Dream Theater Biography, Discography.

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Style: Progressive Metal
Year of birth: 1985
Country: USA
Views: 7006. Updated: 12 December, 2004 by Project Moderators

Biography of Band

Without doubt the most important Progressive Rock acts to have emerged in recent years. DREAM THEATER have combined heady acclaim within the genre matched by hard album sales and status. Previously known as MAJESTY, in September 1985 John Myung and John Petrucci were childhood friends who met Mike Portnoy at the famous Berklee School Of Music in Boston Kevin Moore was engaged on keyboards, having known Petrucci from elementary school once the trio had settled back home in Long Island.

Having initially worked with vocalist Chris Collins, the fledgling band soon replaced him with Charlie Dominici and recorded a four track demo that despite its poorly produced frame sold out rather quickly before the band was forced to change its name due to MAJESTY already being owned by another party. The new moniker of DREAM THEATER was adopted after a suggestion from Mike Portnoy's father who had recently seen a movie in a cinema of that name.

Releasing a new selection of, better produced, demos, DREAM THEATER were offered a deal by the MCA affiliated Mechanic Records label and, once signed, the group found themselves working with producer Terry Date on what would become the 'When Dream And Day Unite'. The record was reportedly completed with a three and a half week deadline hanging over their heads. Producer Terry Brown was drafted in to remix the album's tracks for promotional copies. Interestingly the album track 'The Ytse Jam' made reference to their former guise, 'Ytse Jam' being 'Majesty' backwards.
Wanting to be released from Mechanic Records who, the band claimed, offered no promotion for the first album, DREAM THEATER eventually had to buy themselves out of their contract.

Searching for a replacement for Charlie Dominici in 1989 DREAM THEATER had begun to tentatively work with another singer when they received a tape from Penetanguishene, Ontario native James LaBrie, who was about to sign a solo deal with Aquarius Records. LaBrie (who had previously had tenures with WINTER ROSE and CONEY HATCH) was invited down to New York to try out for the group and, after one jam session, the Canadian had got the job.

Having been virtually guaranteed a deal with Atco if they found the right singer, DREAM THEATER signed to the label in 1991 and entered Beartracks studios in Suffern, New York in October of that year to record.their second album,'Images And Words', which was produced by David Prater
Moore quit (resurfacing in 1998 with CHROMA KEY) and was replaced temporarily for live work with Jordan Rudess of SPEEDWAY BOULEVARD before eventually being replaced by ex KISS associate Derek Sherinian for a full tour. Rudess joined DIXIE DREGS. The 'Change Of Seasons' mini album in 1996 followed prior to work on writing with the group for the first time on a brand new studio album.

The album, 1997's 'Fallen Into Infinity', produced by Kevin Shirley, featured a guest vocal appearance from KINGS X man Doug Pinnick on the track 'Lines In The Sand' and a surprisingly impressive co-write with Desmond Child on 'You Not Me'.

DREAM THEATER toured America the same year alongside Jazz Rock maestros DIXIE DREGS which was later to bear fruit with musical liaisons between the two sets of musicians. Portnoy and Petrucci were both involved in the side project group LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT alongside respected sessioneers Tony Levin (PETER GABRIEL / KING CRIMSON) and Jordan Rudess once again. LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT released a self-titled album through Magna Carta in early 1998.

1999 Sherinan was out of the band and in came his logical successor Jordan Rudess for 1999's outing 'Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory' album. The album continues the theme of 'Metropolis Part 1' recorded on the 'Images And Words' album.
Side projects continued unabated though with Rudess pairing off with his ex-DIXIE DREGS drumming colleague Rod Morgenstein for the RUDESS/MORGENSTEIN project album and his inclusion on the classical 'Steinway To Heaven' album alongside his predecessor Sherinan and YES maestro RICK WAKEMAN. Myung would not be left out either as he re-united with erstwhile band mate DEREK SHERINAN in an unlikely alliance with, yet again, Rod Morgenstein and KINGS X frontman TY TABOR to forge the PLATYPUS project.

A further union of Prog-Rock stars came in 2000 when Portnoy allied himself with MARILLION bassist Pete Trewavas, SPOCK'S BEARD's Neal Morse and THE FLOWERKINGS Roine Stolt to create SMPT releasing the 'Transatlantic' album on Rising Sun.
Sherinan meantime teamed up with guitar maestro TONY MACALPINE for their PLANET X project record 'Universe'.

