Author Topic: Official DT Top 50 Thread Mark II (bss4life15 up now - starting page 79)  (Read 256150 times)

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Offline Jaffa

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Re: Official DT Top 50 Thread Mark II (Jaffa Up Now - starting Page 7)
« Reply #420 on: April 18, 2012, 08:30:16 AM »
Well, here we are, nothing left to post but my number one pick.  Before I do, though, I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone who has followed my list.  I've had fun reading your responses, and I hope you had some measure of fun reading my write-ups.  I know some of my choices have been controversial, but I hope I have been entertaining.  I had fun making and posting this list, so hopefully someone out there had some fun reading it. 

Without further ado...


01. Take the Time

When I think about all the words in the English language, no word springs to my mind which is more fitting for this song than Ďmagicalí.  Thatís what it is for me: pure magic. 

Some of this songís luster for me comes from sentimental value.  I wonít dwell too long on this point, but just for a little background information, I was at a pretty rough point in my life when I first bought Images and Words.  I wasnít happy, and I didnít have the motivation to change anything.  And as corny as it sounds, I can honestly say that I believe this song changed my life.  No song has ever made me feel as good as Take the Time does.  Thereís something about it that is so emotional for me, something very powerful and very uplifting and very inspirational and very fun.  It has this incredible atmosphere that just keeps sucking me in, no matter how many times I hear it.  It became an anthem for me, an anthem of change, of being able to do whatever I set my mind to.  The bottom line is, it inspired me to start making some changes in my life, and I believe those changes have been for the better.

So I canít deny that part of the reason this song occupies the top spot in my list is pure sentimentality.  It will always have very special place in my heart, because I honestly feel it has helped me make myself a better person.

But sentimentality aside, I still think this song is a work of musical genius. 

There are two major things about it which I feel make it a standout in the Dream Theater discography.  First of all, it has its own unique musical style that I donít think theyíve touched since.  Itís such a smooth fusion of genres, a melting pot of jazz and funk and progressive metal, with flares of classical and new age music in it at times as well.  It has its own feeling, its own atmosphere, unmatched by anything else theyíve ever done.

It is also a song with lyrical contributions from every band member.  And not only did every member contribute lyrics, but I feel every member did a damn good job with the lyrics they contributed.  The result is a song that every band member is equally invested in and equally passionate about, and this shows in the music, where the band plays as a cohesive unit, complementing each other and working together to make something truly special. 

In my mind this song also represents the pinnacle of James Labrieís melodic singing.  JLB is simply breathtaking in this song.  I know it doesnít contain his most famous moment, but Iíll take the Pensive Fear section over the famous F5 any day of the week, myself.  The vocal melodies throughout are gorgeous, and the chorus especially is spectacular and extremely catchy.

In fact, in my mind, this is the pinnacle of pretty much everyone.  Petrucciís outro solo is phenomenal, Myung is fantastic all over the place, the keyboards are amazing, and the drumming is as solid as anything Portnoyís ever done. 

From intro to outro, thereís not a moment of it I donít love. 

What all of this adds up to is my favorite Dream Theater song, and possibly my favorite song of all time.  I honestly canít think of enough hyperbole to give this song the praise it deserves. 

I donít wear a hat, but if I did, it would be off to this song. 
Sincerely,
Jaffa

Offline BlobVanDam

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Re: Official DT Top 50 Thread Mark II (Jaffa Up Now - starting Page 7)
« Reply #421 on: April 18, 2012, 09:09:18 AM »
OMG Jaffa I love you now. TTT is just plain fucking awesome. Definitely top 3 for me (really hard to separate those top few).

:metal
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Offline theseoafs

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Re: Official DT Top 50 Thread Mark II (Jaffa Up Now - starting Page 7)
« Reply #422 on: April 18, 2012, 09:19:24 AM »
Eh, I feel it's placed way too high (although TTT is probably somewhere in my top 25). I understand the sentimentality, though, and your writeup was excellent. :tup

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: Official DT Top 50 Thread Mark II (Jaffa Up Now - starting Page 7)
« Reply #423 on: April 18, 2012, 09:45:53 AM »
That's a great song, no doubt. 

Nice work on your list!
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Offline ?

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Re: Official DT Top 50 Thread Mark II (Jaffa Up Now - starting Page 7)
« Reply #424 on: April 18, 2012, 09:54:45 AM »
ACOS is in my top 3 too, and while TTT is a surprising choice for #1 and I wouldn't have it nearly that high, it's still a great song.

Offline serrano

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Re: Official DT Top 50 Thread Mark II (Jaffa Up Now - starting Page 7)
« Reply #425 on: April 18, 2012, 09:57:28 AM »
TTT would not even be my favorite on I&W but I can understand why it's on #1. It's not a big surprise to see it on #1 a Top 50 list because it is a masterpiece, no doubt.

Nice list, controversial, but controversial is good.

Offline BlackInk

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Re: Official DT Top 50 Thread Mark II (Jaffa Up Now - starting Page 7)
« Reply #426 on: April 18, 2012, 09:59:57 AM »
Nice number one pick. It is actually a great song, though I don't listen to it very often.

And nice list Jaffa, I enjoyed reading it.

Offline iamtheeviltwin

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Re: Official DT Top 50 Thread Mark II (Jaffa Up Now - starting Page 7)
« Reply #427 on: April 18, 2012, 10:12:29 AM »
Great list and nice write-ups Jaffa.  I love seeing what others think about these songs and why they are liked by someone.  ACOS of course will be in most people's top 20 somewhere, but TTT is a nice choice for #1 that goes well with the unique flavor of your list.

Now for the next one to start :)

Offline Mladen

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Re: Official DT Top 50 Thread Mark II (Jaffa Up Now - starting Page 7)
« Reply #428 on: April 18, 2012, 10:38:49 AM »
Wow, I actually guessed it. Not too often do people rank Take the time that high, but rarely does someone leave it out of their top 50. Needless to say, it's a great song.

And the list was a lot of fun, good job.  :tup

Offline alirocker08

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Re: Official DT Top 50 Thread Mark II (Jaffa Up Now - starting Page 7)
« Reply #429 on: April 18, 2012, 11:27:16 AM »
Very well done Jaffa, excellent list :)

Now, I'll be starting my list up tomorrow as I've just missed two evenings of school work and a day at school with two essays due in tomorrow...Yep, I'm an idiot. Now I'm going away for the 28th and 29th so if for whatever reason my list isn't done by then I'll email my write ups to Jonny108 to post up in my absence depending on where I am in the list...But if I'm already into my top 5 then I wont send them to him...Lets call it building suspense ;)

Also, disclaimer: After reading through a lot of my write ups I decided that they sounded like they were trying too hard, so they slowly progress into my trains of thought whilst listening to the song, I apologise in advance for any confusion, non-nonsensicalness or general silliness in my write ups as they progress, it's like watching me go mad
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Offline Zydar

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Re: Official DT Top 50 Thread Mark II (Jaffa Up Now - starting Page 7)
« Reply #430 on: April 18, 2012, 11:45:43 AM »
Great choice, Jaffa. I'd completely overlooked that song when I was trying to figure out your #1 DT song.
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Offline Jaffa

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Re: Official DT Top 50 Thread Mark II (Jaffa Up Now - starting Page 7)
« Reply #431 on: April 18, 2012, 12:37:09 PM »
Thanks everybody.   ;D  I think I'll respond to each comment individually, just because it's my last day in the spotlight and dammit I'm going to enjoy it.

BlobVanDam:  :blush  :heart  I agree with your assessment: fucking awesome song.   :metal

theseoafs:  Thank you.  To be perfectly honest, the main reason I wanted to do a top 50 in the first place was to have a stage on which to gush about Take the Time, so I'm glad the write-up was enjoyable. 

hefdaddy42:  Thanks boss.  And sorry for how much of a pain I was about deciding whether or not to go through with this.   ;)

?:  :smiley:

serrano:  Thanks.  Glad you enjoyed it. 

BlackInk:  Well, go listen to it.  Right now.  That goes for all of you.  ...  :D  Anyway, thanks.

iamtheeviltwin:  Thank you very much.  Especially if you actually read all of the write-ups - I'm guessing a lot of people did not.   :lol

Mladen:  Haha, yeah, I was a little discouraged when you, the first person to take a serious guess, got it right.  But oh well.  Kudos for your intuition!  And, thanks. 

alirocker08: Thank you.  And I'll be looking forward to reading your list, too! 

Zydar:  Thanks.


Again, my thanks to everyone who took the time to read this. 
Sincerely,
Jaffa

Offline BlackInk

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Re: Official DT Top 50 Thread Mark II (Jaffa Up Now - starting Page 7)
« Reply #433 on: April 18, 2012, 03:20:22 PM »
Nice pick, man!
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Offline FlyingBIZKIT

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Re: Official DT Top 50 Thread Mark II (Jaffa Up Now - starting Page 7)
« Reply #434 on: April 18, 2012, 03:29:19 PM »
I loved reading your Top 50, Jaffa. You have so many controversial picks on there, it makes it very fun and worth looking at. Nice #1, with a great writeup.  :tup

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Re: Official DT Top 50 Thread Mark II (Jaffa Up Now - starting Page 7)
« Reply #435 on: April 18, 2012, 03:30:33 PM »
Well done ;D
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Re: Official DT Top 50 Thread Mark II (Jaffa Up Now - starting Page 7)
« Reply #436 on: April 18, 2012, 03:42:22 PM »
Excellent #1 choice. I have no sentimental attatchment to the song but once I got into it I just for some reason found it one of the most "listenable" DT songs - I could always put it on and listen to it no matter how often I heard it. That alone doesn't make it better than others, but it's just got so many great things going for it: the "unbroken spirit" verse (that I believe to be Kevin Moore's) is one of my favourite lyrical / vocal moments, the chorus is fantastic and actually the guitar solo and keyboard solo are among my favourite of all DT solos. And as you touched upon, it is a really unique song, and while I feel like they have since done things like the other great I&W songs Metropolis and Learning To Live, they really have never done another song that's like Take The Time. As good as those two songs are I'd still rank Take The Time as my favourite from that album.

Offline wolfandwolfandwolf

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Re: Official DT Top 50 Thread Mark II (Jaffa Up Now - starting Page 7)
« Reply #437 on: April 18, 2012, 03:45:22 PM »
I've been lurking and reading this thread, really loved Jaffa's list.

Also, would love a go at this.  Add me to the list :)


Offline FlyingBIZKIT

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Re: Official DT Top 50 Thread Mark II (Jaffa Up Now - starting Page 7)
« Reply #438 on: April 18, 2012, 03:46:46 PM »
I think Jaffa went at a good pace, because it kept people interested, but it wasn't rushed.

Offline jonny108

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Re: Official DT Top 50 Thread Mark II (Jaffa Up Now - starting Page 7)
« Reply #439 on: April 18, 2012, 06:18:39 PM »
Great list Jaffa! Loved reading it.  :)

Offline Onno

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Re: Official DT Top 50 Thread Mark II (Jaffa Up Now - starting Page 7)
« Reply #440 on: April 19, 2012, 06:32:51 AM »
Great list, I really enjoyed reading it  :metal

Offline alirocker08

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Re: Official DT Top 50 Thread Mark II (Jaffa Up Now - starting Page 7)
« Reply #441 on: April 19, 2012, 08:54:37 AM »
Right then everybody, are you sitting comfortably? Good, then we'll begin!

50:  Regression
   The nostalgia factor immediately comes into play with Regression, as it was the first Dream Theater song I ever heard. I was eight or nine years old and dear old Jon had just won a mini iPod in a competition through Walkerís CrispsÖAnd by mini iPod, I mean the colourless, horribly pixelated iPod whose screen looked like the very first Nintendo Gameboy (Yes, I did own one of them). But I digress, basically Jon tricked me into believing it was a self hypnosis track. A few years later, we watched the Live Scenes from New York DVD and it finally all made sense. Musically, it isnít anything special. However, placed into the context of the album it is a perfect opener for such a sad and emotional story. I donít think any other kind of opening would have suited, and it certainly wouldnít have cemented Dream Theater as one of my favourite bands of all time if my first album hadnít opened with the metronome and the acoustic.

49:  Ytse Jam
   Spoiler alert: This is the only song off of When Dream and Day Unite that I have on my list, Jamesí vocals have always been a defining part of Dream Theaterís sound and, although I find the musicianship amazingÖLetís just say Iím not a huge fan of Charlie Dominici!

   Now thatís out of the way lets talk about the song. Iím listening to it right now in fact. Where to begin on a song that I have no gloriously uninteresting anecdote to recount? Well, seeing as itís an instrumental, I feel that the musician ship is a good place to start. Wow. To think that these guys were so young when they wrote and performed this is mind boggling. The transitions are incredibly smooth between the different sections, and each member gets a pretty even chance to shine. The guitars? Incredible. I admit, there arenít any riffs that I can recount off of the top of my head like almost every other Dream Theater song, but itís rather astonishing just how powerful it is none the less. Drums are equally powerful and the Keys accentuate the piece perfectly. So yeah, pretty good song, but for me, nothing memorable.

48:  Lifting Shadows Off A Dream
   My first Awake song on the list! Every time I come back to listening to this song I realise how I forget how enchanting that opening minute is. Jamesí vocals are soft where needs be which is a side the music sometimes lacks in later albums (Systematic Chaos, Iím looking at you!). As youíll find throughout my list, I do tend to love DT songs with carefully woven lyrics, which is probably why Lifting Shadows is in my list. But thereís something about the song that seems a bit off to me. The tone of the song fits the title perfectly, but the overall song seems somewhatÖCorny? Iím not sure to be honest. Sure, I sing along to the song whenever it comes on because Iím a completely unabashedly embarrassing personÖBut lets face it, I tend to do that for most Dream Theater songs anyway.

47:  Surrounded
   My First song from Images and Words now! Iím popping a lot of album cherries with this first part of my listÖ

   Wait, that was a poor choice of words. Let me start again

   Another uplifting song hmm? Itís definitely the latter half of my list that will demonstrate why my friends, without listening to a full Dream Theater album, is Ďdepressing shití. Itís a nice song Surrounded, yet again, Jamesí vocals are perfect. The keyboards arenít over exaggerated and complement the melody wonderfully when coupled with the Synth (at least I think itís a Synth, letís face it, I know fuck all about music) and the Guitar. Drums are eased in nicely, and the bass is audible. Saying that though, it isnít particularly special in my eyes. A good song? Yes. Better than almost all the crap churned out by mainstream musicians nowadays? Certainly. But comparing it to the rest of the catalogue there are songs that I enjoy far more.

46:  Lie
   I just searched for Lie on my iTunes so I could listen to it whilst typing this outÖDream Theater certainly like putting Ďlieí in their titles although admittedly, most of them are from live albums so Iíll stop this point now. Iím amazed that I havenít resorted to abbreviating Dream Theater to DT yet. Iíll shut up now.

   The first Ďheavyí song on my list. The first section of the song is somewhat radio friendly which I can hardly criticise the band for- Itís the kind of shit Iíd love to be played on the radio. Itís a strong song certainly, powerful, but it isnít really a stand out song for me in terms of the album. The instrumental? Canít fault it, heavy, abrupt, certainly and fits the subject matter of the song. And then thereís the softer one coming in at about 5 minutes in, it really breaks up the song and is quite jarringÖI completely forgot that it existed until it came on a moment ago. But in comparison to the restÖMeh.

   I donít know, I guess Iím just pissed off at the song because there is no way on earth I could cover it, damn shouty vocals!
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Offline Jaffa

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Re: Official DT Top 50 Thread Mark II (Jaffa Up Now - starting Page 7)
« Reply #442 on: April 19, 2012, 09:30:42 AM »
Good start.  Despite your concerns, I think your list is going to be quite entertaining to read.   :tup
Sincerely,
Jaffa

Offline alirocker08

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Re: Official DT Top 50 Thread Mark II (Jaffa Up Now - starting Page 7)
« Reply #443 on: April 19, 2012, 09:35:52 AM »
Oh believe me, it gets more entertaining...or annoying depending on your point of view :')
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Offline BlobVanDam

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Nice start. Nothing there that I'd really place higher, and a few I'd place much lower, but nothing controversial.......... yet. :P All within the range they deserve to be though.

(ps. glad you hear that Ytse Jam is the only WDADU track to make the cut)
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Offline Zydar

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Hey, save Surrounded for your Top 10 :P
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Offline BlackInk

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All of these is pretty mediocre Dream Theater songs to me. None I'm crazy about but as Blob said, nothing controversial yet and they are all in a placement I can understand.

Offline namgalsipsclar

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Nice start :tup Lifting Shadows and Surrounded would be top 10 for me

Offline Mladen

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Nice start, I love Lifting shadows and Surrounded. You don't see Regression in someone's top 50 very often, so that was a surprise.  :smiley:

Offline theseoafs

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Hey, save Surrounded for your Top 10 :P

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Offline Onno

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Agree with your point about Dominci; I like songs from WDADU a lot more if they're played live with James.

