More Than Words – Extreme | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1) & Mainstream Rock (#12); 1991

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

A battle in 1982 between rival bands over a communal dressing room eventually ended positively three years later, when two of the warring musicians, Gary Cherone and Nuno Bettencourt, decided to team up with drummer Paul Geary as Extreme.

Drawn together by their love of music, especially that of Queen, guitarist Nuno and vocalist Gary set about building a catalog of over 50 original songs. In 1986 bassist Paul Badger completed the classic line-up.

Signed by A&M Records after they won an MTV video contest, Extreme released its first album in 1989, and Kid Ego, the first single, made some noise at rock radio. The second long-player, Extreme II: Pornograffitti, appeared the following year.

After the first two singles drew little attention, A&M sent More Than Words to a few stations in Arizona. Unlike the previous releases, More Than Words was a gentle ballad, composed by Nuno and Gary on Gary’s porch. The new acoustic tune caught on quickly and in June topped the Top 40 list.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Michael Wagener

Lyrics Written by:

  • Gary Cherone
  • Nuno Bettencourt


  • “More Than Words” was nominated for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the 34th Annual Grammy Awards in 1992
  • The music video for “More Than Words” won the award for Best Group Video at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards