Author Topic: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...  (Read 9521 times)

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Offline Anxiety35

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #70 on: February 05, 2018, 12:45:47 PM »
I hold it in high regard as one of DT's best, if not their best.

The departure from FII was extreme. I think that's what garnered the attention and love for SFAM. Not that FII was bad, but with all the struggles the band had with the record company and all those things that happened during the FII era, SFAM sounded like a true Dream Theater album. It was a return to form that was well received by fans.

There was hype surrounding the release. Jordan Rudess was now in the band. With the success of Liquid Tension Experiment, fans were excited about a DT album with Rudess on keys. I also remember the DT website unveiling small pieces of the album cover for the weeks leading up to the release. Then when people saw the title, it was game on. Plus, there was an audio snippet of the main riff in "Home" that got people excited.

It was the perfect storm. DT played their cards right and fans loved the release. 

Looking back, I could do without the storyline. It doesn't continue with the theme from Metropolis part 1. Personally, I don't revere SFAM because of the story. I revere it because of the music.

Offline Pragmaticcircus

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #71 on: February 05, 2018, 03:55:52 PM »
So nobody else shares me feeling that "Another Dimension" by LTE should have been included on SFAM?  :justjen  :'(

Another Dimension was written, recorded, and released before SFAM was even written. I don’t understand your point.

No, I'm saying it should have been kept and used on SFAM  :tup

Agree or not?
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Offline pg1067

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #72 on: February 05, 2018, 04:12:14 PM »
So nobody else shares me feeling that "Another Dimension" by LTE should have been included on SFAM?  :justjen  :'(

What does this even mean?

Although LTE2 wasn't released until June 1999, Another Dimension (and the rest of the album) was written and recorded in October-November 1998.  During that time, DT was on a break between the last couple rounds of shows in support of FII.  They didn't start writing/recording SFAM until February 1999.  Putting aside the timing aspect what does your statement that it "should have been included on SFAM" even mean?  SFAM already clocks in at 77+ minutes, so it's not like there was room for another nearly 10 minute song.


No, I'm saying it should have been kept and used on SFAM  :tup

Why?  What purpose would it have served?  What would have been removed to make room?  And why can't one say the same thing of Acid Rain...or any other song on LTE2?
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Offline Pragmaticcircus

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #73 on: February 05, 2018, 04:29:55 PM »
Why?  What purpose would it have served?  What would have been removed to make room? 

Could have been used for material/themes/riffs on the album, (the song) could have been expanded. I don't know what it would replace because I haven't thought about a hypothetical alternative album, but I do feel it would fit very well.

And why can't one say the same thing of Acid Rain...or any other song on LTE2?

Because Another Dimension really has a Metropolis-vibe to it, it's just a thought that I have been entertained by with listening to LTE recently  :tup
"The thing that kills me is all these bands that use huge words in their lyrics, 'I'm swimming in a vortex of apathy.' I'm like, 'What?' I don't walk up to a friend and go 'That's a stylin' looking vortex of apathy you've got there pal. I was swimming up a river of deceit myself."
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Offline bosk1

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #74 on: February 05, 2018, 05:10:10 PM »
I have to agree with pg1067.  I don't see any way in which Another Dimension has anything to do with SFAM.  There is no reason to even bring it up, much less bump a thread that has been dead for 6 1/2 years and has nothing to do with your post to do so.  It appears like you are simply spamming the forum.  Knock it off.
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Offline pg1067

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #75 on: February 05, 2018, 05:55:40 PM »
I do feel it would fit very well.

Another Dimension really has a Metropolis-vibe to it

That seems to be your only real point, in which case, sure.  But to say it "should have been kept and used on" an album they hadn't even started writing yet (aside from the original Metropolis Part 2 that had existed since the FII recording sessions) stretches things far too much.
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Offline Pragmaticcircus

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #76 on: February 05, 2018, 07:16:33 PM »
There is no reason to even bring it up, much less bump a thread that has been dead for 6 1/2 years and has nothing to do with your post to do so. It appears like you are simply spamming the forum.  Knock it off.

