Greatest Hit (...and 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs)
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1.96 | 19 ratings | 6 reviews
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Boxset / Compilation · 2008

Filed under Progressive Metal


Disc 1: The Dark Side
1. Pull Me Under (2007 remix) (8:13)
2. Take the Time (2007 remix) (8:22)
3. Lie (edited version) (5:01)
4. Peruvian Skies (6:42)
5. Home (edited version) (5:38)
6. Misunderstood (edited version) (5:14)
7. The Test That Stumped Them All (5:00)
8. As I Am (7:14)
9. Endless Sacrifice (11:23)
10. The Root of All Evil (7:16)
11. Sacrificed Sons (9:41)

Total Time: 79:51

Disc 2: The Light Side
1. Another Day (2007 remix) (4:25)
2. To Live Forever (4:56)
3. Lifting Shadows Off a Dream (6:09)
4. The Silent Man (3:47)
5. Hollow Years (5:55)
6. Through Her Eyes (alternate album mix) (6:03)
7. The Spirit Carries On (6:39)
8. Solitary Shell (edited version) (4:10)
9. I Walk Beside You (4:28)
10. The Answer Lies Within (5:15)
11. Disappear (6:45)

Total Time: 58:38


About this release

Released by Atco Records, April 1st, 2008

Thanks to DippoMagoo for the updates

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Specialists/collaborators reviews

NOTE: This is a compilation album from a band of which I own every album. One must remember sometimes what the point of a compilation album is. A compilation album is an album that compiles popular tracks from a band's discography as to attract prospective fans. So, it is nearly impossible for a compilation album to be more than 3 stars, but it is also improbable to say that a compilation album is 1 stars, seeing as the songs on it were most likely off of the band's better albums. This album actually introduced a good friend of mine to Dream Theater, and now he owns three studio albums and loves the music. The album does a spectacular job at... at what you ask?.... at compiling Dream Theater's more popular tracks as to cater to future or prospective fans. Songs like Pull me Under, Lie, Hollow Years, I Walk Beside You or Through Her Eyes are perfect songs to tell the average music fan, hey, these guys are pretty good. So yes, compilation albums are essentially a marketing scheme, but heck, we all need money don't we?

Initially I was going to say 1 star, but I realized that I can't review this album through a dedicated fan's eyes who owns every album and lives and breathes Dream Theater, but through the eyes of someone who is just starting out on the road to Dream Theater, and this is a very good release. 3- stars.
The Block
A popular hit and 21 other cut up songs

I cannot totally kill this album as I intended to because it was my first Dream Theater album. It got me into their other albums and showed me some basic DT. Most of the songs on it are not even that bad. Actually I like them all but the way they put them on this album is not that good at all.

Now onto the 21 cut up songs :

When I first got their Greatest Hits, I overjoyed because it was one of my first prog metal cd's. However, some of the songs made me think prog was not so good. Then when I got Scenes From a Memory and realized "Home" was not 5 minutes long and actually a piece of prog genius, I started having my doubts.

Also, this album did not have the greatest selection of softer Dream Theater. Do not get me wrong, "I Walk Beside You" and "The Answer Lies Within" are great but, on the album they are edited versions so it is only part of the song.

Sometimes when you want to get into a band you would but their greatest hits. That is not the case here. The songs are good, but the production and editing is horrible. This album definitely falls into the Collectors/fans only category.

1.5 stars
Conor Fynes
'Greatest Hit (...and 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs)' - Dream Theater (21%)

This is what you get when you infuse a relatively non-commercial band with an incredibly profit-based compilation. Dream Theater is a band where the concept of a Best Of compilation would receive flak and criticism regardless of how effective the compilation actually was at encapsulating the work ... Read moreof this band's great career. However, the compilators fail so greatly at doing the band justice, this disc should not, and cannot get more then one star.

Dream Theaters fanbase is quite hardcore in nature, and devoted. Therefore, naturally everyone would have differing opinions about which songs are worthy of being 'the best.' Obviously in accordance with the disc's title, Dream Theaters single hit 'Pull Me Under' would definately need to be in here somewhere. But where are the songs that are widely considered to be their true greats? Songs such as 'Ytse Jam,' 'Metropolis Pt. I,' and 'Learning to Live' should be here. Are they? Nope.

