong they smack of ripping off hardcore fans by parading cutting-room-floor oddments under a tawdry ‘Deluxe Reissue’ banner. The 2015 version of ‘Pornograffiti’ falls firmly into the latter category – poor show, A&M, poor show.
7.5 out of 10 (if you don’t already own Pornograffiti)
2 out of 10 (if you do)
- Decadence Dance
- Li’l Jack Horny
- When I’m President
- Get The Funk Out
- More Than Words
- Money (In God We Trust)
- It (‘s a Monster)
- When I First Kissed You
- Suzy (Wants Her All Day What?)
- He-Man Woman Hater
- Song For Love
- Hole Hearted
- More Than Words (remix)
- Nice Place To Visit (B-side)
- More Than Words (edit)
- Decadence Dance (edit)
- Money (In God We Trust) (edit)
- More Than Words (a cappella)
- Get The Funk Out (7″ What The Funk? mix)
- More Than Words (a cappella with congas) – SEE WHAT I MEAN?!??
- Get The Funk Out (12″ remix)
- Sex ‘n’ Love (B-side)