Imaginary Day

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Imaginary Day
PMG - Imaginary Day.jpg
Studio album by Pat Metheny Group
Released October 7, 1997 (1997-10-07)
Recorded Spring 1997
Studio Right Track Recording, New York City
Genre Jazz fusion
Length 63:49
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Pat Metheny, Lyle Mays, Steve Rodby
Pat Metheny chronology
Beyond the Missouri Sky (Short Stories)
(1997)Beyond the Missouri Sky (Short Stories)1997
Imaginary Day
Like Minds
(2002)Like Minds2002
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars [1]
All About Jazz[2]

Imaginary Day is an album by the Pat Metheny Group, released in 1997 by Warner Bros. Records. The album won the 1999 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album, while "The Roots of Coincidence", an uncharacteristically aggressive song with hard rock-inspired sections, won Best Rock Instrumental Performance.


This album marks the final appearance of longtime drummer Paul Wertico, who would leave in 2001 before the recording of Speaking of Now to work on other projects.

The album leans heavily toward world fusion, drawing upon a variety of global influences. Indonesian styles are particularly pronounced, with Balinese gamelan music appearing in "Imaginary Day" and "Into the Dream". "The Heat of the Day" demonstrates repetitive hints of Iranian folk music. Imaginary Day also showcases the Group's first (and thus far, only) forays into rock music and drum and bass with "The Roots of Coincidence". In "The Awakening", the album concludes with strongly Gaelic melodies. "The Awakening" and "Follow Me" have been played on The Weather Channel during Local on the 8s.[citation needed]

The liner notes use an image substitution cipher. The CD and CD tray can be lined up to one of three different keys (red, yellow or blue) to translate the majority of the liner notes, which include quotations from authors as well as a short essay by Metheny and Rodby. For example, lining up the arrow on the CD to the red square on the CD tray will decode the front cover as "PAT METHENY GROUP IMAGINARY DAY". Cover art is by Stefan Sagmeister.[citation needed]

Metheny has remarked that the album's ambitious nature pushed the limits of the Group's compositional reach, particularly on, "The Heat of the Day," "The Roots of Coincidence," and, "The Awakening," all three of which he is particularly proud. "The Roots of Coincidence" became a signature song for the Group as did, "Into the Dream," which in concert was often played as an introductory piece for either "Have You Heard" or "Are You Going With Me?" The 42-string Pikasso guitar, built for Metheny by Canadian luthier Linda Manzer, became one of his signature instruments.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays except where noted.

1."Imaginary Day"10:11
2."Follow Me"5:56
3."Into the Dream" (Metheny)2:27
4."A Story Within the Story"8:01
5."The Heat of the Day"9:44
6."Across the Sky" ("Across the Sky" lasts for 4:46; hidden intro for "The Roots of Coincidence" directly follows)5:13
7."The Roots of Coincidence"7:48
8."Too Soon Tomorrow" (Metheny)5:45
9."The Awakening"9:28



  • Pat Metheny, Lyle Mays, Steve Rodby – producers
  • Mastered by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound, New York City


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Poland (ZPAV)[3] Gold 50,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone

Imaginary Day Live (DVD, 2001)[edit]

All tracks written by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays except where noted.

1."Imaginary Day"10:11
2."Follow Me"5:56
3."Into the Dream" (Metheny)2:27
4."A Story within the Story"8:01
5."The Heat of the Day"9:44
6."Across the Sky"5:13
7."The Roots of Coincidence"7:48
8."Message to a Friend" (Metheny)5:45
9."September Fifteenth"9:28
10."Minuano (Six Eight)"8:50


Personnel live[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ginell, Richard S. "Imaginary Day". Retrieved 19 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Gillis, A. G. (1 November 1997). "Pat Metheny Group: Imaginary Day". Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "Polish album certifications – Pat Metheny Group – Imaginary Day" (in Polish). Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry.