Author Topic: The influence of Jesus Jones on 'Scenes from a Memory'  (Read 1421 times)

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Offline voncorn

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The influence of Jesus Jones on 'Scenes from a Memory'
« on: May 22, 2022, 03:08:14 PM »
Upon re-watching the Metropolis 2000 DVD with the commentary track recently, I stumbled into something I felt was a not *huge* influence, but still a notable influence on Scenes from a Memory. And surprisingly, I searched and wasn't able to find any discussion pertaining to this on this forum, leading me to believe that this may not even be widely known among the most fanatical of DT fanatics.

During the commentary track when the band is playing "Beyond This Life", Mike Portnoy calls a certain section (it's the chorus I believe) the "Jesus Jones section". Of course, I had to investigate and find out more about Jesus Jones. The specific Jesus Jones song isn't mentioned, but it didn't take long for me to find it from listening to their best selling album 'Doubt' from 1991. If you're unfamiliar with Jesus Jones and their hit single "Right Here Right Now", you should be able to immediately recognize in the first verse alone the influence here on that part in BTL:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MznHdJReoeo

To be honest, Jesus Jones is not at all my thing and I'm in no way trying to accuse DT of plagiarism or whatever. But I found too many examples of what I can only conclude as subconsciously being influenced by Jesus Jones - 'Doubt' for it to just be a coincidence.

The Beyond This Life chorus is the only example of where DT were musically influenced by JJ, at least that I could pinpoint. The real kicker is in the lyrics, which became quite apparent to me as I listened to the entire 'Doubt' album from start to finish (it's not a very good album, by the way lol).

Here's a few lyrics to track 2 "Who? Where? Why?":

Quote
[Chorus]
Who am I?
Where am I?
Why do I feel this way?
Where am I?
Why do I feel this way?

[Verse 1]
Have you ever felt that it's someone else
Living your life?
The image of you, only better, it's true
At the outside, at the outside
At the outside, at the outside


And here's track 8 "Welcome Back Victoria":

Quote
Welcome back Victoria
Since you've gone you know that no-one's really missed you
Welcome back Victoria
And now your friends watch over everything
That we-ee do

Welcome back Victoria
So the pendulum swings back
Welcome back Victoria
You went away, OK
We got a little slack

And once again you'll cover up
What you don't understand
Don't close your eyes
You can't hide behind your hands

It's obvious that the Victoria in question is referring to the Victorian era, not a woman named Victoria, but come on! Of all the names to pick for Victoria Page, this has to be what influenced that decision.

If reading the above lyrics didn't give you a sense of "strange deja vu" of many of the lyrical themes echoed on SfaM, I don't know what to tell you! My highly unverified guess is that Petrucci listened to this album a lot and in turn, a few ideas from it subconsciously influenced his own lyrical contributions and even musically in one case.   


 

Offline HOF

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Re: The influence of Jesus Jones on 'Scenes from a Memory'
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2022, 09:22:24 PM »
Right Here Right Now is an iconic 90s anthem, one that always carries a ton of nostalgia for me. I donít know that I hear any similarities between it and Beyond This Life other than maybe the kind of breathy vocal style is similar to how James sings. I guess the melodies in the choruses are somewhat similar but not obviously so.

Anyway, if you think that Jesus Jones album is a big influence, wait until you see the movie Dead Again. ;-)

Offline NoFred

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Re: The influence of Jesus Jones on 'Scenes from a Memory'
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2022, 12:11:20 AM »
Unrelated, just this weekend I was highlighting the history of metal to my son, played Pigs on the Wing and then Regression (he knew right away).

It happens.

Offline Madman Shepherd

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Re: The influence of Jesus Jones on 'Scenes from a Memory'
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2022, 06:48:56 AM »
Cool post and I remember them saying that in the commentary but I just can't see any similarity. That is kind of odd that they use the name Victoria too. Sometimes I wonder when they say things like that if it's just sort of a throwaway comment and then throughout the writing they keep referring to it as the "Jesus Jones section" for clarification. Maybe that is how they chose the name Victoria.

I have to disagree that the JJ album isn't good. I really dig that early 90s one hit wonder pop. It's probably a hefty dose of nostalgia though as I remember Right Here, Right Now being played every 30 minutes or so on the radio station they would play at my local pool. Around that same time played Joyride by Roxette, Richard Marx, Bryan Adams...oh man, now I'm on a nostalgia kick.

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: The influence of Jesus Jones on 'Scenes from a Memory'
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2022, 07:00:06 AM »
I don't think that Jesus Jones was a big influence, subconciously or otherwise, on DT in any way, shape, or form.  I would imagine that the comment from MP, who is a media sponge and most likely the only member of the band that had ever heard of Jesus Jones, was a throwaway joke comment because he knew of the superficial similarities.  Coincidence, that he later recognized.  Nothing more.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: The influence of Jesus Jones on 'Scenes from a Memory'
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2022, 07:01:53 AM »
I don't think that Jesus Jones was a big influence, subconciously or otherwise, on DT in any way, shape, or form.  I would imagine that the comment from MP, who is a media sponge and most likely the only member of the band that had ever heard of Jesus Jones, was a throwaway joke comment because he knew of the superficial similarities.  Coincidence, that he later recognized.  Nothing more.