Offline senecadawg2

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Surrounded, incredible song. The rest are awesome as well...
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Offline Flacracker

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Lifting Shadows definitely is a cool song. The first part is so dark with the bass line and so uplifting with the strings. You can hear the songs tone change over the course of the song.

Offline alirocker08

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Thanks for the comments guys :) I can only hope that you'll grow to hate my musical tastes as the list progresses! And so, without further ado, here comes the next batch!

Warning: Some of these have me trying to use my brain, ('Awwww, bless her, she thinks she has intelligent opinions!')

45:  The Count of Tuscany
   I was initially going to put this song a lot higher on my list, definitely in the top ten, but then I realised somethingÖI really shouldnít let lyrics define how much Iím into a song, because after listening to the lyrics again and again trying to cover the songÖIt pushed this song right back into number 45. I mean, since the album was released me and Jon have basically taken the piss out of the lyric ĎAll the finest wines/ Improve with ageí. I mean come on Petrucci, what were you thinking? The musicianship is certainly some of the best on Black Clouds and Silver Linings (still not abbreviating!), itís technical, itís beautiful, a bit of wankery here and there but it isnít completely unnecessary, and for the most part, the transitions are smooth. Not much bass admittedly, but itís all good. And the final five minutes or so? Nothing short of sublime, itís the perfect change of pace and the lyrics fit. But unfortunately, it isnít enough to drag the song up any higher on my list.

   ĎLet me introduceÖMy brother!í

   Come on guys.

44:  The Mirror
   Interesting fact: My iTunes likes Mirrors, a lot. I have too many songs with Mirror in the title. Iím not sure what it is about this song which appeals to me over some of Dream Theaterís songsÖI think itís the contrast between the vocals. Jamesí voice wells with emotion, flicking from helpless to angry to desperate, it really represents the sincerity of the subject matter. The main melody, for the most part, is very basic but it suitís the song. Everything has itís place. Plus, the samples were pretty well chosen (although, I donít think they needed to repeat ĎWhat are you doing?í twice) I think the samples could have been mixed in a little better, because as Iím typing I canít hear a lot of them properly, and even when the rooms silent I struggle to understand what theyíre saying.

   But that might just be me, I bought my speakers four years ago from Argos for £9

43:  The Silent Man

   Another acoustic song! There is no instrumental wankery, which is always a plus in my book. Itís a plain, simple ballad, the keys only added to complement the acoustic, andÖis that those shakey things that I used to play with in primary school that I can hear? And OMFG STRINGS! (Yes, youíll find that string instruments are also the key to my heart when it comes to any kind of music) I canít really fault it, itís just down to personal opinion I suppose. And in my personal opinionÖI prefer other songs, sorry guys!

42:  Forsaken
   I have to admit, I didnít realise what this song was about at first. I was on the bus on the way back from school when it hit meÖAnd then I had a complete spazz attack on the bus and got a lot of funny looks because of my reaction. Thank god I didnít scream out ĎVampires!í on the bus or a may have been carted off to the funny farm. The introduction is very reminiscent of X-files to me for some reason or other, and itís one of the best written vampire songs I think Iíve ever heard. (Interesting fact: when I type in ĎVampireí on iTunes I get 52 results. None of them, thankfully, sparkle) The music video is probablyÖNo, definitely the best one theyíve put out in my opinion, and itís also the first Dream Theater song I heard live. Ever. And just like on the bus, I had a bit of a spazz attack when they started playing it.

   But unlike on the bus, I sang along to it at the top of my lungs.

41:  Voices
   The opening to Voices has a very creepy opening ambience in my opinion that sends shivers down my spine when I first hear it after a long time. The transitions are smooth between the soft and gentle and the more angry and powerful sections. Jamesí voice? Lovely. Considering thatís the title Iíd expect there to be a lot of emphasis on the vocals, and they are pretty damn wonderful and are really the highlight of the song for me, along with the keyboards. The mix definitely gets itís priorities right with the song, not to say that the instruments take a back seat. That would be doing the song a huge injustice. I do feel it could have been heavier though, something about it just doesnít seem right which feels a lot better on the Live Scenes from New York version, it just feels a lot better despite the vocals going a littleÖoff in places. The song just feels all together better live than it does in the studio version, everything seems a lot less muted and unbalanced, and the vocals still take precedence. Anyone fancy remastering the song for me?
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