Dream Theater Biography

This rock band was formed in 1985 by Berklee College Of Music students John Petrucci (12 July 1967, Kings Park, Long Island, New York, USA; guitar), John Myung (b. 24 January 1967, Chicago, Illinois, USA; bass) and Mike Portnoy (b. Michael Stephen Portnoy, 20 April 1967, Long Island, New York, USA; drums; ex-Inner Sanctum). The trio subsequently enlisted old schoolfriend Kevin Moore (b. 26 May 1967, Long Island, New York, USA; keyboards) and vocalist Chris Collins and began to record demos. Along with a contract with MCA Records, they also secured the services of vocalist Charlie Dominici, adopting their new name in favour of original choice Majesty. Their 1989 debut album showcased material incorporating elements of Rush, Queensrÿche, and Yngwie Malmsteen, in addition to the English progressive tradition embodied by King Crimson and Genesis. Dynamic, multi-faceted hard rock songs, characterized by countless slick time changes and impeccable musicianship, were the band’s trademarks. The album received a favourable response from the music media, but unfortunately was ignored by the record-buying public.

Dismayed at the poor album sales, MCA terminated their contract and Dominici quit shortly afterwards. It took the band a year to extricate themselves from the contract, and a rigorous auditioning process began to find a new singer. The winning candidate was Canadian James LaBrie (b. Kevin James LaBrie, 5 May 1963, Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada) formerly of Winter Rose. After their earlier label and personnel tribulations, their 90s albums for Atco Records and EastWest saw them regain their initial momentum, with both mainstream and metal critics acknowledging their fluency in meshing a variety of styles around a hard rock core.

Moore left the band half way through the recording of Awake, and was subsequently replaced by Derek Sherinian (b. 25 August 1966, Laguna Beach, California, USA). Following the release of the disappointing Falling Into Infinity, Sherinian was replaced by Jordan Rudess (b. 4 November 1956, New York, USA; ex-Speedway Blvd. ), who had already played with Petrucci and Portnoy in their side-project, Liquid Tension Experiment (other projects include Playtpus (Myung) and Transatlantic (Portnoy)). A live set preceded the release of 1999’s new studio album, Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory. The album was based on a track from Images And Words and dealt with weighty concepts including murder and reincarnation. Despite the unwieldy concept the album was highly rated by both fans and critics alike. A performance of the album at the Roseland Ballroom In New York City was taped for DVD release.

The ambitious Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence (2002) was a double album with the entire second disc taken up the 40-minute title track. In contrast Train Of Thought was full of short, hard rocking songs, and was supported by a live CD/DVD release taped at the Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan. The follow-up Octavarium was the final Dream Theater release for Atlantic Records / Elektra Records and featured some shorter, harder rocking tracks alongside the epic title track. Later in the year the band played to 20, 000 people in Santiago, Chile. The live Score was released via Rhino Records prior to the band signing a new contract with Roadrunner Records and making their studio debut for the label with 2007’s Systematic Chaos.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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