What you get is a smattering of Dream Theater's most commercial songs. In my personal opinion, as far as the song choice goes, alot of these are ironically some of their worst songs. If theres enough room to put remixes and radio edits (radio edit, haha!) on the two discs, I'm sure they could have found a way to put some of the longer, more memorable tracks on here.

Instead of selling out and shamelessly fulfilling uninspired contracts, they could have put their most brilliant, loved moments onto some CDs and gained alot of fresh fans in the process.

In the matter of 30 seconds, I could have made a Dream Theater compilation that I'm sure could widely be considered much, much better than the official release, and much more representative of Dream Theater's actual talent.

For a group as amazing and creative as Dream Theater, I think a much better compilation should have been made. There was definate potential; Mike Portnoy even stated that there was going to be a 3rd disc called 'the Epic Side' consisting of the band's progressive material. However, what we are truly left with is a halfhearted attempt to gain more fans, and make money off of those so attached to the band as to buy whatever this band releases. Shameless.
The T 666
How can I, someone who has declared DT one of his favorite bands in all metal, be giving this Greatest Hits compilation a bad rating? A collection of DT's should be every fan's dream, shouldn't it?

There's absolutely NO reason for a fan who has all the albums to have this other than to presume of a perfect collection. And this compilation doesn't add ONE SONG to the catalogue ("To Live Forever"? Please...). This is also not a good introduction to sell the band to people who haven't heard it previously.

Ok, I forgot: we get a couple of remixes here. Well, if you really crave for that new mix where you can listen to the hi-hat one decibel higher than in the album, rush ahead and go buy this collection. The original albums were all pretty well-produced in the first place so there's really no need for new mixes.

- First off, where is "Ytse Jam"? If there's a song that had to be here is that one. Label issues aside, I'm sure it could be done. And they couldn't even have argued that they didn't want any Dominici-sung track in the compilation, as that one is an instrumental. It's awful that there's not ONE song from the band's first album on this record.

- From one of their masterpieces, "Images and Words", they chose, well, their only actual "hit" ("Pull me Under") which makes the title of this album coherent; they chose a great song like "Take the Time", and "Another Day". I love every song in that record. But I just can't forgive that "Metropolis" isn't here. It's just ridiculous. That's one of the seminal DT songs and one which defines their sound for prospective fans.

- From "Awake" they chose "Lie", which had a video but it's not the best track in the album, they chose "Silent Man" and "Lifting Shadows off a Dream". Where's "The Mirror" or, even more, "Erotomania" and "Voices"? Bad selection. If they wanted to spotlight less-known tracks, they could've gone with the great "Scarred" instead.

- "Falling into Infinity" has no better luck. "Peruvian Skies" is good and "Hollow years" is very pretty, but really, for a true taste of DT, where are "Trial of Tears", or the amazing combo "Hell's Kitchen-Lines in the sand"? Terrible picks (these are not bad songs per se, the're just awful as selections for a greatest hits album).

- "Scenes from a Memory" should never be cut. Period. At least they chose some of the greatest moments of an album that doesn't have many weak moments so it isn't so big an achievement.

- "6 Degrees of Inner Turbulence" receives the usual treatment. They don't include fan-favorite "The Glass Prison" (which I don't like at all, but most people do, so probably it would've been a good hook for new fans) and prefer the good "Misunderstood" and the forgettable "Disappear." And again, they cut the only really great part of that album, the title-track, and utterly kill it. They include the "radio edit" of "Solitary Shell". What "radio" are we talking about? Again, if your band isn't mainstream, please include what the fans love, so that newbies can have a better sample of your music. Not a RADIO EDIT that no radio has ever aired anyway.

- "Train of Thought" is butchered as we expected, with the horrendous "As I Am" and the decent "Endless Sacrifice" as choices.

- They did a good job of choosing the songs of "Octavarium." To include the title-track would've been a good idea, but it's a long song. And time had to be saved for...

