Images and Words

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Images and Words
Dream Theater - Images and Words.jpg
Studio album by Dream Theater
Released July 7, 1992 (1992-07-07)[1]
Recorded October–December 1991
Studio BearTracks Studios in Suffern, New York and The Hit Factory in New York City
Genre Progressive metal, progressive rock
Length 57:04
Label ATCO
Producer David Prater
Dream Theater chronology
When Dream and Day Unite
(1989)
Images and Words
(1992)
Live at the Marquee
(1993)
Singles from Images and Words
  1. "Pull Me Under"
    Released: August 29, 1992
  2. "Metropolis—Part I: 'The Miracle and the Sleeper' "
    Released: 1992
  3. "Take the Time"
    Released: 1993
  4. "Another Day"
    Released: 1993

Images and Words is the second studio album by American progressive metal/rock band Dream Theater, released on July 7, 1992 through ATCO Records. It is the first Dream Theater release to feature James LaBrie on vocals. The album maintains its position as the band's most commercially successful studio album to date, and the song "Pull Me Under" has the distinction of being the only top-10 hit (radio or otherwise) the band has had to date. This particular song has also had more recent success as it has appeared in the 2008 video game Guitar Hero World Tour.

History[edit]

After Charlie Dominici's departure from Dream Theater, the band auditioned nearly 200 people across the nation before James LaBrie, then of the Canadian glam metal band Winter Rose, sent the band an audition tape. After a short jam session, he was named Dream Theater's new lead singer, and remained so ever since.

With LaBrie on board, the band was signed to a seven-album contract by ATCO Records, and shortly after began recording their new album in late 1991. The lead single, "Pull Me Under", gained the band considerable commercial success with its airplay on MTV and radio, garnering them a top 10 hit on Billboard's Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. When the album was released, it sold at a steady pace, helped by an extensive world tour.

Dream Theater originally intended to release a double album, but this was rejected by ATCO, causing several songs to be omitted from the album. One of these songs, "A Change of Seasons", would later be re-recorded by the band and released on an EP of the same name in 1995.[2]

The song "Take the Time" includes samples from Kurtis Blow's "Christmas Rappin'" ("Hold it now"), Frank Zappa's "Dancin' Fool" ("Wait a minute"), and Public Enemy's "Power to the People", ("Come on"). In 1991, James LaBrie had appeared as a guest vocalist on Fates Warning's 1991 album Parallels, for which the band were credited as "Dream Theatre" in the "special thanks" of the album's credits. Dream Theater responded by thanking "Fatez Warning" in the credits of Images and Words.

Images and Words was played in its entirety on several occasions during the European leg of the 2007 "Chaos in Motion" tour, in celebration of its 15th anniversary.[3] On July 7, 2012, at a concert in Austin, Texas, the songs "Pull Me Under", "Another Day", and "Metropolis" were performed as an encore to celebrate the album's 20th anniversary. Additionally, "Surrounded" was performed during the main set.

In 2013, the album was reissued on vinyl as a limited edition 180 gr. double LP.[4]

In 2017, Dream Theater celebrated the 25th anniversary of Images And Words on the "Images, Words & Beyond" tour in Europe, starting on January 30 at the Auditorium Parco Della Musica in Rome, Italy.[5]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[6]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal 8/10[7]
Metal Storm 9.6/10[8]
Rock Hard 10/10[9]
Select 2/5[10]

The album has received widespread acclaim from music critics since its release. The German magazine Rock Hard elected Images and Words Album of the Month and lauded Dream Theater, using "the old [1970s] term 'Supergroup' "; according to the reviewer, they set "standards and still perfect them, although they hardly appear to do so" and, even considering the many influences in their music, the "versatility, the linking of different grooves and melody elements within each songs" shows how Dream Theater are "style-transcending like no other band."[9] In another contemporary review, Select gave the album a lower rating, referring to the album as "elaborate, layered prog-metal" and stated that "if this was a book, it'd be for the coffee-table, glossy but not essential."[10] Phil Carter of AllMusic was taken by the band members' "impressive ability on their respective instruments" and by LaBrie's vocal range, writing also that the album is an "excellent mix of progressive metal stylings with heartfelt vocals and thought-provoking lyrics".[6] Metal Storm reviewer calls Images and Words "a masterpiece and also a historical album", because it "brought something totally new to the scene, this famous progressive metal sound that would become Dream Theater's signature".[8] Canadian journalist Martin Popoff in his Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal praised the band's musicianship and "the tricky arrangements", but was not thrilled by the album, which he found "a bit too self-aware and calculated to be in the true spirit of progressive rock."[7]