Come on Bosk, isn't that a bit unfair? I was really taken back by the comparison when I posted it, sorry if it offends you. (I thought this was a forum for fans though - the same forum that used to make imaginary album covers.......  :'( )


Anyway, keep in mind the many times DT used ideas or repurposed stuff. Erotomania in PMU, Beyond this life was a guitar solo spot, Metropolis pt 2 itself was an unused instrumental etc.


edit:  Bosk, if it makes you happy, you could transfer the discussion to the "What if? thread" I made a few years ago, I just remembered that it'd fit in well there :)
"The thing that kills me is all these bands that use huge words in their lyrics, 'I'm swimming in a vortex of apathy.' I'm like, 'What?' I don't walk up to a friend and go 'That's a stylin' looking vortex of apathy you've got there pal. I was swimming up a river of deceit myself."
- Devin Townsend
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Offline metrojam

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #77 on: February 06, 2018, 02:13:50 PM »
Opinions hey?!! :) It's great that there are so many as just as I find it almost impossible to accept that anyone can like TA, I find it just as hard to accept that people don't rate this as the peak, or just about at the peak, of DT's career output.
For me SFAM is just about perfect. Maybe it was just the right time and right place for me personally when it was released but that album together with Images remain (and I reckon always will remain) as my favourite 2 DT releases ever and are both in my Top 10 releases of all time.

Offline ytserush

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #78 on: February 07, 2018, 06:33:48 PM »
It's not been a favorite of mine either.  Of course, it was pretty much blasphemous to admit that back then, especially when Six Degrees came out, but apparently it's not as much a minority opinion as it used to be.

That said, I saw them 5 times on that tour including the Live Scenes show so I was kind of burnt out on it at that point. It's not horrible of course, but the bar was raised.

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #79 on: February 10, 2018, 06:40:10 PM »
As you can probably tell from my recent thread, I did sour on SFAM quite a bit. I guess the band is at their best when they’re struggling.
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Offline Drinktheater

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #80 on: February 11, 2018, 01:18:55 PM »
Good post Sam.  You're right about SFAM not being DT's pinnacle work, but I think it was definitely pivotal (obviously).  I think people tend to get stuck on it if they liked it a lot at first and it's hard to get out of that rut.  It happened to me and I didn't like SDOIT at all, but now I think SDOIT surpasses SFAM at least compositionally, but then again, they are two very different albums and it basically comes down to preference.

Same for me after SCORE SDOIT has replaced SFM as my most favorite DT concept album.

Offline Lethean

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #81 on: February 12, 2018, 08:14:23 AM »
Scenes and Dix Degrees are my favorite two, and I seem to like them more and more with time.

Offline Herrick

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #82 on: February 14, 2018, 09:14:22 PM »
Other than Tommy, Operation Mindcrime, & Dark Side of the Moon (or was it The Wall?) what other concept albums were used as templates? I'm really bad at finding similarities when it comes to this stuff. I haven't even heard Operation Mindcrime yet.
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Offline bosk1

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #83 on: February 15, 2018, 07:29:32 AM »
Other than Tommy, Operation Mindcrime, & Dark Side of the Moon (or was it The Wall?) what other concept albums were used as templates? I'm really bad at finding similarities when it comes to this stuff. I haven't even heard Operation Mindcrime yet.
I don't think "template" is the right word.  As I recall, they had a few concept albums in mind to use as "inspiration" for crafting SFAM together into a concept album.  But I don't remember them saying they used any particular template.
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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #84 on: February 15, 2018, 10:13:14 AM »
Herrick needs to listen to O:M. I thought I was the last person on Earth to listen to it. It is worth your time. Please do it.
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Offline PixelDream

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #85 on: February 15, 2018, 02:13:47 PM »
Scenes from a Memory is the greatest prog metal record Dream Theater has ever written. But I love Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence more. It does interesting things with production, seems to have songwriting more at the forefront than SFAM, and is just as epic. This is also just my opinion, of course. Disc 2 is its own thing entirely, and reads like a more deliberate, condensed but more intense SFAM.
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Offline Öxölklöfför

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #86 on: February 17, 2018, 03:39:22 PM »
...but obviously certain things were directly taken from albums the band admired, and I believe they even said so at the time, saying they brought concept records they liked into the studio with them to use as models.
Ok, so here are my 5 cents in this 9 year old(!) thread.
I don't understand the OP's compaint regarding the "models/templates" thing. I try to take an album for what it is, not for what it is inspired from. Operation: Mindcrime is a great album, SFAM is a great album, they have structural similarities...so what? :) I think that this opinion is based on "thinking too much" rather than just listening to the music and taking it for what it is...

