Official Dream Theater studio albums countdown thread! (number 1 revealed!)

Started by KevShmev, September 04, 2022, 06:26:06 AM

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Dublagent66

Quote from: Cool Chris on September 22, 2022, 07:19:40 AM
If this had been my first experience with DT instead of I&W, I imagine I'd rank it differently. But falling in love with I&W, and then Awake, and then years later discovering this consigns it to 15th.

I think we're in the same boat here.  :tup


Quote from: wolfking on September 22, 2022, 05:54:40 AM
Very disappointing this album is in last place.

TBH, I'm not surprised, but help me out here my friend.  What other album could possibly be #15?  That's an honest question.  I'm curious.

T-ski

Quote
Quote from: wolfking on September 22, 2022, 05:54:40 AM
Very disappointing this album is in last place.

TBH, I'm not surprised, but help me out here my friend.  What other album could possibly be #15?  That's an honest question.  I'm curious.

For me, my #15 choice was obvious and it wasn't even close and I'm quite confident many others will agree with me.

ZirconBlue

Quote from: pg1067 on September 22, 2022, 08:56:58 AMI know it gets a lot of flack for production, but it's probably the best mixed DT album as far as Myung is concerned, and that's important to me.  He's often inaudible on the most recent albums. 


I think that's more in the arrangements than in the mix.  Myung is playing much higher on the neck than in later albums.  They talk about that in the WDaDR commentary track.  On later albums they moved his parts down so they weren't in the same sonic space as the guitars and keyboards.


My issue with the sound is that it's just fatiguing to listen to.  Which I think is part of the reason I like the first 4 tracks best.

SeRoX

Disagree. This album has great lyrics and melodies despite the production. I also like Charlie on vocals. Yeah, James would slay it but it is what it is.

Samsara

I had WDADU at #11. I think some of the songs are good. The production is eh, and Dominici...he obviously wasn't the right fit. But in my view, there are four worse DT records...

Whenever I want to listen to the songs from this album, I put on WDADRU. James just sings them better.

Setlist Scotty

Quote from: Stadler on September 22, 2022, 07:34:31 AM
Quote from: Cool Chris on September 22, 2022, 07:19:40 AM
If this had been my first experience with DT instead of I&W, I imagine I'd rank it differently. But falling in love with I&W, and then Awake, and then years later discovering this consigns it to 15th.
That's a great point; I think that's a part of it for me as well.
As one of the few who got into the band in 1989, I can confirm this to be the case. For that reason, I actually ended up ranking it at #2. Yes, it actually is that special to me. While not surprising, it goes without saying that I'm disappointed to see it finish dead last. I was hoping that it would at least end up as 14 or even 13. Guess not.   :sad:


Quote from: Dublagent66 on September 22, 2022, 09:11:49 AM
Quote from: wolfking on September 22, 2022, 05:54:40 AM
Very disappointing this album is in last place.
TBH, I'm not surprised, but help me out here my friend.  What other album could possibly be #15?  That's an honest question.  I'm curious.
The Astonishing. Duh.
Quote from: BlobVanDam on November 13, 2015, 07:37:14 PMAs a basic rule, if you hate it, you must solely blame Portnoy. If it's good, then you must downplay MP's contribution to the band as not being important anyway, or claim he's just lying. It's the DTF way.
Quote from: TAC on July 10, 2024, 08:26:41 AMPOW is awesome! :P

krands85

It was my #15 too, for the oft-cited production and vocal issues - unfortunately I just can't look beyond them. Had they re-recorded it when James joined, it would probably be in my top 10.

