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Dream Theater
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Dream Theater

Dream Theater is an American progressive metal band formed by three students at the Berklee College of Music in the mid 1980s under the name Majesty.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Discography
3 Videography
4 External links

History

Dream Theater's early line-up consisted of Berklee College of Music colleagues John Petrucci (Guitars), John Myung (Bass), and Mike Portnoy (Drums), along with Charlie Dominici (Vocals) and Kevin Moore (Keyboards). This line-up recorded the album When Dream and Day Unite (1989), after which Dominici was replaced by Canadian Kevin LaBrie, who chose to be known by his middle name James upon joining the band to avoid confusion.

The band came to wider prominence with their sophomore effort, Images and Words (1992). Though the evocative lyrics and technical performances attracted mainly fans of progressive rock and heavy metal, the track "Pull Me Under" received moderate play on radio and MTV. The album was certified gold in the United States.

Keyboardist Moore departed to pursue a solo recording career during the mixing process of Dream Theater's next album, Awake (1994). Moore was replaced by Derek Sherinian, who had previously toured with Alice Cooper and KISS. Though the album lacked a strong single, it, along with all Dream Theater albums, was certified platinum (100,000 copies) in Japan.

Dream Theater released A Change of Seasons in 1995 as an EP, though it contains nearly an hour of music. The title track, and the only original song on the disc, is a 23-minute epic in seven movements dealing with mortality and living life to the fullest. The heavier original version had been played by the band in earlier years live (it was actually written in 1989). The remainder of the album contains a selection of live covers of songs by Elton John, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Journey, and others. Other such covers (particularly of Rush) circulate as bootlegs. DT is fond of playing note-perfect covers as concert encores, and has even covered entire albums live, including Master of Puppets by Metallica and The Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden. A recording of a perfomance of Master of Puppets was released on Ytse Jam Records, Mike Portnoy's Dream Theater bootleg label.

Their fifth album, Falling Into Infinity (1997), sparked some initial controversy among DT fans because it seemed to take a more mainstream, radio-friendly approach (possibly at the behest of their record label). However, this perceived downturn was short-lived. Their next album, (1999), is a concept album and builds upon a song from Images and Words called "Metropolis Pt. 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper". An earlier version of Metropolis Pt. 2 was recorded by the band in the days of Falling Into Infinity and now sits somewhere in Mike Portnoy's basement. It is essentially a reincarnation story concerning a man who is haunted by the memories of a young woman murdered decades before. Prior to this album, keyboardist Sherinian was replaced by Jordan Rudess, who had worked with Petrucci and Portnoy in the progressive metal supergroup Liquid Tension Experiment.

Dream Theater attracted media attention in 2001 with the release of the live recording Live Scenes From New York. The band had previously used a flaming heart, wrapped in barbed wire, in its cover art; to reflect the location of the concert, the album's original cover art featured a flaming apple, wrapped in barbed wire and topped with the New York city skyline, including the World Trade Center, in flames. In an amazing coincidence, the album was released on the same day as the September 11, 2001 attacks. The album was recalled in order to rework the cover art, though the original pressings became somewhat of a collector's item and the album was certified gold.

In 2002, Dream Theater released a double album, Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. The first disc consists of five fairly experimental tracks, addressing topics such as Portnoy's alcohol addiction ("The Glass Prison"), stem cell research ("The Great Debate") and religious issues ("Blind Faith"). The second disc is a 40-minute conceptual suite dealing with the subject of mental illness via six vignettes, each depicting a different condition.

Train of Thought (2003) extends the harsh metal sound of some earlier tracks such as "The Glass Prison" from Six Degrees. While there are radio-friendly moments on the album (the ode to self-assurance "As I Am" and the first four minutes of "Endless Sacrifice"), it is overall a rather dark record.

Members of the band, especially Portnoy and Petrucci, have been noted and received awards for their virtuoso skills and performances. Portnoy has been instrumental in founding several other progressive rock groups such as Liquid Tension Experiment, Transatlantic, and O.S.I. Portnoy, Petrucci, and Rudess all are in demand as "clinicians" (master class teachers).

Discography

Videography

External links