Offline JediKnight1969

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #87 on: February 26, 2018, 08:21:37 AM »
SFAM not only is DT's best but one of the best albums by any band ever.

Wanna know why? Art needs no explanation.

Why Hopper's Nighthawks is a masterpiece? It's just people in a downtown diner late at night, right?.

Well.. If you can only see that. Art is not for you.
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Offline Super Dude

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #88 on: March 08, 2018, 10:24:32 AM »
SFAM not only is DT's best but one of the best albums by any band ever.

Wanna know why? Art needs no explanation.


Actually it does, hence why legions of art scholars spill gallons of ink about the merits of particular works of art and entire college courses can revolve around an artist and his body of work.
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Offline pg1067

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #89 on: March 08, 2018, 10:42:30 AM »
Why Hopper's Nighthawks is a masterpiece? It's just people in a downtown diner late at night, right?.

Well.. If you can only see that. Art is not for you.

I actually had to google to see what that was.  Didn't know it by name.  I would put that painting in the same category as the dogs playing poker painting.  THAT's the thing about art.
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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #90 on: March 08, 2018, 10:46:42 AM »
I was responding to a FII thread, and saw this thread underneath it, not realizing I was the original poster...NINE YEARS ago.

Seriously, WTH are we bumping threads from nine years ago?  :rollin :rollin

And for the record, SFAM has grown on me a little in those nine years. Still think it isn't the genre-defining masterpiece some make it out to be, but it is better than how I viewed it back in 2009 when I made the original post.
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Offline ChuckSteak

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #91 on: March 08, 2018, 11:20:29 AM »
I think I am the only one who thinks that LSFNY > Scenes. Every song on Live Scenes is much better played, better sang than on Scenes. I guess I feel that way because LSFNY was the first album I ever heard from DT. When I finally got the chance to listen to Scenes, I immediately didn't like the production and thought it sounded much better on Live Scenes. There, I said it.  :P

Take the free improvisation outro of Finally Free as an example.. One of the best things DT ever did.

Take the solo with that female singer..

Take the (even gayer than in the album) Through Her Eyes version

Overture and Strange Deja Vu sound much better live too

Through My Words is soooooo much better on Live Scenes

Well.. everything is.

Offline Adami

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #92 on: March 08, 2018, 11:45:13 AM »
I think I am the only one who thinks that LSFNY > Scenes. Every song on Live Scenes is much better played, better sang than on Scenes. I guess I feel that way because LSFNY was the first album I ever heard from DT. When I finally got the chance to listen to Scenes, I immediately didn't like the production and thought it sounded much better on Live Scenes. There, I said it.  :P

Take the free improvisation outro of Finally Free as an example.. One of the best things DT ever did.

Take the solo with that female singer..

Take the (even gayer than in the album) Through Her Eyes version

Overture and Strange Deja Vu sound much better live too

Through My Words is soooooo much better on Live Scenes

Well.. everything is.

I agree with this, but can we not use gayer like that? Much appreciated.
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Offline pg1067

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #93 on: March 08, 2018, 03:05:12 PM »
I think I am the only one who thinks that LSFNY > Scenes. Every song on Live Scenes is much better played, better sang than on Scenes. I guess I feel that way because LSFNY was the first album I ever heard from DT. When I finally got the chance to listen to Scenes, I immediately didn't like the production and thought it sounded much better on Live Scenes. There, I said it.  :P

Take the free improvisation outro of Finally Free as an example.. One of the best things DT ever did.

Take the solo with that female singer..

Take the (even gayer than in the album) Through Her Eyes version

Overture and Strange Deja Vu sound much better live too

Through My Words is soooooo much better on Live Scenes

Well.. everything is.

This is not an uncommon reaction for someone who has been exposed to material via a live album and then hears the studio versions of the songs after becoming fond of the live album.