In September of 2001 a triple CD emerged titled 'Live Scenes From New York' comprising of the band's entire show recorded at the Roseland Ballroom in New York on August 30th 2000. However, in a surreal example of bad timing bearing in mind the September 11th terrorist attacks on America the record, due to a ghastly coincidence of the highest order, was pulled from the retail shelves the day of its release- September 11th. The sleeve artwork unbelievably depicted New York, including the Statue of Liberty and- most presciently of all- the World Trade Centre, in flames. Needless to say the artwork was hastily revised.

In more encouraging news the DREAM THEATER Brazilian Fan Club announced the assembly of a tribute album featuring artists such as SIGMA 5, EVORA, LAST RITES, OPERACT, LONGJAM and ABSTTRAKT.

The DREAM THEATER 2002 album 'Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence' would number only six songs, albeit one of those would be the marathon 40 minute title track. The band added a rather novel twist to their touring activities in 2002. When booked for a two night consecutive venue run the band would perform the entirity of METALLICA's 'Masters Of Puppets' album live. Needless to say, fans who had not been made aware of DREAM THEATER's intentions, would be somewhat mystified. It would seem DREAM THEATER would spend much of the year on the road, also being announced as part of an Autumn package billing for U.S. dates in alliance with KINGS X and JOE SATRIANI.

Portnoy would be revealed as the mentor behind a new ProgRock 'supergroup' in May, having assembled an impressive line up numbering erstwhile DREAM THEATER and presently CHROMA KEY keyboard player Kevin Moore. Also included would be FATES WARNING guitarist Jim Matheos, ex-CYNIC and current GORDIAN KNOT bassist Sean Malone with the whole affair fronted by PAIN OF SALVATION vocalist Daniel Gildenl?w. Before long Gildenl?w was out of the frame and the band project was being billed as set OSI (Orchestra Of Strategic Influence).

DREAM THEATER announced European tour dates, performing two sets with an intermission and no support act, for October.

On October 21st DREAM THEATER gave priviliged fans at their second night at the London Astoria by performing the entirity of IRON MAIDEN's 'Number Of The Beast' live. The band, who faithfully represented the album with the exception of a Jazz flavoured 'Gangland', even rigged up a DREAM THEATER logo backdrop executed in the classic Maiden logo script.

Mike Portnoy kept his hand in on the live circuit in March with YELLOW MATTER CUSTARD, a tribute to THE BEATLES also featuring Matt Bissonette and Neal Morse.

DREAM THEATER co-headlined a US ProgMetal extravaganza in June packaged with QUEENSRYCHE and FATES WARNING. With DREAM THEATER's unceasing success demand for live material and earlier MAJESTY recordings prompted drummer Mike Portnoy to establish his own Ytsejam Records to release archive recordings in an effort to beat the bootleggers. The first of these releases would be 2003's 'The Majesty Demos 1985-1986' and DREAM THEATER's 'Live In Los Angeles, California 5/18/98'. These latter tapes saw Ray Adler of FATES WARNING and IRON MAIDEN frontman BRUCE DICKINSON guesting.

A new studio album, 'Train Of Thought', produ

ced by John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy, was readied for November issue with European tour dates being announced for January. In the midst of this activity LaBrie was also active with the FRAMESHIFT project, a collaboration with guitarist Henning Pauly of CHAIN resulting in the album 'Unweaving The Rainbow'. 2003 also saw the formation of MADMEN & SINNERS, a collaboration between LaBrie, fretless guitar hero TIM DONAHUE and the ANNIHILATOR, STEVE VAI and EXTREME credited drummer Mike Mangini.

DREAM THEATER established a ticket ranking system for fans for their Spring US dates commencing 3rd March at the Roseland Theater in Portland. Fans could choose to purchase upgrades into bronze, gold or platinum tickets, the latter granting such priviliges as a seat in the first five rows, exclusive T shirt, tour laminate, autographed photograph and a meet and greet with the band.

Celebrating their fifteenth anniversary the band put on a very special show on 6th March at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles. Performing the 'When Dream And Day Unite' album in its entireity, the band would be joined by original singer Charlie Dominici on the songs 'To Live Forever' and 'Metropolis pt. 1', the latter song also featuring erstwhile keyboard player DEREK SHERINAN.
Fans would be treated with a slew of 'official bootleg' releases through the Ytsejam Records label with 'When Day And Dream Unite Demos 1987-1989', 'Tokyo, Japan 10/28/95' and 'Master Of Puppets - Cover Series'.

The band extended their 2004 tour schedule by partnering with Prog-Rock pioneers YES for an Autumn run of US dates. On the 29th October Mike Portnoy manned the drums for East Coast Thrash veterans OVERKILL, performing at a special show for DJ Eddie Trunk's annual Halloween party at The Hard Rock Caf? in New York City.

