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Images and Words

230 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 14 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Atco
  • ASIN: B000002JPA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (230 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,283 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Pull Me Under
2. Another Day
3. Take The Time
4. Surrounded
5. Metropolis- Part 1 'The Miracle And The Sleeper'
6. Under A Glass Moon
7. Wait For Sleep
8. Learning To Live

Product Description

Product Description

Certified gold by the RIAA (2/95).

Not since 1980 and Yes's Drama had progressive rock dared to show off quite so unashamedly: Dream Theater's 1992 Images And Words is not so much an album of songs as a series of showcases for instrumental virtuosity. For many listeners that sounds like an instant recipe for disaster, but for die-hard progressive-rockers weaned on the glory days of Rush and Yes, Dream Theater were a shining throwback amid the low-fi wasteland of the 1990s. Images And Words is the kind of album that amateur musicians listen to with a mixture of awe and despair at the effortless display of fretwork pyrotechnics (it's also the kind of album that non-musicians listen to with blank incomprehension at why anyone would bother producing such endless widdly-widdly stuff). If the guitar work of John Petrucci (whose notes-per-second ratio puts Steve Vai to shame) isn't enough, just listen to drummer Mike Portnoy (who clearly models himself physically and emotionally on Animal from The Muppet Show) playing like a demented Neil Peart, thrashing his kit with every ounce of his strength while maintaining utterly baffling 15/8-metre rhythms. But what really makes this album work is that the whole band play together so well: they actually function as a single unit and consequently the music is much more than the sum of a series of individual solos. Production, too, emphasises the democratic balance within the band, giving due prominence to all. And unlike British wimps such as Genesis, you can also file Dream Theater under Heavy Metal, since not only can they out-play any progressive rockers you might care to mention, they can out-thrash Metallica whenever they feel like it, too. A slice of musical Hell, or a marriage made in Heaven, Images and Words doesn't exactly break any new ground, but it's a landmark in the history of progressive rock nevertheless. --Mark Walker

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lance Boyle on Jan. 22 2004
Format: Audio CD
After reading most of these reviews, I decided that the view of a non-fan might be more helpful to those who are not already familiar with this band.
I was introduced to Dream Theater by an ex-girlfriend who, like the band, is classicaly trained herself.
As she would play particular tracks of various records, she would explain to me why certain solos or certain arrangements were particularly amazing. But with every listen, I would just get frustrated at the overall blandness of the music.
There is no doubt that these musicians are virtuoso players. With the exception of their lead singer, whose singing style I find forced and reminiscent of 80's big hair hard rock, I have great respect for these guys as technicians. One listen of just about any one of their songs is ample proof of their note mastery.
Ultimately, though, the sum of their parts is far less than the whole.
Listen to each instrument individually and you're left with your mouth open. But as songs, they just don't click; they lack the cohesion and feeling that make a song work as a song, and not as a technical exercise with lyrics. It sounds like each instrumentalist is just trying to one-up each other, with more speed more notes and more scales. Czerny would be proud.
It's not that their music is awful, there are a couple of songs here and there that I liked. But not enough to ever buy any of their records. Their music lacks feeling and soul.
For those of you into prog-rock, you've probably already heard of Dream Theater and are familiar with their music. If you are an academic looking for obscure arrangements, this might work for you as well.
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By Sebulba on Oct. 10 2007
Format: Audio CD
The holidays 2006. I've recently heard about Dream Theater and I want one of their albums, but which one? I stumble apon a personality quiz called "Which dream theater album are you?" I take it and Images and Words comes up, so i ask for it for Xmas and get it. Almost a year later, with all of their albums in my posession, this one stands above the rest as one of my favorites.

Pull Me Under(9/10)
I usually skipped this one when i first got this cd but it's definatly grown on me since i heard it on the Budokan dvd for some reason. It's totally awesome.

Another Day(10/10)
One of the best slow ones they've ever written. The alto sax propels this song into the top 10 DT songs ever. James' vocals are unreal. I haven't heard a great live version of this one yet. It seems like LaBrie can't even sing this one perfectly on stage.

Take The Time(10/10)
My favorite from the album. Possibly the heaviest one, too. The lyrics are totally great as well.

The beginning sounds a bit cheezy these days and this ones possibly my least favorite from the album.

Metropolis, Pt. 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper(9/10)
This ones great. Without this song we might never have had the pleasure of listening to the Scenes From A Memory album.

Under A Glass Moon(10/10)
Second favorite from this album. The beginning is epic, so is JP's solo. super catchy chorus. JLB's vocals are amazing.

Wait For Sleep(8/10)
A nice, slow little ballad. Easily the shortest song on the cd. It serves its purpose of giving us a breather, preparing us for the last track.

Learning To Live(9/10)
great closer. classic DT from the first note. James' vocals go without saying here, they are amazing.
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Format: Audio CD
Indeed, this probably isn't Dream Theater's best CD, from a mechanical standpoint anyways, although, if not, it's fairly close to the best. This CD may not have the complex rhythms that you will find on Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence, or the alternative guitar parts that you can hear on Train Of Thought, and this CD certainly does not progress like Scenes From A Memory, but this album is produced and played in the most perfect way possible. And, like many progressive bands, many fans will like one CD better then another, because most progressive bands change their sound from CD to CD. Such is the case with Dream Theater, and therefore, it is hard to pass judgment on this CD.
This CD certainly does have an 80's metal sound too it, although elements of it feel very alternative. The sound, however, is a tad bit cliché, and that may turn some people on, and turn some people off. However, there is no denying the musical talent on this CD. From the first chords in Pull Me Under, to the excellent instrumental solo in the middle of Metropolis Part 1, you know you are dealing with one of the most talented bands to make an album.
This CD does a good job of using different styles to keep it interesting. Pull Me Under and Under The Glass Moon both feel very dark, and also feature some of the CDs best metal chords. Another Day and Surrounded both feel very poppy, and Another Day feels very jazzy. Take The Time has some of the best bass work I have heard from the band, and moves in a completely progressive direction. Wait For Sleep is a dark progressive song with lush melodies. Metropolis - Part 1, is one of the band's greatest works, hands down. It has an excellent instrumental "session," in the middle of the song, that features some excellent shredding by the band.
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