Images and Words was a moderate commercial hit, reaching number 61 on the US Billboard 200 chart.[11] It is also Dream Theater's only album to be certified gold by the RIAA,[12] and remains their best-selling album to date, selling more than six hundred thousand copies.[13]

Accolades[edit]

On April 9, 2013, Images and Words won Loudwire's fan-voted March Metal Madness award for best metal album of all time.[14]

The song "Under a Glass Moon" was awarded the 98th best guitar solo by About.com expert.[15]

In October 2011, Images and Words was ranked number 7 on Guitar World magazine's top ten list of guitar albums of 1992.[16]

In 2015, the album was ranked first on the website Prog Report's list of the top 50 progressive rock albums of 1990–2015. Four other Dream Theater albums made the list: Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory (third), Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence (14th), Awake (18th), and Train of Thought (38th).[17]

Track listing[edit]

All music composed by Dream Theater, except "Wait for Sleep" by Kevin Moore.

No. Title Lyrics Length
1. "Pull Me Under" Kevin Moore 8:14
2. "Another Day" John Petrucci 4:23
3. "Take the Time" Dream Theater 8:21
4. "Surrounded" Moore 5:30
5. "Metropolis—Part I: 'The Miracle and the Sleeper' " Petrucci 9:32
6. "Under a Glass Moon" Petrucci 7:03
7. "Wait for Sleep" Moore 2:31
8. "Learning to Live" John Myung 11:30
Total length: 57:04

Personnel[edit]

Dream Theater
Additional musicians
Production

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Country Organization Year Sales
US RIAA 1995 Gold (+500,000)[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Images and Words, Dreamtheater.net
  2. ^ Portnoy, Mike. "A Change of Seasons in Images and Words". About Mike - FAQ. Mike Portnoy.com. Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "Dream Theatre News Archive 2007: Dream Theater kick off 2007/2008 World Tour with I&W anniversary performance". Dream Theatre Official Website. June 4, 2007. Archived from the original on March 1, 2008. Retrieved January 26, 2017. 
  4. ^ Images and Words (LP Sleeve). Dream Theater. Merrick, New York: Enjoy The Ride Records. 2013. ETR-021. 
  5. ^ "Dream Theater Announce Monumental European Headline Tour". Dream Theater official website. 
  6. ^ a b Carter, Phil. "Dream Theater - Images and Words review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  7. ^ a b Popoff, Martin (August 1, 2007). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 3: The Nineties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 128. ISBN 978-1-894959-62-9. 
  8. ^ a b "Dream Theater - Images and Words". Metal Storm. 9 January 2004. Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  9. ^ a b Breusch, Matthias (1992). "Review Album des Monats: Dream Theater - Images and Words". Rock Hard (in German). No. 63. Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  10. ^ a b Blellcock, Marilla (September 1992). "Reviews". Select. p. 89. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f "Dream Theater Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Archived from the original on January 14, 2016. Retrieved January 26, 2017. 
  12. ^ a b "RIAA Searchable Database: search for Dream Theater". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  13. ^ "Gigantour: Sales Update". Blabbermouth.net. 4 August 2005. Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  14. ^ Hartmann, Graham (9 April 2013). "Dream Theater's 'Images and Words' Wins March Metal Madness 2013". Loudwire. Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  15. ^ Cross, Dan. "100 Greatest Guitar Solos". About.com. Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  16. ^ Grassi, Tony. "Photo Gallery: The Top 10 Guitar Albums of 1992". GuitarWorld.com. Retrieved October 24, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Top 50 Prog Albums 1990–2015". The Prog Report.com. 7 July 2015. Retrieved 3 August 2015. 
  18. ^ "Album – Dream Theater, Images and Words". Charts.de (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 26 January 2017.