Must Own Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Albums :
Artist : Dream Theater
Album : Images And Words
Released : July 7, 1992
M.M. Album Rating : 5/5 (One Of The Greatest Metal Albums Of The 1990s)
It’s truly ironic that a band that has been compared in many ways to the legendary trio RUSH, especially for their amazing musicianship decided to form a band while waiting in line to get tickets to a RUSH concert. Originally in a band called “Majesty” three of the most talented students at the Berklee College Of Music in Massachusetts, John Petrucci (guitars) John Myung (bass) and Mike Portnoy (drums) would play lots of Iron Maiden and RUSH songs in the music rooms of the campus. The trio would decide to recruit two new members, Kevin Moore on Keyboards, and a close friend Chris Collins to sing, because he had a voice that emulated Geoff Tate from Queensryche. That wouldn’t work out for long though, so the band found another lead singer Charlie Dominci. Following a potential lawsuit from another band named Majesty, they would change their name to Dream Theater, and record their first album “When Dream And Day Unite.”
What separates a good band, from a great is many times the ability to make tough decisions. Many times a band will keep a weak link out of loyalty and brotherhood, and be average instead of replacing that weak link with the final piece of the puzzle. Before the band started to record their second album they knew the vocals were not up to par with the rest of the band. The decision was made to bring in singer James LaBrie who has been with the band ever since, and let Charlie go. It was a tough decision, but the right one. To understand how good, and how influential Dream Theater’s second now legendary album “Images And Words” is you just have to remember the musical landscape at the time.
In 1992 with the exception of a band like RUSH, anyone making not a metal, but a “Progressive Metal” album would’ve been considered commercial suicide. Images And Words would be a success though, and the first introduction to some of the best musicians on the planet. But it was much more than just the musicianship, they were great songwriters too. Just by their second album it showed a maturity that usually takes other bands much longer, and also an amazing musical depth. For instance the last thing you expect to hear on a metal album is a saxophone, but these guys not only make it work, but make it sound justified.
As the years have passed all this record does is sound better, and better. It’s now considered not just a metal classic, but considered a high point of Metal in the 1990s. Images And Words is the album the a band like Queensryche would’ve loved following an album like “Operation Mindcrime” up with. Listen to both records back to back. It’s pretty mind-blowing.
Track Listing :
1. Pull Me Under
2. Another Day
3. Take The Time
5. Metropolis- Part 1 ‘The Miracle And The Sleeper’
6. Under A Glass Moon
7. Wait For Sleep
8. Learning To Live