The Dream Theater Challenge…

Since Dream Theater has been profiled with song of the day and album of the week lately at A Metal State of Mind, I thought a DT challenge would be appropriate for us prog-metal listeners out there. Are you up for the challenge?  Here are the rules:

1.  You are allowed one (1) 80 minute CD.

2.  With this CD you must maximize the time to put together your best Dream Theater playlist.

3.  At the end of the week; sometime this weekend when you have time, reply to this article and let us know what songs you picked and why…if you want to go that far.

4.  What will you get out of it?  The best DT single CD mix you have ever made; perfect for the home, vehicle, or air travel.

Just imagine yourself being shipped off to a deserted island with a solar-powered CD player and all you can take with you besides items for survival is one CD.  You decided on Dream Theater.  So what songs with you take with you?

Will you cram the CD full of Dream Theaters shortest songs to get the most of it?  Or will you say screw and just take your favorites even if it means only three songs.  What will you do?  What WILL you do?  The gauntlet is thrown.  If you want to play and I hope you do, see you in a few days with your full report/playlist.

About Reggie

Just a dude writing a heavy metal blog and always on the prowl for a cool metal show. I am also a family man...first and foremost!

Posted on March 29, 2011, in Ramblings and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Great post, this is a fun one. Let’s see, this is a real tough one, bu after a bit of thought, I came to the conclusion I would just bring Metropolis II:Scenes from a Memory. Reason being, other than the great musicianship, the one thing that I love most about DT is their ability to make great concept album, something I am a huge fan of from the get go. And what would be my favorite “story” concept album of all time, well, Metropolis II. Also, this also has to do with the way I mainly listen to music. I find myself listening to albums as a whole than I do listening to single songs and Metropolis II is the kind of album that needs to be played from front to back, the songs work so much better when listened to as 1 complete work instead of breaking up the songs. “Home” is a great song, but listening to it after “Through Her Eyes” you get taken from the mellow feel of that song and slowly brought into the madness that is “Home”. So, Metropolis II for my DT mix cd.

    And for craps and giggles, here’s my alternate take:
    1:Pull Me Under- It’s the song that got me into DT when a friend introduced me to the band many a year ago, and scored me extra credit in school when the teacher asked us to bring in music that was influenced by Hamlet, which we were studying at the time. You should have seen the look on her face when she realized she’d have to listen to some progressive metal, lol

    2:Take the Time- One of my fave DT songs, it’s so groovy and fun and I really dig the lyrics on this one.

    3:A Change of Seasons- Do I really need to explain this one?

    4:Peruvian Skies- My favorite song from one of DTs most underrated albums “Falling to Infinity’. I like how the mellow transgresses to trippy and then to heavy.

    5: The Glass Prison- One of DTs most rocking songs. And did you ever notice that the beginning of 6 Degrees matches up with the end of Metropolis II with the static and how some musical themes run throughout the 2 albums more or less making a super album. Maybe I’ve listened to these 2 albums too much.

    6: Home- Well, I got to include something from my top DT album.

    7: Space Dye Vest- And to close off the mix with a nice mellow somber number. And this song is a great swan song to their original keyboardist Kevin Moore, his playing on this song is beyond emotional.

    This was a fun one, maybe one week we try to do it with another prog metal band, like Opeth.

  2. This one was tough for me even though I posted the challenge. Initially I was going to just pick my favorite songs, but then I decided I wanted as much of DT as I could cram on a CD without just picking their shorter songs.

    In order on my DT compilation are:

    1. Hell’s Kitchen – I wanted at least one instrumental and this is the one that I listen to most. I used it as my opening song for my Air Force PT test. I know it’s slow, but by the time the song is over my heartbeat has regulated and I can then start to push myself faster. Then I transition from DT to heavy songs to motivate me for a strong finish.

    2. Pull me Under (2007) Remix. This was the one that got me into DT as well. When I first heard it on the radio, of all places in Oklahoma, I thought it was a new Metal Church song. Of course, the DJ never said who it was. I found out later on when I watched Headbanger’s ball and there it was.

    3. Constant Motion – I really like this song, it reminds me a little of Pulll Me Under…a song a Mike Portnoy described as a song with balls and chunk.

    4. The Test That Stumped Them All – This is my heavy DT section of the CD. This was also my first favorite off Six Degrees. More Balls and Chunk…whatever that means.

    5. Wither (Piano Version) – A haunting song with just James and Jordan. This is a great song and if you haven’t heard it yet, it’s worth the download. It’s the Wither single release. It really is an amazing piece.

    6. 6:00 – This DT song captures all the elements of the band and their unique talents. If there was one song to describe anything that DT can do, I would play this…of course there is more than just this one, but this is a good one. It’s got a bit of everything and plays nicely after Wither.