My top tracks (in album order): A Fortune in Lies, Ytse Jam, The Killing Hand, Afterlife. Only a Matter of Time is good as well, but I prefer those other 4. I rarely listen to the remaining three songs.
Whoaaaahh, ohhh, ohhhhh. Whoaaaahh, ohhhhh, ohhhhhh. Waaah, ahhh, haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaowwwwww

hefdaddy42


Stadler

Why does "Status Seeker" never get any mentions when talking about this album? Where did it fall on the song list?  It's the one song I really, really dig on that record.

hefdaddy42

Quote from: Stadler on September 22, 2022, 11:03:58 AM
Why does "Status Seeker" never get any mentions when talking about this album? Where did it fall on the song list?  It's the one song I really, really dig on that record.
I always thought the chorus of that song sounded like it could have been from an early Bon Jovi album.

pg1067

Quote from: T-ski on September 22, 2022, 09:23:22 AM
Quote
Quote from: wolfking on September 22, 2022, 05:54:40 AM
Very disappointing this album is in last place.

TBH, I'm not surprised, but help me out here my friend.  What other album could possibly be #15?  That's an honest question.  I'm curious.

For me, my #15 choice was obvious and it wasn't even close and I'm quite confident many others will agree with me.

Yeah...there are at least 2, and maybe 3, albums (which are well known to be at the bottom of lots of folks' rankings) that will have lots of last place votes.  In fact, it wouldn't completely surprise me if another album had more than WDADU's 24/65 last place votes but ranked higher in the aggregate because of several top tier votes that WDADU didn't get.  I'm guessing that Scotty's #2 ranking is the highest and wouldn't be surprised if the next highest ranking was several spots lower.  Perhaps Kev can confirm.


Quote from: Stadler on September 22, 2022, 11:03:58 AM
Why does "Status Seeker" never get any mentions when talking about this album? Where did it fall on the song list?  It's the one song I really, really dig on that record.

The "why" is pretty obvious.  It's well known to have been an overt attempt to write a "hit single" type song, and that doesn't play well for a lot of folks.  For my money, Afterlife does a MUCH better job.  I probably rank Status Seeker at #6 or 7 (ahead of TOWHTSTS and maybe AFIL).

Setlist Scotty

Quote from: hefdaddy42 on September 22, 2022, 11:00:44 AM
Quote from: Setlist Scotty on September 22, 2022, 09:55:06 AM
I actually ended up ranking it at #2.
*faints*
That's what happens when you're in the presence of an album that awesome!   ;D


Quote from: Stadler on September 22, 2022, 11:03:58 AM
Why does "Status Seeker" never get any mentions when talking about this album? Where did it fall on the song list?  It's the one song I really, really dig on that record.
It's probably my second least favorite on the album (not a fan of Afterlife). Probably the reason why it's viewed negatively is because it is the band's admitted attempt at writing a commercial single. Personally, I think the song is fine although I could do without the cheesy intro. I much prefer the way they played it in 1993.
Quote from: BlobVanDam on November 13, 2015, 07:37:14 PMAs a basic rule, if you hate it, you must solely blame Portnoy. If it's good, then you must downplay MP's contribution to the band as not being important anyway, or claim he's just lying. It's the DTF way.
Quote from: TAC on July 10, 2024, 08:26:41 AMPOW is awesome! :P

Mladen

Quote from: Setlist Scotty on September 22, 2022, 09:55:06 AM
The Astonishing. Duh.
I'll actually be surprised if it ends up at #14 or #13. There's a lot of people that rank it way up there, and it's also a top five Dream Theater album for me. However, albums like Systematic chaos and Black clouds, as fine as they are, don't often end up too high on most people's lists.

hefdaddy42

Quote from: Mladen on September 22, 2022, 11:27:36 AM
Quote from: Setlist Scotty on September 22, 2022, 09:55:06 AM
The Astonishing. Duh.
I'll actually be surprised if it ends up at #14 or #13. There's a lot of people that rank it way up there, and it's also a top five Dream Theater album for me. However, albums like Systematic chaos and Black clouds, as fine as they are, don't often end up too high on most people's lists.
Certainly not on mine.  BC, at least.

Animal

Agree with everyone who thinks this album finishing last is disappointing. WDADU is a bit like a good, honest guy who is also rather unpolished and wears shabby clothes - and as a result, he gets ignored to the advantage of other guys with a lot less soul and personality. There are a lot more fresh and interesting musical ideas on WDADU than on quite a few late Portnoy and Mangini era albums.

