Dream Theater: When Dream and Day Unite [1989]

Released March 6, 1989
Recorded July 18–August 12, 1988
Kajem/Victory Studios (Gladwyne, PA)
Genre Progressive metal
Length 50:11
Label Mechanic/MCA Records
Producer Terry Date and Dream Theater

When Dream and Day Unite is the debut studio album by American progressive metal band Dream Theater. The album is composed mainly of material that originally surfaced during the band’s early years as Majesty. It was recorded during the summer of 1988 at Victory Studios in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, and is the only Dream Theater album to feature Charlie Dominici on vocals, as James LaBrie replaced Dominici as the lead vocalist on subsequent albums. It is also the first of a few Dream Theater albums not to display their iconic font on the cover. It is the only Dream Theater album not to feature a track lasting longer than 10 minutes.

History

The band originally formed in 1985 by founding members John MyungMike Portnoy, and John Petrucci under the name Majesty, which was inspired by Portnoy’s commentary on the ending of “Bastille Day” by Rush. After the band found a keyboardist in schoolmate Kevin Moore, the band hosted auditions and settled on Chris Collins as the lead vocalist. While touring around New York, Collins left the band, and the band went through many lead singers before settling on the experienced lead vocalist Charlie Dominici.

The band, still titled Majesty, recorded The Majesty Demos between 1985 and 1986, and shortly after was forced to change their name after another band threatened legal action if they did not change their name. Unable to come up with a replacement name for their band, Portnoy’s father suggested the name Dream Theater, which was the title of a nearby movie theater for the name of the band. They adopted the name, and eventually signed their first contract to Mechanic Records.

With the relatively warm reception of their original demos, the band expected their debut album to be received with much fanfare and buzz, but the album went largely unnoticed by the music scene, and eventually led to Mechanic Records cutting their contract ties with the band, resulting in a small, club tour for the album only in the New York area. Due to tensions within the band and creative differences, Dominici was fired from the band and they were without a lead singer for the next few years.

15th Anniversary Performance

On the 15th anniversary of the album, Dream Theater performed it in its entirety in Los AngelesCalifornia, and during two additional songs in the encore special guests Charlie Dominici and Derek Sherinian (both now former Dream Theater members) performed. However, original keyboardistKevin Moore did not appear. The entire performance was recorded live and later released on CD and DVD under the title When Dream and Day Reunite through Mike Portnoy’s independent label YtseJam Records. The album also featured a live version of “Metropolis Pt. 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper“, which was originally from the album Images and Words, and a performance of a b-side called “To Live Forever”.

Critical reception

The album did not receive much attention upon release, but due to Images and Words commercial success, the album received critical reviews and criticism from many resources. Allmusic attacked the band’s ability to actually write songs, despite them agreeing that some of their melodies are quite enjoyable.[citation needed]

The album also produced two singles, “Status Seeker” and “Afterlife”, whose remixes & single edits for radio were done by Terry Brown of Rush production fame & who continued working with the band producing the band’s second recorded and permanent singer, Canadian James LaBrie’s, when he recorded vocal tracks for several albums in Canada and not with the band, as well as several of LaBrie’s solo releases.

Track listing

  • No. Title Lyrics Music Length
    1. “A Fortune in Lies” John Petrucci Dream Theater 5:13
    2. “Status Seeker” Charlie Dominici, Petrucci Dream Theater 4:18
    3. “The Ytse Jam” (instrumental) Petrucci, John MyungKevin MooreMike Portnoy 5:46
    4. “The Killing Hand”

    • I. “The Observance”
    • II. “Ancient Renewal”
    • III. “The Stray Seed”
    • IV. “Thorns”
    • V. “Exodus
    Petrucci Dream Theater 8:42
    5. “Light Fuse and Get Away” Moore Dream Theater 7:24
    6. “Afterlife” Dominici Dream Theater 5:27
    7. “The Ones Who Help to Set the Sun” Petrucci Dream Theater 8:05
    8. “Only a Matter of Time” Moore Dream Theater 6:36

Lyrics

1.  Fortune In Lies

[music by Dream Theater, lyrics by Petrucci]

“For the first time in a long time
…everything was right in my
world… and then I woke up.”

I can remember when,
In the unity of our five-day sessions
Not even once did we hear the siren
song
What kind of imagination
Asleep in some lyrical coma
Who’s vain futile memory
Could have been so wrong?

