Some might think a hits collection is a waste of money and time, however, for a huge fan such as myself it is well worth the money. It is fun to hear songs like “Pull Me Under” remixed to sound so clean and new. Plus the one unreleased track, “To Live Forever” makes it worth the money just by itself. Plus, it is genius to market this collection towards those who have never listened to the band, being that it has a little of everything for everyone.
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Dream Theater is one of my favorite band in the world, and this complation gives you just a taste of there greatness. In my opinion I think the Remixes of “Pull Me Under”,”Take the Time” and “Another Day” are completely unnecessary. The originals are SO much better, although it was interesting to hear what Kevin Shirley came up with. I loved the addition of “To live forever”, a really great tune. Over all if you are just getting into Dream Theater, this is a great way to get your feet wet.
First off, I would like to say that Dream Theater is one of the greatest bands of all time! If it weren’t for them, I’d still be stuck listening to the mainstream crap that’s being played today. On to the review….
I’ve been reading a lot of reviews about this compilation and trying to decide whether to purchase this album or not. I already have all of their studio albums (minus “When Dream and Day Unite”) so purchasing this album wasn’t really necessary. But there are remixes of songs as well as edited versions…and also an unreleased song. Well, after hearing a short clip from the “Pull Me Under” remix, I decided to buy the album.
A couple of issues to address…what many, many people fail to realize is that this is NOT supposed to be a “Best of…” album…obviously because they left out their more epic songs there are best known for. As stated by Mike Portnoy himself, the point of this album is to lure new fans in as well as give a little something to existing fans. Personally, I’m thankful that this band takes extreme consideration to their fans by adding additional content like the remixes and edits…otherwise this WOULD be pointless to buy for the existing fan. But the main goal is to give a little taste of what Dream Theater is about and (here’s what most people fail to realize) give the new curious listener the opportunity to dig deeper to buy their other albums. Think about it…this is basically a musical appetizer and the existing catalog is the main course. You don’t to fully indulge yourself before hitting up the main dish! So putting all the more epic songs in this compilation album will ruin the listener’s appetite to learn more about the band’s songs. For example, if Dream Theater decided to put, say, “Dance of Eternity”, “A Change of Seasons”, “Octavarium”, and the like into the compilation album, what’s left for the new listener to look forward to when buying their other albums? I think this album is used most effectively when being introduced by an already existing fan. If a newbie were to pick up this album, none of the aforementioned information might be apparent. So if you’re trying to get your friends into this amazing band (and you should!) get this album and give them a little taste…
From what I’ve heard so far (I’ve only listened to most of “The Dark Side” and haven’t gotten to the other disc yet) I am very pleased at what I am hearing. First of all, the remixes? Completely blown away!!! Just from hearing the short clip of “Pull Me Under” in the trailer I could already tell a world of a difference! I did a brief comparison between the original and remixed versions of the song and was just amazed at the improvement of the sound quality. Even though it was a classic (still is, of course!) a facelift was definitely refreshing. I personally fail to see how an avid listener of Dream Theater can’t hear the difference; it’s so obvious (my personal opinion)! To start, the drums don’t sound so “80’s” anymore, the new sound of snare drum was what first amazed me…so tight and crisp! The guitars sounded heavier and the vocals were clearer! This was just from listening in my car so I’m sure if I listened through headphones I can find other aural nuances I didn’t notice in the original.
The Edits….I’ll be honest, I was a little shocked about hearing shortened versions of “Home” and “Misunderstood” I was completely thrown off! A lot of the repeated riffs and been shortened…”Home” especially was weird to listen to, I felt like I was listening in fast-forward. But keeping in mind the goal of this album, I thought it was clever to remove some elements from the edited songs (for instance, “Home” starts right away at the heavy part completely skipping the acoustic guitar parts in the beginning and REALLY shortening the music before the vocals come in…from what I remember, they also removed the spoken part ["I remember the first time she came to me..."] and the slow part in the middle with the sitar/keyboard solo as well as the casino/orgasm solo, lol!)
Ok, I REALLY think I went overboard on the review…just felt like I had to address the issue of the misconception of the album…Hope this helps anyone and go help find more fans!
Here’s comes Dream Theater with their first greatest hit collection. At least it’s not another live set. I guess in between studio albums, this just makes sense. While this is geared to the first time listener to capture the sound of this remarkable group, it still has a few elements for the die-hard fan. The remix’s are certainly the key here if you want to see how they are polished up. The one unreleased track ‘To Live Forever’ would be the reason to buy this if you don’t already have a studio mix of it. While the remix’s are great, one has to wonder why they chose those songs and maybe not several more from their next couple of albums. I think ‘To Live Forever’ is included because it is LaBrie’s welcome into the band. The song that should have made it onto this collection is ‘The Way It Used to Be’. But it’s not here and one has to wonder why. Plus I don’t understand the logic behind the edits of songs like ‘Solitary Shell’. Taking it to the edit form just kills the song overall. But I would surmise it’s for the first time listener and nothing more. Fans of this group won’t purchase this for edited versions of songs that they already own. I would have loved to see more b-side or unreleased tracks on this collection because I’m sure the band has plenty that have never made it to the final cut. But I still have to give this 5 stars because they’re all great songs. So, for those of you who want to get your feet wet with Dream Theater, then this collection is a great way to start.
I am surprised at some of the other reviews. Some people seem to ask ‘why did they bother’? What these reviewers seem to miss is that if they are a die hard fan of DT and have all the albums then this compilation is not for them! Why do you care? If they want to repackage some of their more middle of the road songs to try and get some more people to enjoy their art, why would you criticize this? Are you afraid that the 10 minutes it took them to put this set together took valuable time away from creating the next album or stopped Mike from working on his next piece in his AA suite? Well it didn’t. I don’t like seeing anyone giving this less than 5 stars because the music is amazing and this set should have 5 stars so more people will check it out.
Yes it doesn’t have any of the epic songs, and it doesn’t bring anything new but if it brings more fans to the band and makes them some money so they can continue making great music then that is awesome. Just because something isn’t geared at you doesn’t make it bad.
Enough ranting. For everyone else, if you are not a DT fan you should be and this is a great disc to get to hear a couple of hours of amazing music. If you want to take it to the next level then get their other albums and listen to some 20 minute compilations that will blow you away.
If so you have about 10 hours of great music ahead of you.