That said, and while I think LFSNY is DT's best live album, I don't agree with most of the individual points you made.  The outro to Finally Free is fine for a live recording, but it's nothing but a live device that most bands use at the end of a set.  The JP/Theresa Thomason solo is something I typically skip because I don't care for the wailing gospel sound that Theresa uses.  I have no idea what you're talking about as it relates to Through Her Word, and I'll leave the homophobic comment alone.  Also, MP and JP's backing vocals on Fatal Tragedy are flat.
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Offline ChuckSteak

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #94 on: March 09, 2018, 01:26:53 AM »
I think I am the only one who thinks that LSFNY > Scenes. Every song on Live Scenes is much better played, better sang than on Scenes. I guess I feel that way because LSFNY was the first album I ever heard from DT. When I finally got the chance to listen to Scenes, I immediately didn't like the production and thought it sounded much better on Live Scenes. There, I said it.  :P

Take the free improvisation outro of Finally Free as an example.. One of the best things DT ever did.

Take the solo with that female singer..

Take the (even gayer than in the album) Through Her Eyes version

Overture and Strange Deja Vu sound much better live too

Through My Words is soooooo much better on Live Scenes

Well.. everything is.

I agree with this, but can we not use gayer like that? Much appreciated.
Sorry, I didn't mean it in a negative way. I like Through Her Eyes and I have nothing against homosexuals. But suppose you are gay and someone calls a song, an action or anything "gay", why would you be offended? Only if you choose to be. If I describe a heavy song by saying it is manly, it has balls, would heterosexuals be offended? I don't think so.

There's a world of difference between calling something "gay" and being genuinely prejudiced and offensive against homosexuals. Context matters.

Sorry for the offtopic.

Offline ChuckSteak

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #95 on: March 09, 2018, 01:33:38 AM »
This is not an uncommon reaction for someone who has been exposed to material via a live album and then hears the studio versions of the songs after becoming fond of the live album.
Yea, I guess you are right. Maybe if I had listened to the studio album first I would appreciate it more than the live one.

That said, and while I think LFSNY is DT's best live album, I don't agree with most of the individual points you made.  The outro to Finally Free is fine for a live recording, but it's nothing but a live device that most bands use at the end of a set.  The JP/Theresa Thomason solo is something I typically skip because I don't care for the wailing gospel sound that Theresa uses.  I have no idea what you're talking about as it relates to Through Her Word, and I'll leave the homophobic comment alone.  Also, MP and JP's backing vocals on Fatal Tragedy are flat.
If the outro to Finally Free was recorded on studio, I think it would have made the song better. I don't think Theresa's singing is amazing, but mixed with Petrucci soloing, it certainly is. I agree with you about the backing vocals. Not only on Fatal Tragedy, but overall, they are not so good.

Offline AngelBack

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #96 on: March 09, 2018, 08:17:43 AM »
I think I am the only one who thinks that LSFNY > Scenes. Every song on Live Scenes is much better played, better sang than on Scenes. I guess I feel that way because LSFNY was the first album I ever heard from DT. When I finally got the chance to listen to Scenes, I immediately didn't like the production and thought it sounded much better on Live Scenes. There, I said it.  :P

Take the free improvisation outro of Finally Free as an example.. One of the best things DT ever did.

Take the solo with that female singer..

Take the (even gayer than in the album) Through Her Eyes version

Overture and Strange Deja Vu sound much better live too

Through My Words is soooooo much better on Live Scenes

Well.. everything is.

I agree with this, but can we not use gayer like that? Much appreciated.

Yeah I was kind of offended by that - nothing about JP is gay. :biggrin:
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Offline Adami

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #97 on: March 09, 2018, 08:20:06 AM »
I think I am the only one who thinks that LSFNY > Scenes. Every song on Live Scenes is much better played, better sang than on Scenes. I guess I feel that way because LSFNY was the first album I ever heard from DT. When I finally got the chance to listen to Scenes, I immediately didn't like the production and thought it sounded much better on Live Scenes. There, I said it.  :P

Take the free improvisation outro of Finally Free as an example.. One of the best things DT ever did.

Take the solo with that female singer..

Take the (even gayer than in the album) Through Her Eyes version

Overture and Strange Deja Vu sound much better live too

Through My Words is soooooo much better on Live Scenes

Well.. everything is.