Stadler

Quote from: Animal on September 22, 2022, 11:43:09 AM
Agree with everyone who thinks this album finishing last is disappointing. WDADU is a bit like a good, honest guy who is also rather unpolished and wears shabby clothes - and as a result, he gets ignored to the advantage of other guys with a lot less soul and personality. There are a lot more fresh and interesting musical ideas on WDADU than on quite a few late Portnoy and Mangini era albums.

I'm not sure that last part is true; they may be different, but the influences are still clear for anyone who wants to listen (I hear a lot of Rush - a LOT of Rush - in WDADU).

nobloodyname

Quote from: T-ski on September 22, 2022, 09:23:22 AM
Quote
Quote from: wolfking on September 22, 2022, 05:54:40 AM
Very disappointing this album is in last place.

TBH, I'm not surprised, but help me out here my friend.  What other album could possibly be #15?  That's an honest question.  I'm curious.

For me, my #15 choice was obvious and it wasn't even close and I'm quite confident many others will agree with me.

I agree with you. I don't know which album it is. But I still know I agree with you :lol

I listened to it today in preparation for the results of this poll. And... yeah. That pretty much summed it up.

Revenge319

I ranked WDADU at #15. There's not really anything bad I have to say about this one, I just think it's heavily outclassed by everything else Dream Theater has done. My only real complaint is that the songs mostly have a very similar sound to one another. If I heard a snippet of a song from this album, there's a decent chance that I might not know what song it could be from. But other than that, I think it's a pretty enjoyable album! I think Dominici is pretty good here, though I certainly prefer James LaBrie.

If I were to rank the entire album:

1. The Killing Hand
2. Ytse Jam
3. A Fortune in Lies
4. Status Seeker
5. Light Fuse and Get Away
6. The Ones Who Help to Set the Sun
7. Only a Matter of Time
8. Afterlife

hefdaddy42

There's a lot of people speaking highly of WDADU for it to have finished dead last.  Did you guys not vote?

ZirconBlue

Quote from: hefdaddy42 on September 22, 2022, 12:30:31 PM
There's a lot of people speaking highly of WDADU for it to have finished dead last.  Did you guys not vote?


I had it at #14, but I do still like it quite a bit.  For me, there are no bad DT albums.

ZirconBlue

Quote from: Stadler on September 22, 2022, 11:03:58 AM
Why does "Status Seeker" never get any mentions when talking about this album? Where did it fall on the song list?  It's the one song I really, really dig on that record.


I like it quite a bit.  My top 4 from the album:


1. The Killing Hand
2. A Fortune in Lies
3. Status Seeker
4. Ytse Jam

pg1067

Quote from: Stadler on September 22, 2022, 11:45:32 AM
Quote from: Animal on September 22, 2022, 11:43:09 AM
Agree with everyone who thinks this album finishing last is disappointing. WDADU is a bit like a good, honest guy who is also rather unpolished and wears shabby clothes - and as a result, he gets ignored to the advantage of other guys with a lot less soul and personality. There are a lot more fresh and interesting musical ideas on WDADU than on quite a few late Portnoy and Mangini era albums.

I'm not sure that last part is true; they may be different, but the influences are still clear for anyone who wants to listen (I hear a lot of Rush - a LOT of Rush - in WDADU).

It's an opinion, so it cannot, by definition, be either true or not true.


Quote from: ZirconBlue on September 22, 2022, 01:12:16 PM
Quote from: hefdaddy42 on September 22, 2022, 12:30:31 PM
There's a lot of people speaking highly of WDADU for it to have finished dead last.  Did you guys not vote?


I had it at #14, but I do still like it quite a bit.  For me, there are no bad DT albums.

I spoke well of it and, as I indicated, I ranked it at #9.  Except for Scotty, I don't think anyone has suggested it's a top 3 (or even top 5) album.  It's just not, for me, 15 out of 15.

