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Dream Theater - Greatest Hit (...and 21 other pretty cool songs) CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

2.15 | 180 ratings

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2 stars An introduction to the prog metal titans meant for the casual listener or a zealous collector

I will be honest, this compilation album wouldn't be recommended to any other than casual listeners who would like to get an insight of what Dream Theater has been about during their earlier times (before the Systematic Chaos-era). Heck, I believe the "Light Side" will appeal to those who are non-metal fans as every track in there seem to be ready for air-play. The "Dark Side" is a collection of heavier and more progressive tracks, including the "Greatest Hit" we know as the opening track here as it was on "Images And Words", Pull Me Under.

The remix tracks of Pull Me Under, Take The Time and Another Day are clearly no big difference from the original tracks, as any people can tell they've been made to sound louder and slightly clearer, as well as a rearrangement of the latter track's sax solo. BUT... I also discovered what most of the reviewers missed out: Portnoy's drums (prominently snares and kick drums) have been rerecorded to match their sound with the drums on the later tracks, so no old triggers will make this compilation any more inconsistent because of the infamous production that differed from the later tracks.

The selection of tracks and the categorization going between the two discs are pretty well thought out. The Dark Side disc has a number of essential tracks that defined the course of DT's sound from each of the albums, in a chronological order. (despite some tracks that aren't my favourites) The Light Side also has the solid tracks, including the B-side track To Live Forever, but even there are a couple of weaker tracks that have divided the listeners. As I said though, it wouldn't detract the mainstream territory and you could play it for your friend or family that aren't "prog fans" themselves.

As I am aware of, this compilation disc has been taking a great deal of shit from the fans because it didn't include the most essential songs that Dream Theater has been famous for among its fans. Much to Mike Portnoy's dismay, who arranged the tracks on this compilation, he wasn't allowed by the label to include a third disc that was intended to have the epic, most progressive songs on it. So you won't find any Metropolis Pt. 1, Learning To Live or Space-Dye Vest, for instance.

So, there you have it! Fans that are well familiar to this band will rarely find this compilation any useful; the remix tracks aren't worth it any more than what you can get for the originals on Images And Words and so are the unnecessary radio edits on a number of songs (although it helps make room for more songs in there). The only thing that makes it worthwhile is if you are new to Dream Theater and wants an easy synopsis of their musical career, ESPECIALLY if you aren't a fan of prog. And if you ARE a prog fan, I suggest you check their full-length albums to find the REAL gems that aren't included in this release.

Kustin | 2/5 |


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