    7. About to Crash – Another great one off Six Degrees. It flows nicely in the order it’s in. This song is a great story.

    8. The Silent Man – Another great song, but I admit I had a little time left and I thought this would fit the album perfectly. I do really like this song a lot and for the sake of time it was either this song or One Last Time off Metropolis II.

    9. The Great Debate – This one I kind of rediscovered for me. Initially I don’t remember giving it that much credit. So this one is still fresh in my mind and I like how DT is not afraid to tackle touchy subjects.

    10. The Count of Tuscany – I could have fit three more songs instead of just this one, but this 19-minute epic is just music to my ears.

    Why did I not pick anything off Metropolis II? Well, i thought that one song of that album wouldn’t fit a DT mix. Metropolis II is in its way perfect as it is. Any time I listen to one song off that CD it feels out of place. So I didn’t pick it. And I don’t blame you (housebroken) for taking that whole album with you. It is a great one.

    Some close calls – Octavarium, Peruvian Skies, Home, Under a Glass Moon, The Spirit Carries On, In The Name of God, A Nightmare to Remember. These songs were all up for consideration. In the end, I burned my mix to CD, and feel as if I made my best DT mix yet. Making a DT mix on one CD was always very hard to do. Thank you for playing. I thought this was fun to do.

  3. Cool challenge! I know I’m late in posting my replies, I found this blog just a couple of days ago. But I’m in anyway 🙂
    Fun to read your lists!
    Let me see…

  4. A cd perfect for all times, especially for when you’re stranded on an deserted island 😉

    I just listened through all the cd’s and picked the ones I liked best without looking at how long the songs were. Came up with a list of 20 songs. Only 11 of them will fit in 80 minutes, if I’ve done the counting correctly. Hard to choose, no time for space between songs!

    I do agree that you can’t really split up Metropolis II: Scenes from a memory, it’s hard to choose a couple of songs from that cd without wanting them all. But, one that nearly made my list was “Overture 1928”, which to me almost sums up the feeling of the whole cd in one song. It’s so good!

    For some reason I have many songs from “Images and words”…

    1. Metropolis Part 1 – The miracle and the sleeper – is my first choice. This song represents DT for me. When someone mentions DT, this is the song that starts playing in my head. I love the.. what do you call it.. “infrequent flow” 😛 and the drums. It just doesn’t get boring, ever.

    2. Surrounded – Another one from Images and Words, it has always been a favourite. The beginning with the singing, and then when the guitar kicks in… ahhh, it’s the greatest moment of the song! And the guitars after 3:40, wohoo 😀 Yes, it’s weird that only two moments like that can make the whole song so good that it makes this list, I can’t explain it.

    3. Build me up, break me down – For a little harder, little more “electronic” feeling. This song is quite different from the others, in my opinion, and the chorus gets stuck in my head. Great lyrics, great singing.

    4. Take the time – Groovy, uplifting, fast. Good lyrics too!

    5. Misunderstood – I absolutely love the whole CD “Six degrees” and its theme, but this song has a special place in my heart. Kind of an “old” feeling over this one. I like the vocals and Petrucci’s work in this song.

    6. Pull me under – There’s nothing like going for a walk with this song in your ears, turn up the volume, such a perfect walking pace! One of their absolute best songs. I like the speed and power in this one.

    7. Sacrificed sons – It’s not because of what the song is about. Everything fits so well together in this song, and the keyboards are amazing. A song that stands out.

    8. Peruvian Skies – Beautiful beginning, awesome guitar. Builds up nicely with a cool ending.

    9. About to crash – Great vocals and lyrics. And keyboards.. and drums.. and everything.

    10. Eve – Unexpected choice, maybe. This song is perfect to me, I can’t get enough of it. Makes me happy and sad at the same time, it’s so beautiful. Until my boyfriend said it sounded like “wedding music”! WTH! Yeah, that ruined it a bit… trying to recover… 😦

    11. Anna- Lee – A good ending song. The emotional vocals and the piano-sound creates a wonderful mood. And when the guitar and keyboard comes in, it’s even better. A cheesy ballad to some, but brings back good memories to me.

    Nearly made the list: Solitary Shell, A change of seasons, Forsaken, Learning to live, I. Overture and Trial of Tears.
    It took me several hours to do this.. what a great night I’ve had! Thanks for creating this challenge.

    • That’s a great list of songs there. Thank you for playing along. I usually do themes like this actually when my creative juices are not flowing well. I like to make mixed CDs anyway for use in my car. I like “About to Crash” and every other song on Inner Turbulence. Sorry, your BF ruined “Eve” for you. I still have my Dream Theater challenge CD in the car. 😉

  5. Thank you! 🙂 This was a really good idea for finding new inspiration in the music. Our lists were very different in the end.. that’s cool.

    I must say though, I have listened to “Images and Words”, “Awake”, “Falling to infinity” and “Metropolis pt 2” a million times, way, way more than all the later albums that came after Metropolis. Maybe my list will change when those albums get as many plays as the earlier ones. Who knows.

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