Lethean

Quote from: Stadler on September 22, 2022, 07:12:25 AM

I had this firmly at #15.  The album isn't awful, and Charlie's not a bad singer, but he's not James LaBrie, and considering James is a big reason that I got into (and stayed into) DT in the first place, it's fatal to WDADU being higher on the list.
+1

wolfking

Quote from: Dublagent66 on September 22, 2022, 09:11:49 AM
Quote from: Cool Chris on September 22, 2022, 07:19:40 AM
If this had been my first experience with DT instead of I&W, I imagine I'd rank it differently. But falling in love with I&W, and then Awake, and then years later discovering this consigns it to 15th.

I think we're in the same boat here.  :tup


Quote from: wolfking on September 22, 2022, 05:54:40 AM
Very disappointing this album is in last place.

TBH, I'm not surprised, but help me out here my friend.  What other album could possibly be #15?  That's an honest question.  I'm curious.

TA is by far their worst album IMO.

wolfking

I had WDADU at number 12.  People would freak out if they knew 2 albums I ranked lower than it.

Ben_Jamin

#15 - When Dream and Day Unite  (My Ranking: #15)

"Someone has to lose..."

Although I ranked this album at #15, I still think highly of these songs, the album itself has a certain charm to it that is brought upon by the production, patch choices, mix, and Dominici's voice. My least favorite is Status Seeker and its because I just couldn't get into it, it is gradually becoming enjoyable for me though, the chorus is great and the verses aren't too bad either, it could also be the intro that I don't get into so I just skip the track. TOWHTSTS has a fantastic introduction and is the song I would consider the early Dream Theater epic, which has parts that can be seen as precursors to later epics, such as the bass harmonic intro reminding me of TCOT guitar harmonic intro, and the keyboards adding to the atmosphere. This is an album that is dated, but also that's what I like about it. You can hear how fresh and energetic the band is. Even though JLB does wonders to these songs, Dominici has a certain tone that also fit these songs very well. Light Fuse and Get Away is one song where I prefer his vocals over JLB's, mainly in the way the chorus is delivered and the fast paced section as well.  Overall, this is a fantastic debut that unfortunately was plagued with production and mixing issues, but it's not bad for a debut album. Many classics were already made from this, and the songs being played or mentioned about possibly being played recently show that these songs are great songs the fans enjoy seeing live.


Favorite: The Ones Who Helped to Set The Sun
Least: Status Seeker

TAC

Quote from: KevShmev on September 22, 2022, 04:22:03 AM
15 When Dream and Day Unite
Number 1 finishes: 0
Last place finishes: 24
Average finish: 11.6


I can't say I am surprised to see this finish last, and by a comfortable margin, but I guess I was secretly hoping it would fare a little better.  I ranked it at 10, as I think the songwriting is pretty darn good considering how young they were when they wrote and recorded it, and the skills of all four instrumentalists were already top notch.  The raw production and lack of James do not help its cause, which I get, but I still think it is a good debut album.

I had When Day And Drean Unite at #5!

I didn't get WDADU until some time in late '93, long after I had I&W and Live At The Marquee. I basically learned all of the songs through various bootlegs from the I&W tour. That and seeing a number of songs live as well. So I basically learned these songs with James as the singer. I don't take into consideration the production or Charlie when ranking this album. I only take the songs into consideration.

In the DT Top 100 list, I have The Killing Hand at #4 and A Fortune In Lies at #20.

Quote from: wkiml on June 08, 2012, 09:06:35 AMwould have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Quote from: Buddyhunter1 on April 22, 2023, 05:54:45 PMTAC got a higher score than me in the electronic round? Honestly, can I just drop out now? :lol

Dream Team

The average finish of 11.6 is interesting . . . hopefully it won't end up being the lowest average.

The Letter M

01.
02.
03.
04.
05.
06.
07.
08.
09.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14. When Dream And Day Unite
15.