You can make a fortune in lies
You can keep a giant alive
You can ride the red
Until everybody smiles
A trifling euphoria
was such an untimely religion
maybe your life can explain
the reason for my indecision
Here is a poor man
the heart of this monster creation
He said we both will be heroes
and I was led into temptation

You can make a fortune in lies
You can keep a giant alive
You can ride the red
Until everybody smiles

Can you show me your gold
and your silver?
A hero in frozen water

Now you’ve made a fortune in lies
and you kept a giant alive
You rode the red
You rode the red

2. Status Seeker

[music by Dream Theater]
[lyrics by Dominici and Petrucci]

Heart sick at the sight of the
Status Seeker
In a sense I’m not beyond reproach
the aspiration to drop a name
When any rose might smell the same
Maybe you’ll figure it out someday
“I want to know you now…
You know I’ve always believed in you.”

Nothing is sacred…
You draw the bottom line
with a dollar sign
Change of opinion…
At the drop of a dime
Graceless intrusion…
Are you sanctified in your
judgment of me?
All that I deserve is what you were
unable to see

In a garden where the seeds were
spilled
I favored the few that stood strong
in the sun
As I reached for the profit of my prize
I found I had trampled the forgotten
ones

Nothing is sacred…
You draw the bottom line
with a dollar sign
Change of opinion…
At the drop of a dime
Graceless intrusion…
Are you sanctified in your
judgment of me?
All that I deserve is what you were
unable to see

You’re running in circles
And I’m turning away
You refused to believe
Now I’m turning away

Nothing is sacred…
You draw the bottom line
with a dollar sign
Change of opinion…
At the drop of a dime
Graceless intrusion…
Are you sanctified in your
judgment of me?
All that I deserve is what you were
unable to see

You’re running in circles
And I’m turning away
You refused to believe
Now I’m turning away

3. The Ytse Jam

[Instrumental]
[music by Moore, Myung, Petrucci and Portnoy]

4. The Killing Hand

[music by Dream Theater, lyrics by Petrucci]

[I. The Observance]
An Angel’s kiss now fallen
Descending scarlet cuts the sky
Faded names left on the wall
Honor the fighting leave life to
die

Remembered is the sacrifice but
No praisal of blood still flowing
Who were the leaders?
what controlled the Killing Hand
that caused this mouthing?

Crossing over…

[II. Ancient Renewal]
Lowered deep into the sea
Being a waits to cleanse his soul
senses weakening time is still
Motionless by stiffening cold

The wheels race back and
Scorch his mind
Travelling all to find the land
Revelation warms a touch
And now he will begin to
Understand

[III. The Stray Seed]
Extended a view to yesterday
Manifestation for none the same
Walking amidst a frightening still
No sound, no smoke, no scorching
Flames

He is risen…

Sipping his poison the raven sings
Yet another to add more bodies
fallen
King from below
this one controls
the Killing Hand that caused this
mourning

Is it all over?

[IV. Thorns]
Evil genius this secret plan
Mercy dealt with the losing hand
Will he ever fall?
Can he end it all?
Our savior must make his stand

Only a Propher of years to come
Wanting mortality I’m all alone
He heard my voice
It was my choice
I’ve stopped the Killing Hand

[V. Exodus]
When I go back again
Will it be the same?
I’ve stopped the cries
But now they know my name

The sea is calling me
my spirit must return
As I get closer,
was it really worth
what I have learned?

I’m in the valley
And the saddened chimes I hear
Race towards the wall to find
one more name appears

No one is left now
my one and only land
I laugh at what I’ve done
I am the Killing Hand

5. Light Fuse And Get Away

[music by Dream Theater, lyrics by Moore]

Would you like to sit and talk to me
about the way things change so
suddenly
when your senses come and the feeling
goes?
can you remember feeling much
too close?

Stop your hands from shaking.
Look at me.
Are your senses racing endlessly
tracing
past impressions? So were mine.
Have you ever been used
or will this be the first time?

