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“Greatest Hit (…and 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs)” by Dream Theater

Artist: Dream Theater
Title: “Greatest Hit (…and 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs)
Label: Rhino Entertainment
Release Date: 4/1/2008
Genre: Progressive Metal
Rating: 4/5

It’s an amazing title and very tongue in cheek but indeed it is quite correct in the fact that Dream Theater, despite all of their incredible albums, have only enjoyed conventional radio “popularity” with a solitary song – and that tune is “Pull Me Under”. This little piece of historical fact brings us to the bands first ever compilation release “Greatest Hit (and 21 Other Really Good Songs)”, an album that painstakingly digs around for that long revered track and puts it together with a solid batch of other songs that any Dream Theater fan would proudly stand behind. “Pull Me Under” hit the charts in 1992 from the album “Images And Words” and is the opening track on the release. Often referred to as the bands most well-known song, it went as high as a number 10 position on the Billboard Magazine Mainstream Rock charts. It’s not a bad achievement for a band like this who for the most part delivers epic and astounding displays of technical proficiency with each and every release, but then again it is a bit of a surprise that this is the only song that enjoyed such a level of success. The compilation presents the listener with two sides, and while one is Dark, the other comes presented as Light. The explanation of this is that the Dark Side is more of the bands Metal aspect (not a “Luke I am your Father” kind of thing), while the Light side is the more conventional, and softer melodic numbers that they have done over the years. As a collection this double CD release covers quite a bit of ground and gives you songs from the bands sophomore release “Images And Words” all the way up until “Octavarium”. I’m not certain why their debut “When Dream and Day Unite” is left omitted as I still enjoy quite a few songs from that one today but perhaps it had to do with licensing. It’s a really great collection but if you are looking for the bands most epic numbers then you should be aware that none are to be found here. Let’s face it, the collection would span about six individual CD’s if they were to deliver some of these extended pieces in one place. Of course that could very well be the next collection we find released and just imagine how cool a “Dream Theater: The Epics Grandiose” would be. While most of the tracks are the original presentations from the albums, we find remixed versions of three of the songs by Kevin Shirley. These tracks are “Pull Me Under”, “Take The Time” and “Another Day”.
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