Dream Theater: Images and Words [1992]

Released July 7, 1992
Recorded October 14–December, 1991BearTracks Studios, New York (additional recordings at The Hit Factory, NY)
Genre Progressive metal
Length 57:05
Label Atco
Producer David Prater

Images and Words is the second studio album by American progressive metal band Dream Theater, released in 1992. It was recorded in late 1991 at BearTracks Studios in Suffern, New York. The album is the first Dream Theater release to featureJames LaBrie on vocals. The album maintains its position as the band’s most commercially successful studio album to date, and the song “Pull Me Under“‘s status as the only Top 10 (radio or otherwise) hit the band has ever had. This particular song has also had more recent success as it has appeared in the video game Guitar Hero World Tour. On release, the album was met with universal acclaim and many critics and fans cite this album as a landmark release for the progressive metal genre. Although there is no title track on this album, the phrase images and words appears in the song “Wait for Sleep”.


After Charlie Dominici‘s departure from the band, the band auditioned nearly 200 people across the nation before James LaBriesent the band an audition tape. LaBrie was formerly in the Canadian glam metal band Winter Rose, but saw potential in the band, and thus decided to audition. After a short jam session, the band chose him as their lead singer, and he has been the band’s lead singer ever since.

With LaBrie on board, the band was signed to a seven album contract by Atco Records, and shortly after began recording their new album. The lead single, “Pull Me Under“, gained the band considerable commercial success with its airplay on MTV and radio, garnering them a Top 10 hit on the radio charts. When the album was released, it sold at a steady pace, helped by their relentless touring across the world.

Images and Words was played in its entirety, on several occasions, during the European leg of the “Chaos in Motion” tour, in celebration of its 15th anniversary.[1]


Music critic Piero Scaruffi includes the album at number 8, just after Fear Factory‘s Demanufacture and before Sepultura‘sRoots, in his classification of the best metal albums of all time.[7] The song “Under a Glass Moon” was awarded the 98th best guitar solo by Guitar World magazine.[8] In October 2011, Images and Words was ranked number 7 on Guitar Worldmagazine’s top ten list of guitar albums of 1992.[9] Sea of Tranquility reviewer Murat Batmaz praised the album for the influence it has exerted on the progressive metal genre describing it as a “cornerstone.”[10]


  • Before the Major League Baseball team Kansas City Royals took to the field at the start of home game in 2011, the songMetropolis, Pt. 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper was played.
  • In 1991, James LaBrie appeared as a guest artist on “Life in Still Water.” of Fates Warning‘s album Parallels. In the liner notes the band thanks “Dream Theatre”, Dream Theater, who find this common misspelling annoying, jokingly thank “Fatez Warning” in the liner notes of Images and Words.

Track listing

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. Pull Me Under Kevin Moore Dream Theater 8:11
2. “Another Day” John Petrucci Dream Theater 4:24
3. Take the Time Dream Theater Dream Theater 8:21
4. “Surrounded” Kevin Moore Dream Theater 5:30
5. “Metropolis, Pt. 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper” John Petrucci Dream Theater 9:32
6. “Under a Glass Moon” John Petrucci Dream Theater 7:04
7. “Wait for Sleep” Kevin Moore Kevin Moore 2:32
8. “Learning to Live” John Myung Dream Theater 11:31


1. Pull Me Under

[Images: Dream Theater]
[Words: Moore]

Lost in the sky
Clouds roll by
and I roll with them
Arrows fly
Seas increase
and then fall again

This world is spinning around me
This world is spinning without me
Every day send future to past
Every breath leaves me one less
to my last

Watch the sparrow falling
Gives new meaning to it all
If not today nor yet tomorrow
then some other day

I’ll take seven lives for one
And then my only father’s son
As sure as I did ever love him
I am not afraid

This world is spinning around me
The whole world keeps
spinning around me
All life is future to past
Every breath leaves me one less
to my last

Pull me under Pull me under
Pull me under I’m not afraid
All that I feel is honor and spite
All I can do is set it right

Dust fills my eyes
Clouds roll by
and I roll with them
Centuries cry
Orders fly
and I fall again

