What’s better than Nuno Bettencourt doing an intimate acoustic cut of Extreme’s number one hit “More Than Words”? Bettencourt rocking it with rock god Steven Tyler! The Aerosmith frontman sat in with the Extreme guitarist at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, and the pair had amazing chemistry together. Fans online definitely noticed as the performance has racked up 20 million views and counting on YouTube.
Tyler sang lead while Bettencourt sang backup and provided the music on acoustic guitar. The Aerosmith main man of course has one of the best voices in rock, but Bettencourt really shines vocally on the collaboration as well, despite being primarily a guitarist. Bettencourt’s falsetto lead vocal part of the chorus is just gorgeous. You can watch the collaboration below.
Tyler’s voice is so expressive and he really brings a new character to the song by adding a tasteful bluesy grit. The singer was 67 years old at the time of the show, and his ability to sing so beautifully on a song outside of his normal style is a real testament to how great his vocal chops really are. Both Tyler and Bettencourt totally have the x-factor as performers and musicians too so watching them work together is just magic.
The pair also cranked the volume to play Aerosmith’s 1993 US top 20 single “Livin’ on the Edge” at the same show. They were supported on this track by a full rock band, a vocal trio and even a symphony orchestra! This bombastic arrangement gave the song an epic vibe that contrasts with the original studio recording, which is a straight ahead rocker. Bettencourt’s take on the solo was of course a highlight – you can check it out for yourself below.
Fans loved to see the two rockstars working together, adding comments such as “They’re looking at each other like ‘If we had done this 25 years ago, our entire careers may have been different.’ What an incredible pairing.” and “Steven Tyler gives the song a unique touch, it is wonderful to hear one of my favorite singers doing this tribute to such a beautiful song.”
“More than Words” was a natural choice for the pair to play at the show, as it is by far Extreme’s biggest hit. The acoustic ballad was the band’s sole Billboard Hot 100 number one single and went Gold on both sides of the Atlantic. The song was a departure from the band’s established funk metal sound and fans couldn’t get enough of the more delicate side of the group.
“More Than Words” was penned by Extreme singer Gary Cherone and Bettencourt and the original arrangement is similar to the Oslo performance, with only acoustic guitar and dual vocals present. The song was the third single from the band’s sophomore album Pornograffitti, and it helped propel the 1990 album to go all the way to 2x Platinum in the US as well as Platinum in the UK.