It’s come so clear to me
Light fuse and get away
No gain, no pain
It’s a fatal game
and the true lose everything

I can see
what trust and loyalty have done
for me
falling miles from the mark
with a thirst for revenge
and a dangerous heart

I’ve tried to wash from memory
feelings of betrayal and the incidents
that plague me since I lost my sense
of innocence

A history of changes now I’m loving
now I’m losing keeps me constantly
in fear of hearing “I can’t see where
this is going”

You lie alone with the memory
feeling the ceiling and walls closing
in on
Your Conscience – my ally
the guilt – your affliction
from preying on praise as you fed
an attention addiction

Someone told me
Light fuse and get away
No gain, no pain
and when it’s lust to dust you can
crawl from the wreckage

I can see
what trust and loyalty have done
for me
lying bleeding in the dark
with a thirst for revenge
and a dangerous heart

It’s come so clear to me
Light fuse and get away
No gain, no pain
It’s a fatal game
and the true lose everything

I can see
what trust and loyalty have done
for me
falling miles from the mark
with a thirst for revenge
and a dangerous heart

6. Afterlife

[music by Dream Theater, lyrics by Dominici]

I touched with one
who made me run
away from my own soul…
In this world with its
many illusions
We are moving like mice through a
maze

And now I find
what’s left behind
has served to make me whole
full of doubt, deception, and delusion
seeking purpose to all earthly days

I search within
beneath a skin
that bears both pleasure and pain
In a world full of constant confusion
I will not be a par to the craze

In the Afterlife
will dark be bright?
will cold be warm?
will the day have no night?
In the Afterlife?
will the blind have sight?
In the Afterlife

Behind closed eyes
some comfort lies
In knowing the truth never spoken
Through this world with us
hidden conclusion
we’ll keep moving like mice through
a maze

In the Afterlife
will dark be bright?
will cold be warm?
will the day have no night?
In the Afterlife?
will the blind have sight?
In the Afterlife

In the Afterlife
will dark be bright?
will cold be warm?
will the day have no night?
In the Afterlife?
will the blind have sight?
In the Afterlife

7. The Ones Who Help To Set The Sun

[music by Dream Theater, lyrics by Petrucci]

Watching my window I was led like a
child
As the roadway lamplights
misguided my mind through the night
a shadow of limits
We were racing the rain
my hands held the wheel
My eyes tried to hold their place

there must have been a time
when I thought that you were
watching
It had to be when my senses lost
control
I thought I’d slipped away
I thought I could still feel us
moving
It must have been a cloud
no bigger than a man’s hand

Every reason I risk my life
To come back to you
Is locked behind your door
You’re my immunity
Outside I watched you burn
Heavy hearts were bleeding
A cry for help, a familiar voice
My melting hands streaked the glass

As I walked away
I wondered what had really
happened
had I run out of time
did I push myself too far
As my last step fell
I felt my hands upon the wheel
had I come back to life
or did I ever leave at all

In higher lives
We seem to be
always a moment too late
We’re past the time
when we looked on
Now we’re
THE ONES WHO HELP TO
SET THE SUN
this time for real
I locked the door behind me
My mind was still a wreck
from what I saw
For when my hands are still
I’ll recognize the message
never again will my senses lose
control
In higher lives
We seem to be
Always a moment too late
We’re past the time
when we looked on
Now we’re
THE ONES WHO HELP TO
SET THE SUN

8. Only A Matter Of Time

[music by Dream Theater, lyrics by Moore]

A suited man smiled said:
“It’s just a matter of time
You can have the world at your feet
by tomorrow
just sign on this line.”
Hold tight… limelight!
Approaching the paramount
with the sun in our eyes
fearing family ties, legalies,
compromise

In a dimly lit room with a stool as his
stage
a dream-stricken prince of a pauper’s
descent
haunts the eavesdropping silence
that presses his window
as he sweats a performance
to an audience that ticks on the wall

To the practical observer
It’s just a matter of time
“You can deviate from the com-
monplace
only to fall back in line.”
I understand mine’s a risky plan
and your system can’t miss
But is security after all a cause
or symptom of happiness?

Brave, yet afraid, his eyes on horizon
in a steady-set gaze
a mariner soon from an open cocoon
takes a moment to summon his courage
to stifle his grave apprehension and
trembling, approaches the surf
A father’s benediction as his hopeful
son departs
to brave the sea of rage and conquer
at all costs

lingers in his memory
and visions still surviving in a logic-
proof shell
that should have been held sacred, safe
and hidden well
are compromised in usury
with every rising sun that yields no
sight of land
the hesitation cultivates within the
tired man
and rumors spread of mutiny
and though the time will come when
dream and day unite
tonight the only consolation causing
him to fight
in fearless faith in destiny

Even when plans fall to pieces
I can still find the courage
with promise I’ve found in my faith

Likely or not, it’s a dream that we keep
and at odds with our senses we’ll climb
But if faith is the answer, we’re already
reached it
And if spirit’s a sign
then it’s only a matter of time

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