Though it demonstrated an gratifying and fairly modern mix of Nineteen Eighties heavy steel and Seventies progressive rock, Dream Theater’s debut LP — 1989’s When Dream and Day Unite — didn’t precisely set the world aflame.
As mentioned in Wealthy Wilson’s ebook Lifting Shadows: The Approved Biography of Dream Theater, the primary causes for its lackluster reception and gross sales have been poor manufacturing, poor advertising and marketing from Mechanic/MCA Data, and the incongruous nature of vocalist Charlie Dominici.
“[He] was 37 years previous, form of brief and stocky with brief curly hair, simply didn’t seem like one in every of us . . . it was at all times like making an attempt to have Billy Joel sing with Queensrÿche or Iron Maiden. It simply didn’t work,” founding drummer Mike Portnoy advised Wilson.
Fortunately, a number of daring however mandatory modifications (shifting to ATCO Data, bringing on producer David Prater, and most significantly, changing Dominici with James LaBrie) yielded a much more commercially and creatively profitable follow-up: Pictures and Phrases.
Thirty years later, the LP is rightly thought to be one in every of their most rewarding and impactful works. With its excellent songwriting and delightfully vibrant and refined instrumentation, it paved the way in which not just for their consequent information however for the trajectory of recent progressive steel on the whole.
Delving additional into the addition of LaBrie, roughly 200 singers (together with Fates Warning’s John Arch) have been auditioned earlier than the remaining members landed on him. After spending a number of days testing out their skilled and private chemistries, LaBrie’s towering vocal vary and acquiescent character made him the clear choose.
In a 2017 interview with the Official Dream Theater Fan Membership, LaBrie revealed that he was initially hesitant to fly to New York to fulfill the troupe, in addition to hesitant to doubtlessly depart his present band, Winter Rose.