Additional Notes:
There are following additional musicians on Scenes:
Theresa Thomason, Mary Canty, Shelia Slappy, Mary Smith, Jeanette Smith, Clarence Burke, Carol Cyrus, Dale Scott (vocals)

Members of Dream Theater

Current Members:
James LaBrie. In Band at: 1991 - . Role: Vocals
Side projects: Dragon Attack, Explorers Club, Fates Warning, James LaBrie, Leonardo, Mullmuzzler, Shadow Gallery, Winter Rose, Working Man
John Petrucci (Founder). In Band at: 1985 - . Role: Guitars, Backing Vocals
Side projects: Centurion, Dragon Attack, Explorers Club, The Jon Finn Group, Liquid Tension Experiment, Working Man
John Myung (Founder). In Band at: 1985 - . Role: Bass
Side projects: Centurion, Gordian Knot, The Jelly Jam, Platypus
Mike Portnoy. In Band at: 1985 - . Role: Drums , Backing Vocals
Side projects: Liquid Tension Experiment, TransAtlantic, Working Man
Jordan Rudess. In Band at: 1999 - . Role: Keyboards
Side projects: David Bowie, Dixie Dreggs, Jan Hammer, Jordan Rudess, Liquid Tension Experiment, The Paul Winter Consort, Renaissance, Rudess Morgenstein Project, Speedway Boulevard, Steve Morse, Vinnie Moore
Past Members:
Charles Dominici. Period: 1987 - 1990. Role: Vocals
Side projects: Billy And Charles, Charlie Dominici, Franke And The Knockouts
Kevin Moore. Period: 1985 - 1994. Role: Keyboards
Side projects: Centurion, Chroma Key, Fates Warning
Derek Sherinian. Period: 1995 - 1999. Role: Keyboards
Side projects: Alice Cooper, Derek Sherinian, House Of Lords, Kiss, Planet X, Platypus, Section A, Yngwie Malmsteen
Chris Collins. Period: 1985 - 1987. Role: Vocals
Side projects: Burning Starr, Snow Blind
Jay Beckenstein (Guest). Role: Saxophone
Side projects: Spyro Gyra


CD: When Dream and Day Unite (1989) Tracklist.
Comment: One Way Records did issue a remastered version of the album in 2002. This
reissue was a numbered digipack limited to 10,000 pieces.
Demo: ATCO Demos (1991) Tracklist.
Comment: This demo was recorded shortly after James LaBrie entered the band. It led to
Dream Theater's 7-album record deal with ATCO Atlantic.
Single: Another Day (1992) Tracklist.
CD: Images & Words (1992) Tracklist.
Lineup: James LaBrie - Vocals, John Petrucci - Guitars, John Myung - Bass, Mike Portnoy - Drums, Kevin Moore - Keyboards, Jay Beckenstein - Saxophone
Single: Lie (1994) Tracklist.
Single: The Silent Man (1994) Tracklist.
CD: Awake (1994) Tracklist.
Lineup: James LaBrie - Vocals, John Petrucci - Guitars, John Myung - Bass, Mike Portnoy - Drums, Kevin Moore - Keyboards
Comment: Tracks 4-6 make up the "A Mind Beside Itself" trilogy.
EP: A Change of Seasons (1995) Tracklist.
Lineup: James LaBrie - Vocals, John Petrucci - Guitars, John Myung - Bass, Mike Portnoy - Drums, Derek Sherinian - Keyboards
Single: Hollow Years (1997) Tracklist.
Comment: You Or Me" is the demo version of "You Not Me".

Japanese Version contains 2 bonus tracks: "Burning My Soul" (live) & "Another Hand - The Killing Hand" (live).
CD: Falling Into Infinity (1997) Tracklist.
Comment: Backing vocals on "Lines In The Sand" by Doug Pinnick of King's X.
CD: Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory (1999) Tracklist.
Lineup: James LaBrie - Vocals, John Petrucci - Guitars, John Myung - Bass, Mike Portnoy - Drums, Jordan Rudess - Keyboards
Single: Through Her Eyes (2000) Tracklist.
CD: Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence (2002) Tracklist.
Comment: The song "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" is 42:04 minutes long and takes up the entire length of the second disc; it is divided into 8 parts.
Single: As I Am (2003) Tracklist.
CD: Train of Thought (2003) Tracklist.
Comment: Cello on "Vacant" by Eugene Friesen.

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