This *almost* made it to the bottom for me, but there's some really good writing on here that bridges the gap between the Majesty Demos and IAW, some really solid bass and drum parts, and John is pretty good as well. Not sure what else could be said about this that hasn't been said already, both negative and positive, but it's definitely always been a lower-tier album for me, despite enjoying it quite a bit when I first got into DT and I tried to discover them chronologically. I became a fan between Live At Budokan and Octavarium, so I was definitely deeply entrenched in the JR-era of the band at the time, so it took me awhile to really appreciate the KM-era albums, and their debut being the lesser of the first three (or rather the 2nd and 3rd albums being so much better) really put a big shadow over WDADU. The studio album itself is passable, but the material really shines on the live When Dream And Day Reunite, with James and Jordan of course, elevating the material a bit higher.

I'm surprised to see the Average Finish is as high as it is at 11.6. I almost expected it to be in everyone's bottom three with an average of around 13.5-14, but I suppose some folks liked it enough to bump into their Top 10! Would be interesting to see what albums people put below WDADU if it made their top ten, meaning at least five other albums were placed below it!

-Marc.

The Realm

I ranked WDADU at #15. I do like the album but I rarely if ever listen to it. I don't think it is a surprise at all that it finished at 15. I think the really interesting part of the countdown starts now.

wolfking

Quote from: TAC on September 22, 2022, 02:40:57 PM
Quote from: KevShmev on September 22, 2022, 04:22:03 AM
15 When Dream and Day Unite
Number 1 finishes: 0
Last place finishes: 24
Average finish: 11.6


I can't say I am surprised to see this finish last, and by a comfortable margin, but I guess I was secretly hoping it would fare a little better.  I ranked it at 10, as I think the songwriting is pretty darn good considering how young they were when they wrote and recorded it, and the skills of all four instrumentalists were already top notch.  The raw production and lack of James do not help its cause, which I get, but I still think it is a good debut album.

I had When Day And Drean Unite at #5!

I didn't get WDADU until some time in late '93, long after I had I&W and Live At The Marquee. I basically learned all of the songs through various bootlegs from the I&W tour. That and seeing a number of songs live as well. So I basically learned these songs with James as the singer. I don't take into consideration the production or Charlie when ranking this album. I only take the songs into consideration.

In the DT Top 100 list, I have The Killing Hand at #4 and A Fortune In Lies at #20.

Wow!  Love the appreciation here.

Setlist Scotty

Quote from: Dream Team on September 22, 2022, 02:48:10 PM
The average finish of 11.6 is interesting . . . hopefully it won't end up being the lowest average.
I would imagine it is - that's why it's ranked as #15 on this list.
Quote from: BlobVanDam on November 13, 2015, 07:37:14 PMAs a basic rule, if you hate it, you must solely blame Portnoy. If it's good, then you must downplay MP's contribution to the band as not being important anyway, or claim he's just lying. It's the DTF way.
Quote from: TAC on July 10, 2024, 08:26:41 AMPOW is awesome! :P

nick_z

And so it begins!

When Dream and Day Unite - I ranked it at #3

It's one of two (I think) more idiosyncratic choices in my ranking...

I, too, am sad to see it ranked last, although I guess it's not completely unexpected. Also happy to see someone ranked it even higher than I did  :)

I bought this shortly after my discovery of Images & Words, back in 1992. While it was clear this wasn't going to reach the astounding (astonishing?) heights of I&W, I thought then (and still think) this is a fantastic, fantastic record. And a debut, no less!

I've said it before - it's not just the charm that comes from the youthful energy and enthusiasm. It's first and foremost the fact that this version of DT was very much part of that proto-prog/technical metal of the 80s that I always found so intriguing. In this regard, more so than I&W, they really did sound like Rush jamming on some metal tunes.

Dominici is no LaBrie, for sure...and James was one of the big factors making I&W the masterpiece it is...but neither the singing nor the production bothers me too much here. The songs are just SO good, imo.

If we are doing top 5 songs, I guess I'll go with:

The Killing Hand
A Fortune in Lies
Status Seeker (yes, I love this one)
Ytse Jam
Only A Matter of Time


DTwwbwMP

A GREAT album, with GREAT songs, just shitty production and less than stellar vocals. This album should have been re-recorded in studio with James in '90's. BIG FAIL!

ReaperKK

I listened to WDADU at work today and I will say it's a very consistent album, there aren't any wild swings of quality like Awake for example.