This world is spinning inside me
The whole world is
spinning inside of me
Every day sends future to past
Every step brings me closer
to my last

Pull me under Pull me under
Pull me under I’m not afraid
Living my life too much in
the sun
Only until your will is done

[extra words in subtitles of “Live at the Budokan” DVD:]
“Oh this and that too,
oh solid flesh, would melt”

2. Another Day

[Images: Dream Theater]
[Words: Petrucci]

Live another day
Climb a little higher
Find another reason to stay
Ashes in your hands
Mercy in your eyes
If you’re searching for a silent

You won’t find it here
Look another way
You won’t find it here
So die another day

The coldness of this words
The message in his silence,
“Face the candle to the
This distance in my voice
Isn’t leaving you a choice
So if you’re looking for a time
to run away…

You won’t find it here
Look another way
You won’t find it here
So try another day

They took pictures of our
Ran to hide behind the stairs
And said maybe when it’s right
for you, they’ll fall
But if they don’t come down
Resist the need to pull them in
And throw them away
Better to save the mystery
Than surrender to the secret

You won’t find it here
Look another way
You won’t find it here
So try another day

3. Take The Time

[Images and Words: Dream Theater]

Just let me catch my breath…
I’ve heard the promises
I’ve seen the mistakes
I’ve had my fair share of tough
I need a new voice, a new law,
a new way
Take the time, reevaluate
It’s time to pick up the pieces,
Go back to square one
I think it’s time for a change

There is something that I feel
To be something that is real
I feel the heat within my mind
And craft new changes with
my eyes
Giving freely wandering
A place with decisions I’ll
I won’t waste another breath

You can feel the waves coming on
(It’s time to take the time)
Let them destroy you or carry
you on
(It’s time to take the time)
You’re fighting the weight of
the world
But no one can save you this
Close your eyes
You can find all you need in
your mind

The unbroken spirit
Obscured and disquiet
Finds clearness this trial
And at the end of this day sighs
an anxious relief
For the fortune lies still in his

If there’s pensive fear, a
wasted year
A man must learn to cope
If his obsession’s real,
Suppression that he feels must
turn to hope

Life is no more assuring than
(It’s time to take the time)
There are no answers from
voices above
(It’s time to take the time)
You’re fighting the weight of
the world
And no one can save you this
Close your eyes
You can find all you need in
your mind

I close my eyes
And feel the water rise around
Drown the bead of time
Let my senses fall away
I can see much clearer now,
I’m blind

Find all you need in your mind
If you take the time

4. Surrounded

[Images: Dream Theater]
[Words: Moore]

Morning comes too early
and nighttime falls too late
And sometimes all I want to do
is wait
The shadow I’ve been hiding in
has fled from me today

I know it’s easier to walk away
than look it in the eye
But I will raise a shelter to the sky
and here beneath this
star tonight I’ll lie
She will slowly yield the light
As I awaken from the longest

Dreams are shaking
Set sirens waking up tired eyes
With the light the memories
all rush into his head

By a candle stands a mirror
Of his heart and soul she
She was dancing thru the night
above his bed

And walking to the window
he throws the shutters out
against the wall
And from an ivory tower hears
her call
“Let light surround you”

It’s been a long, long time
He’s had a while to think it over
In the end he only sees the
Light to dark
Dark to light
Light to dark
Dark to light

Heaven must be more than this
When angels waken with a kiss
Sacred hearts won’t take the
But mine will never be the same

He stands before the window
His shadow slowly fading from
the wall
And from an ivory tower hears
her call
“Let the light surround you”

Once lost but I was found
When I heard the stained glass
shatter all around me
I sent the spirits tumbling
down the hill
But I will hold this one on high
above me still
She whispers words to clear my mind
I once could see but now at last
I’m blind

I know it’s easier to walk away
than look it in the eye
But I had given all that
I could take
And now I’ve only habits left
to break
Tonight I’ll still be lying here
Surrounded in all the light

5. Metropolis – Part I – “The Miracle And The Sleeper”

[Images: Dream Theater]
[Words: Petrucci]

