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Dream Theater - Made in Japan [Official Bootleg] CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.39 | 71 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars A few years ago, I reviewed the cover of ''Dark Side Of The Moon'' from the same Dream Theater. The experience was not so bad (3 stars), so I decided to do the same exercise for ''Made In Japan''.

This live set is legendary and I considered it as one of the top ten live album in the rock history. So, to try and render the whole of it was quite challenging. Even for Dream Theater.

I have grown with the original ''Made In Japan'' and I know every inch of it. I even witnessed this in live when Purple toured in Europe in ? 1973. Yes, I am an old man by now. But I am rocking alright.

So, back to this version. Well, it doesn't start so bad with a solid rendition of one of my top three DP fave. The great opener from this tour (and a lot of others later on). ''Highway Star'' is honestly played here. The highlight being the guitar solo. Vocals are another story.

The next musical moment is my fave DP one (like many of their fans). Not only was it challenging musically (remember the original great guitar solo from Ritchie) but vocally it was a daunting force. Even Ian didn't sign it after 1999 I believe. And to be honest, LaBrie totally ruins this great number. Lucky that Petrucci partially saves it. What a disaster !!!

During the following anthem (''Smoke on The Water'') which I have never particularly liked, the sound is somewhat weak as LaBrie is. Not bad version per se ; but it is not difficult to play. Almost on par with the original except during the final part.

Fortunately, ''The Mule'' is mostly an instrumental number (but even during the one short lyric break, LaBrie will screw it). It was the time for Ian Paice to show his high drumming skills and for having witnessed both drummers live, I have to say that Portnoy is really top notch as well. He also belongs to the greatest drummers of all time. A sublime work during ''The Mule'' (and most of this live set).

I was quite skeptic how LaBrie would manage ''Strange Kind Of Woman''. Especially the great call/reponse with the guitar. Let's wait (and pray) and see?During a certain, he seems to avoid this difficult part, and then timidly he tries?but on a very low key. When it really becomes too difficult , he just call it quit. The finale is quite a pity. How one man can make the difference?

Fortunately, ''Lazy'' is also almost instrumental and was the occasion for Jon to demonstrate his skills (and he was very skilled !). But let's be honest, so far the key section was really good and Rudess is showing very good abilities (but this is not new). A brilliant key intro. A la Jon?But when the guitar steps in, it becomes a little confused and the second part is just too longish... At this stage, I will not mention LaBrie anymore.

The long ''Space Truckin'' has never been my cup of tea. I always wondered why Purple extended to nearly 20 minutes. I even have heard of much longer versions ! Anyway, we will have to face it as well since it is an integrant part of ''MIJ''.

''Dream Theater'' will even try and match the original front sleeve cover. But actually, to try and render such an emblematic live album is not an easy task even for skilled musicians. IMHHO, they did a better job with ''Dark Side''. Two stars for this one (for fans only; but not DP ones...).

Just grab the great original (even better in the three CD versions).

ZowieZiggy | 2/5 |


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