... wait..., there's no "A Change of Seasons" in any of the two discs!

And yes,there is enough room in the discs to include the legendary 23 minute track.

After I've said that, I guess the rating I'm giving this compilation should come as no surprise.

As compilations go, this is atrocious. If this was an album of new songs, it would be a decent one. But knowing every record of the band, and thinking on what they should've chosen to really attract new fans (which I guess is the objective of compilations -other that making money for the record label, which this collection won't do either-, to give people who don't want to buy 9 albums and one EP a good sample of what the band's music is about), these 2 discs are in my view a waste of time and resources.

You know, for a band that has only ONE radio-"kind-of"-hit ("Pull Me Under"), they should've gone with what their fans love the most, not what the band or the label think are their greatest hits, because this kind of band rarely has ANY HIT, so their real "hits" or the closest to that would be those songs that their fans think are a better sample of DT for newcomers. But DREAM THEATER won't gain any new fans with this horrendous song selection.

Members reviews

'An introduction to the prog metal titans meant for the casual listener or a faithful collector.'

Honestly, this compilation album ain't nothing to recommend for any other than casual listeners who would like to get an insight of what Dream Theater has been about during their earlier times (just before the Systematic Chaos-era). I believe the "Light Side" will appeal to those who are non-metal fans as every track in there seem to be ready for air-play, while the "Dark Side" is a collection of heavier and progressive tracks (including the "Greatest Hit" we know as the opening track here as it was on "Images And Words".)

The remix tracks of "Pull Me Under", "Take The Time" and "Another Day" are pretty much the same as the original tracks. I said "pretty much" since these tracks on this compilation have been mixed to sound louder and slightly clearer, not to mention a minor rearrangement of the latter track's sax solo. Another particular difference is that, what most of the reviewers have missed out on: Mike Portnoy's drums (prominently snares and kick drums) have been rerecorded on these tracks, eliminating the drum trigger sounds and the odd production that differs from the tracks of the later era.

The selection of tracks and the categorization going between the two discs are pretty well thought out, if yet for the sake of inviting new listeners in. The Dark Side disc has a number of tracks that leave the clues about how DT's sound from each of the albums have changed, in a chronological order. Not all are really great but decent enough, I guess. I'll say the same about The Light Side, with some tracks that divide the listeners at times.

As I am aware of, this compilation disc has been taking a great deal of beating from some fans because it didn't include the most essential songs that proved that Dream Theater were able to bring out some real gems. That's much to Mike Portnoy's dismay, who helped arrange the tracks on this compilation, as the label didn't allow him to include a third disc that was intended to have the epic, most progressive songs on it. So you won't find tracks such as "Metropolis Pt. 1", "Learning To Live" or "Space-Dye Vest".

Fans that are well familiar to this band will rarely find this compilation any interesting (besides the b-side track (no pun intended) "To Live Forever"; the remix tracks aren't worth it any more than what you can get for the originals on Images And Words and so are the unnecessary radio edits on a number of songs (regardless if it helps make room for more songs in there). It only makes it worthwhile if you are new to Dream Theater and want an easy-going synopsis of their musical career, especially if you aren't a fan of prog. But if you are, I'd rather suggest you to check their full-length albums to find the REAL gems that aren't included in this release.
Reading the other reviews for this compilation, I'm not sure why it has such incredibly bad reviews - Its NOT made for Dream Theater fans, its made for newcomers to the band, and as such, it isn't really meant to add any B-Sides or material unavailable on their full studio albums. As an impartial listener of Dream Theater, I picked this up as my first CD from the band to sample their sound and style...

Although I found out Dream Theater wasn't a band I would follow completely, these discs did give me a great sample of the various genres this band has played, and gave me a lot of understanding of why some people do love DT.

There are no bad tracks on this compilation, but at the same time, there are no tracks which make me genuinely "wow"... It is a good compilation, although it was foolish for the band to exclude their fan-favourite "In The Presence Of Enemies", or for that matter, any material from Systematic Chaos, considering this set was released one full year after SC.

Until next time, keep proggin'


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