The smile of dawn
Arrived early May
She carried a gift from her
The night shed a tear
To tell her of fear
And of sorrow and pain
She’ll never outgrow

Death is the first dance, eternal

There’s no more freedom
The both of you will be
confined to this mind

I was told there’s miracle for
each day that I try
I was told there’s a new love
that’s born for each one that
has died
I was told there’d be no one to
call on when I feel alone and
I was told if you dream of the
next world
You’ll find yourself swimming
in a lake of fire

As a child, I thought I could
live without pain without
As a man I’ve found it’s all
caught up with me
I’m asleep yet I’m so afraid

Somewhere like a scene from a
There’s a picture worth a
thousand words
Eluding stares from faces
before me
It hides away and will never be
heard of again

Deceit is the second without end

The city’s cold blood teaches us
to survive
Just keep my heart in your eyes
and we’ll stay alive

The third arrives…

Before the leaves have fallen
Before we lock the doors
There must be the third and
last dance
This one will last forever
Metropolis watches and
thoughtfully smiles
She’s taken you to your home

It can only take place
When the struggle between
our children has ended
Now the Miracle and the
Sleeper know that the third
is love

Love is the Dance of Eternity

6. Under A Glass Moon

[Images: Dream Theater]
[Words: Petrucci]

Tell me
Remind me
Chase the water racing from
the sky
Always beside me
Taste the memories running
from my eyes
Nervous flashlights scan my
Liquid shadows silence their
I smile at the moon
Chasing water from the sky
I argue with the clouds
Stealing beauty from my eyes

Outside the soundness of your
Bathing your soul in silver tears
Beneath a blackened summer sky
Praying for time to disappear

Beneath a summer sky
Under glass moonlight
Night awaits the lamb’s arrival
Liquid shadows crawl
Silver teardrops fall
The bride subsides to her

By your hand
I’ve awakened
Bear this honor in my name

7. Wait For Sleep

[Images and Words: Moore]

Standing by the window
Eyes upon the moon
Hoping that the memory
will leave his spirit soon

She shuts the doors and lights
And lays her body on the bed
Where images and words are
running deep
She has too much pride to pull
the sheets above her head
So quietly she lays and waits
for sleep

She stares at the ceiling
And tries not to think
And pictures the chains
She’s been trying to link again
But the feeling is gone

And water can’t cover her
And ashes can’t answer her
God give me the power to take
breath from a breeze
And call life from a cold metal

In with the ashes
Or up with the smoke from the
With wings up in heaven
Or here, lying in bed
Palm of her hand to my head
Now and forever curled in my
And the heart of the world

8. Learning To Live

[Images: Dream Theater]
[Words: Myung]

There was no time for pain
No energy for anger
The sightlessness of hatred
slips away
Walking through winter streets
He stops and take a breath
With confidence and self-

I look at the world and see no
I’m waiting to find some sense
of strength
I’m begging you from the
bottom of my heart to show
me understanding

I need to live life
Like some people never will
So find me kindness
Find me beauty
Find me truth
When temptation brings me to
my knees
And I lay here drained of
Show me kindness
Show me beauty
Show me truth

The way your heart sounds
makes all the difference
It’s what decides if you’ll endure
the pain that we all feel
The way your heart beats
makes all the difference
In learning to live
Here before me is my soul
I’m learning to live
I won’t give up
Till I’ve no more to give

Listening to the city
Whispering its violence
I set out watching from above
The 90s bring new questions
New solutions to be found
I fell in love to be let down

Once again we dance in the
At times a step away
From a common fear that’s all
spread out
It won’t listen to what you say
Once you’re touched you stand
To face the bitter fight
Once I reached for love
And now I reach for life

Another chance to lift my life
Free the sensation in my heart
To ride the wings of dreams
into changing horizons
It brings inner peace within my
As I’m lifted from where I’ve
spilt my life
I hear an innocent voice
I hear kindness, beauty and

The way your heart sounds
makes all the difference
It’s what decides if you’ll endure
the pain that we all feel
The way your heart beats
makes all the difference
In learning to live
Spread before you is your soul
So forever hold the dreams
within our hearts
Through nature’s inflexible
I’m learning to live

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