DREAM THEATER - Images and Words

Images and Words
REALEASE DATE: 07.07.1992
RECORD COMPANY: East West Records
USERS RATING: 62 votes

Top 1992: #1
Dream Theater more
James LaBrie – voce
John Petrucci – chitara
Kevin Moore – clape
John Myung – bas
Mike Portnoy – tobe

1. Pull Me under2. Another Day3. Take the Time4. Surrounded5. Metropolis, Pt. I: The Miracle and the Sleeper6. Under a Glass Moon7. Wait for Sleep8. Learning to Live

In the autumn of 1993 I was with my friends at the Posada Rock Festival in Campulung Muscel.  At some point, before the shows started, background music was gently flowing out of the speakers and I heard something that not only caught my attention, but made me ecstatic in a manner of minutes. it was a strong riff, like atomic physics, on time signatures that seemed all weird and at the same time irresistible. I ran to the mixer guy and asked him what I was listening to. “Drim Teater, man!”, told me the long-haired man with the satisfaction of superiority in his voice. It was Pull Me Under, the song that changed the history of progressive metal forever.


Until then, the notion of Dream Theater was rather confused in my head. I had a few Hungarian Metal Hammer magazines that were all Chinese for me but I had bought for the posters. One of them included an article on Dream Theater and a photo of the band – five guys dressed a bit wimpily after my taste: colourful shirts, crocodile-skin cowboy boots, large-buckled belts, golden bracelets and chains. And carefully combed hair. I went over them without giving them a chance. That is, until I heard Pull Me Under.


It is useless to tell you that for me all the show at Posada that night was compromised, because all I could hear in my head was the devastating riff of the opening track of Images and Words. On the second day I got the audio tape with the album and I listened to it three times in a row. It was a battered Raks tape, but it had a colour cover – years later I would realize that the burning heart flowing over a black background was just a part of the album’s original artwork. The tape held its own for about two weeks, during which time I must have listened to it dozens of times. When the tape broke I bought another and subjected it to the same onslaught. All in all, until I got the CD two years later, I broke four tapes this way.


The second album in Dream Theater’s discography, Images and Words brought first of all a change in the vocals – James LaBrie had replaced Charlie Dominici and had to sing parts that had not been written for his voice – and the reaction from the public proved that he was up to the task. Then, the band had signed a contract with a rather large label (a division of Elektra), which allowed them much better recording and promotion conditions than with the first album. A video with the making of Images and Words shows young, talented and enthusiastic musicians. The omens were good.


Images and Words opens with Pull Me Under, a song that carried on its shoulders all the success of this album. With the video broadcast by MTV and radios in heavy rotation, the album sold like crazy, the band got into international tours and progressive metal suddenly became accessible to a wider audience. Pull Me Under is not particularly complicated, but it intelligently combines American balance with European speed, adding instrumental finesse just about enough to keep the prog fans entertained without scaring away traditionalist metallers.


And this is pretty much the tone of the entire album: a bit of healthy metal, many changes of rhythm and compound signatures, virtuosity as much as possible but, above all, melody. From the ballad Another Day (with a surprising sax solo, considering it comes after the assault of Pull Me Under), to the monumental Metropolis – Part 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper (with an instrumental middle part progressive metal had never heard before), from the solid Take the Time (with a vocal reminding more of hip hop than rock in the beginning) to the elegant Surrounded (unleashing a superb guitar-keyboard unison), from the playful Under a Glass Moon (with some of the best lyrics I have ever heard – “I smile at the moon, chasing water from the sky / I argue with the clouds stealing beauty from my eyes”) to the gem Wait for Sleep (just piano and voice, but what a piano, and what a voice!), and, finally, to Learning to Live (the longest song, with recurring themes and a bombastic ending that brings to a triumphant end the entire production), Images and Words is for me the one perfect album, in which I would not change a single note.


What happened next in the discography of Dream Theater is already history, with its ups and downs. What is certain is that after Images and Words progressive metal would never be the same again.

Rave more Nota: 10

Posted at 15:57 |  17 Februarie 2010  | 7 Comments  | 6120 Views

Comment on: Images and Words

  • super-tare cronica...

    1. Posted by Fantotzii | 24 Septembrie 2010 15:36
  • Multumesc, meritul meu e prea mic fata de valoarea albumului.

    2. Posted by Rave | 24 Septembrie 2010 15:42
  • Unul dintre cele mai bune albume facute vreodata. Nota 10!

    3. Posted by Didu | 24 Septembrie 2010 21:40
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