I agree with this, but can we not use gayer like that? Much appreciated.
Sorry, I didn't mean it in a negative way. I like Through Her Eyes and I have nothing against homosexuals. But suppose you are gay and someone calls a song, an action or anything "gay", why would you be offended? Only if you choose to be. If I describe a heavy song by saying it is manly, it has balls, would heterosexuals be offended? I don't think so.

There's a world of difference between calling something "gay" and being genuinely prejudiced and offensive against homosexuals. Context matters.

Sorry for the offtopic.

Choosing to be offensive is not necessary for being offensive. I have no idea why you'd actually fight really hard to associate the word gay with concept of bad, but if it's super important to you, then I guess I can't do much about that.
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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #98 on: March 09, 2018, 10:21:59 AM »
It stretches credulity that one would claim to be unaware of why using 'gayer' in a derogatory context would be offensive. That's all I have to say about that. But:

Quote
If I describe a heavy song by saying it is manly, it has balls, would heterosexuals be offended? I don't think so.

I am a heterosexual man and I sometimes find that offensive depending on the context. When people deride an album for lacking 'balls' that sometimes bothers me because it seems like they are looking more for an attitude than the actual music.
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Offline ChuckSteak

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #99 on: March 09, 2018, 12:09:06 PM »
Choosing to be offensive is not necessary for being offensive. I have no idea why you'd actually fight really hard to associate the word gay with concept of bad, but if it's super important to you, then I guess I can't do much about that.
I don't quite understand what you mean. The context where I used the word gay was meant in a positive, good sense, not negative and bad. I see nothing wrong in saying that a song sounds gay and I can't understand why someone would feel personally attacked because of it. And as I said before, I am not homophobic, I have nothing against gay people. In fact, most of the gay people I've ever know were some of the nicest people I've met.

If I say a song is very "black" or "white" or "English" or "American" it doesn't automatically make me into a racist or a xenophobic.

For example.. if you are gay and I say a song is gay, why would you feel offended by it? It is not even personally refering to you or anyone else.. Unless you see "being gay" as an anomaly, an abnormality, an aberration, then yeah, I would understand, but then you would be the homophobic, not me. But if you are gay and if being gay is completely normal to you, what is there to defend? What is there to be offended about?

Now.. when somebody is directly insulting you and intentionally trying to offend you by calling you names, then it is something completely different.

But anyway, I will refrain from using that word to describe songs. I didn't think people were so sensitive and easily offended.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2018, 12:18:56 PM by ChuckSteak »

Offline ChuckSteak

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #100 on: March 09, 2018, 12:14:26 PM »
It stretches credulity that one would claim to be unaware of why using 'gayer' in a derogatory context would be offensive. That's all I have to say about that. But:
It stretches credulity that one would interpret what I wrote as derogatory. How can it be derogatory when I was listing the reasons why the songs are better (positive) than the studio album? I said the song Through Her Eyes was gayer than the studio version, meaning it is better, not worse.

God.. I don't get it.

Maybe we should ban the word gay, homosexual and any other word that refers or relates to homosexuality. Because if you use any of these words to describe something, you are homophobic, offensive!  ::)

Why stop there? Ban the word "feminine" and "manly" too. Ban "sexy" too. If you use it to describe the haircut of your girlfriend, then you are being a sexist asshole, you know.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2018, 12:24:29 PM by ChuckSteak »

Offline Adami

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #101 on: March 09, 2018, 12:30:18 PM »
God.. I don't get it.


Probably best to just leave it at that.
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Offline ChuckSteak

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Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #102 on: March 09, 2018, 12:38:52 PM »

Probably best to just leave it at that.
I agree.

Offline Adami

  • DTF.org Alumni
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  • Posts: 26902
Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #103 on: March 09, 2018, 12:45:00 PM »

Probably best to just leave it at that.
I agree.

You get a pass because I love George Carlin.
fanticide.bandcamp.com

Offline ChuckSteak

  • Posts: 1326
Re: SFAM - not my favorite DT album at all. Here's why...
« Reply #104 on: March 09, 2018, 12:52:52 PM »
You get a pass because I love George Carlin.
Me too. I actually thought of him after all this discussion. Specially this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUvdXxhLPa8