John Petrucci: What Is the Most Important Dream Theater Song

"If you think about what it did for us as far as the future is concerned, it really put up on the map."

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John Petrucci: What Is the Most Important Dream Theater Song
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John Petrucci singled out "Pull Me Under" off 1992's "Images & Words" as the most important tune in Dream Theater's catalog, telling Gitarre & Bass (via Blabbermouth):

"'Pull Me Under' was a surprise to everyone - it's over 8 minutes long, never meant to be a single.

"The songs being played on the radio were nothing like Dream Theater, but for some reason, it must have stuck out to where people were calling the radio stations: 'What is that band? Oh my God! I wanna hear that song again.'

"And that kind of snowballed and grew, and 'Pull Me Under' became a rock radio hit. I remember at the time I was living in New Jersey, on the East Coast of the US, and I'd turn on the radio and I'd hear it all the time. It was a cool feeling."

"Yeah [it's the most important song in DT catalog]. Probably. Yeah. If you think about what it did for us as far as the future is concerned, it really put up on the map.

"It enabled us to go from local guys driving around in a van, playing to a few people in clubs to an international touring band with this whole long and very busy and productive career.

"And who knows? Without that kind of initial spark, we may never have been able to be as successful as we have. I mean, who knows? Maybe we would have. I don't know. But it certainly, certainly helped. Big time."

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Focusing on the whole album, John noted:

"Well, we had no idea that it would end up doing what it did for us - basically launch our touring and international career as a band. We had no idea, no.

"In fact, we didn't even write songs, really, that had that potential in that atmosphere, because all the things that were being played on the radio sounded nothing like Dream Theater, so we didn't really think we had a chance.

"They were playing Nirvana and Pearl Jam. There was still some kind of '80-ish bands around and stuff. Even the band that David Prater, the producer, had done right before us was this band Firehouse, and they were like a big pop-metal ballad band.

"So we didn't think we had any place. But, we did feel really good about how the album came out. We felt very proud of it. We knew that it sounded good.

"I remember feeling really proud anytime I would play it for somebody. Like, 'Oh, you have to hear this. Check it out.' And the reaction was always, 'Wow! That sounds really good.' So we knew there was something there, but we had no idea what it would do for us."

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21 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Maiden95
    Pull Me Under is the obvious and logical choice. It's not even a favorite of mine from Dream Theater but I've always appreciated it helping them break out as a successful band. I don't think they are where they are today without it. 
    schecterhellraz
    I can appreciate what that song did for them but I would personally say that Metropolis Pt 1 The Miracle and the Sleeper was a far more important song since it spawned one of the greatest albums of all time IMHO. Not to mention the song itself is a Milestone in Prog.
    c660917
    Words by Kevin Moore. I wonder what would have happened without this song and without LaBrie, he doesn't have the credit he deserves.  I'm hoping they come to South America with this tour.
    nicolas.arango.
    Well, Images & Words is top 5 best metal albums ever
    Anjohl
    10 better albums off the top of my head: 1) Sad Wings of Destiny 2) Rust in Peace 3) And Justice For All 4) Powerslave 5) Operation Mindcrime 6) Rainbow Rising 7) Sabbath Bloody Sabbath 8) Beneath the Remains 9) From Mars to Sirius 10) Crack the Skye
    BlackRose93
    Have you ever heard of a thing called taste?
    Anjohl
    Yes I have, and if you think "Images and Words" is one of top 5 ANYTHING, you have BAD taste. "Taste" refers to having an educated knowledge of the objective quality of art, not having an "opinion".
    Alkalilee
    So basically what you're saying is that for some reason your opinion should be considered canon? What if I listed 10 albums that are "better" than your top 10? 
    the_bi99man
    "So basically what you're saying is that for some reason your opinion should be considered canon?" Dude, you figured out Anjohl. Your prize? The right to ignore him.
    Anjohl
    Came here to say "well duh, Pull Me Under". They names their greatest HIT album after it, for God's sake! They might as well play it 2-3 times per show.
    Mullion
    That would be freaking hilarious to play the same song at least twice in the same show.
    Bunkerman
    I can't imagine DT ever being played on the radio. O always try requesting then on my local rock station's 90's weekend and they laugh and hang up on me They'd much rather play hipstery shit like Mumford and Bums, Royal Flood and men without testicles
    theman6
    Hard to imagine what the hell happened for that song to become so popular I mean really, not only that whole album, but the whole DT catalogue is full of songs of the same, if not more, quality, and just as long, or shorter, so why did Pull Me Under, specifically?
    mattyreaver
    It realistically follows the 'pop' formula, intro, verse, chorus, bridge, verse, chorus. So in terms of DT catalogue it was different enough to be interesting to listen to but similar enough to have the initial 'I understand whats happening here' thing that a lot of radio listeners had when the album released. 
    theman6
    Not really, a lot of their songs follow the exact same formula, a lot of them, and not one of them got even close to the popularity Pull Me Under did, hell it would have made mor sense if Another Day took its place, it's a lot shorter and easier to digest, whereas Pull Me Under is one 8 minutes heavy prog, it's really weird
    JaguarGod
     It is one of their more straight-forward songs, especially when you consider what else was on the album besides Another Day which was the other single released.  
    theman6
    Exactly! Why Pull Me Under, and not Another Day? Pull Me Under isn't exactly what I would call straightforward honestly And when I say it, I'm talking about their discography as a whole, not just Images and Words, the only song that seems to have got close to PMU was On the Backs of Angels, 20 years later