giovedì 29 maggio 2008

Dream Theater - Greatest Hit (…and 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs)

Artist: Dream Theater
Title: Greatest Hit (…and 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs)
Genre: Rock
Release Year: 2008
Type: New release
Audio: CD

Official Web Site

Questo Greatest Hit (…and 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs) dei Dream Theater, esce sotto etichetta 'Rhino', una divisione dell’Atlantic, vecchia label della band, attualmente sotto contratto con la Roadrunner. È del tutto evidente, che nell’ultimo contratto firmato dal gruppo con l’Atlantic, ci fosse una clausola che prevedesse la pubblicazione di un “Best of”.
Sul booklet si legge che sono stati gli stessi Dream Theater a scegliere le canzoni da inserire nll’album. Bè, stentiamo a crederci vista la proposta, divisa tra remix, versioni edit, e mix alternativi delle canzoni presenti sui rispettivi album.

Due per la precisione i cd: The Dark Side, il lato più Metal in senso stretto; The Light Side, l’aspetto più melodico. Nel primo spiccano 'Pull Me Under', 'Take the Time' e 'Misunderstood'. Il secondo invece apre con 'Another Day', 'Hollow Years', e va a chiudere con 'Disappear'. Difficile pensare ad una raccolta dei Dream Theater senza le lunghe suite, ma questo è Greatest Hit (…and 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs).


Disc One – The Dark Side

1. Pull Me Under (remix)
2. Take The Time (remix)
3. Lie
4. Peruvian Skies
5. Home
6. Misunderstood
7. The Test That Stumped Them All
8. As I Am
9. Endless Sacrifice
10. The Root Of All Evil
11. Sacrificed Sons

Disc Two – The Light Side

1. Another Day (remix)
2. To Lie Forever
3. Lifting Shadows Off A Dream
4. The Silent Man
5. Hollow Years
6. Through Her Eyes
7. The Spirit Carries On
8. Solitary Shell
9. I Walk Beside You
10. The Answer Lies Within
11. Disappear

Dream Theater will soon release a 2-CD set entitled Greatest Hit (…and 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs) on Rhino Records. And it truly is a wonderful 22-song compilation. The title is definitely appropriate, as it lays emphasis on their only top 10 radio hit, “Pull Me Under,” in a humorous manner.
It’s good when a progressive rock band gives their best-of compilation a witty title, one with kind of a facetious intent. Other examples, like Pink Floyd’s A Collection of Great Dance Songs and Zappa’s blatant mockery, Worst of the Mothers, come to mind, also Joni Mitchell’s Hits and Misses (the “misses” being my preferred choice to listen to usually). After all, album oriented performers and rock bands, especially prog bands, are admired more for their all-encompassing projects than for individual songs. It’s such a tedious endeavor to create an album perching certain songs on a pedestal above others, especially when the band has such a vast discography of music to choose from.

However, compilations can be an excellent marketing ploy as well. It often takes the listening public a little longer to gear their minds up for music that’s not as catchy and as simple in form as other styles, like typical rock or pop; so a “best of” set can be the ideal approach to get the open-minded listener acquainted with what they’ve been missing over the years. And when it comes to Dream Theater, if you aren't acquainted with them yet, then you’ve been missing out on a magnitude of quality music played by brilliant musicians.

There’s a lot to satisfy the Dream Theater fanatic on the compilation as well. Three songs from the Words And Images album are included, remixed by producer Kevin Shirley (Led Zeppelin, Rush, Dream Theater, etc.). Also included are single B sides and previously unreleased tracks.

Disc one is titled “The Dark Side.” It’s primarily the heavier and more metal side of the band, songs that enter an ominous realm amid extra muscle and crunch. Disc two, “The Light Side,” embraces the band’s softer side, and is basically the more melodic and vocal material. But all in all, Greatest Hit is the ideal paradigm of the music of Dream Theater, spanning 1991 through 1995, only excluding material from their debut, When Dream And Day Unite, and the most recent, Systematic Chaos.

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