This.

Offline pg1067

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Re: The influence of Jesus Jones on 'Scenes from a Memory'
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2022, 02:23:23 PM »
Pfft!

Jesus Jones wouldn't know a half-diminished court if it bit them in the ass.

 :)
"There's a bass solo in a song called Metropolis where I do a bass solo."  John Myung

Offline Dublagent66

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Re: The influence of Jesus Jones on 'Scenes from a Memory'
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2022, 04:35:01 PM »
Well, that probably explains why I never heard their shit.  Trying to remember if I ever heard of them.  I guess the name is vaguely familiar.  Not really up to speed on British Alternative Rock.
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Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: The influence of Jesus Jones on 'Scenes from a Memory'
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2022, 06:53:19 AM »
I only know the name from how ubiquitous their one hit was at the time.
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Offline pg1067

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Re: The influence of Jesus Jones on 'Scenes from a Memory'
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2022, 10:27:51 AM »
Right Here Right Now is an iconic 90s anthem

I've heard that song a million times, but if you'd asked me three days ago who did it, I wouldn't have the slightest idea.  Likewise, if you'd asked me three days ago to name a JJ song, I wouldn't have been able to do it.
"There's a bass solo in a song called Metropolis where I do a bass solo."  John Myung

Offline Skeever

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Re: The influence of Jesus Jones on 'Scenes from a Memory'
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2022, 10:37:09 AM »
I don't think that Jesus Jones was a big influence, subconciously or otherwise, on DT in any way, shape, or form.  I would imagine that the comment from MP, who is a media sponge and most likely the only member of the band that had ever heard of Jesus Jones, was a throwaway joke comment because he knew of the superficial similarities.  Coincidence, that he later recognized.  Nothing more.

I can hear some of the harmonic similarities, and if MP said they were an influence, I have no reason to doubt it.
But for me, it's fair game. People are way to hung-up on ideas of "musical plagiarism". I have no idea why the concept is gaining so much traction, but thank god the early greats of Blues, Rock, Folk, and Jazz loved "plagiarism" so much, because that's how we got so much of the great music that exists today. It'd be one thing if a big band like DT were stealing full songs from some unknown artist, but I see absolutely no problem with the idea that one of the guys in DT could hear a song on the radio, and like it enough to say "let me take a crack at writing my own song using some of the same concepts".
« Last Edit: May 24, 2022, 10:58:33 AM by Skeever »

Offline voncorn

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Re: The influence of Jesus Jones on 'Scenes from a Memory'
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2022, 11:30:27 AM »
I know some people understand that I'm not trying to be negative, but I just want to make it very clear that I never accused DT of plagiarism and that me pointing any of this out is NOT "calling them out" or even expressing disappointment/disapproval. Just discussing/speculating one musical influence (of many, many, many) that might have helped shaped the outcome of SFaM, like Meshuggah (TDoE) or Frank Zappa (also BTL) did.

It'd be one thing if a big band like DT were stealing full songs from some unknown artist, but I see absolutely no problem with the idea that one of the guys in DT could hear a song on the radio, and like it enough to say "let me take a crack at writing my own song using some of the same concepts".

I absolutely 100% agree with you here.

Offline HOF

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Re: The influence of Jesus Jones on 'Scenes from a Memory'
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2022, 11:38:14 AM »
Right Here Right Now is an iconic 90s anthem

I've heard that song a million times, but if you'd asked me three days ago who did it, I wouldn't have the slightest idea.  Likewise, if you'd asked me three days ago to name a JJ song, I wouldn't have been able to do it.

Well, but you have heard it a million times, so Iíd argue that supports that the song itself is iconic. I imagine most people who know the song couldnít tell you who sings it on account of it being a total one hit wonder type of thing.

Offline pg1067

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Re: The influence of Jesus Jones on 'Scenes from a Memory'
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2022, 12:57:37 PM »
Right Here Right Now is an iconic 90s anthem

I've heard that song a million times, but if you'd asked me three days ago who did it, I wouldn't have the slightest idea.  Likewise, if you'd asked me three days ago to name a JJ song, I wouldn't have been able to do it.

Well, but you have heard it a million times, so Iíd argue that supports that the song itself is iconic. I imagine most people who know the song couldnít tell you who sings it on account of it being a total one hit wonder type of thing.

For sure.  I don't disagree that it's iconic.  My only point was that, while I've heard the song many times and had also heard of the band/guy (not sure if JJ is a band or a person, although I could look it up), I couldn't have linked the two (despite the reference in the LSFNY commentary).


I can hear some of the harmonic similarities, and if MP said they were an influence, I have no reason to doubt it.

I don't believe he said they were an influence.  Rather, as mentioned in the original post, MP simply referred to (I think) the "all that we learn this time" section as "the Jesus Jones section."  What's the genesis of that comment?  I don't know.  Maybe they felt at the time that it was similar to something JJ did (RHRN?) or maybe someone commented in whatever the equivalent of DTF was at the start of the new millennium that there were similarities.  Jordan commented that he didn't know who JJ was and asked, in reference to an earlier comment about Beyond This Life, whether JJ also used half-diminished chords.
"There's a bass solo in a song called Metropolis where I do a bass solo."  John Myung