Comprising of Gary Cherone (vocals), Nuno Bettencourt (guitar), Pat Badger (bass) and Paul Geary (drums) the group that was to become Extreme had their beginnings in 1985 on an MTV competition video clip Mutha (Don't Wanna Go To School Today), but it was the arrival of Bettencourt and Badger in 1986 that gave them their true start.
The origins of their band went back much farther, however, to the local act Dream, whose only six track EP featured Cherone and Geary in 1983. Shortly after changing their name to Extreme they would debut with The Dream in 1985. Receiving little notice it would be the Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure movie that played a breakthrough role in a band's history, this time with a soundtrack single Play With Me, with their self-titled sophomore album following on the 'A&M' banner in 1989. Featuring a Metal, Pop, Funk and Blues mix the album met with indifference.
Sub-titled 'A Funked Up Fairy Tale' Pornograffitti (1990), a concept album based on the life and times of its central character, fared much better than its predecessor. The breakthrough on the album was the acoustic ballad track More Than Words that reached number 1 and number 2 on the U.S. and U.K. charts respectively. They now became known for their diverse musical style that transcended many genres, along with Bettencourt's innovative guitar work.
They expanded their audience beyond Heavy Metal with their appearance at the Freddie Mercury concert. That appearance interrupted their sessions for the double set III Sides To Every Story (1992). The album was a very ambitious affair that echoed of 1970s Progressive Rock. Mike Mangini (ex-Annihilator) replaced Paul Geary on drums just before their 1994 appearance at the Castle Donnington show. Waiting For The Punchline (1995) was their second most successful affair by receiving a 10 and 40 in the U.K. and U.S. charts respectively. A heavily marketed affair, it still failed to increase their dwindling fan base, nor did it offer much new to their repertoire other than a few extra song titles; as a band they went silent after.
Nuno Bettincourt, with Gary Cherone, started his own self-titled band to release 3 albums thus far titled Schitzophrenic (1997), Mourinig Widows (1999) and Furnished Souls For Rent (2000).