Revolver has teamed with Dream Theater for an exclusive 2LP cobalt vinyl edition of their new live album, The Lost Not Forgotten Archives - Images & Words, Live in Japan, 2017. Quantities are extremely limited — order your copy now before they're gone!
In July 1992 Dream Theater released their second full-length, Images and Words. The album — their first with new singer James LaBrie teaming with the virtuosic crew of guitarist John Petrucci, keyboardist Kevin Moore, bassist John Myung and drummer Mike Portnoy — was a straight-up prog-metal opus that catapulted the band to international fame.
Much of the album's hype was generated by its hit single "Pull Me Under" — an emotive ripper that broke into the Top 10 of Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart, received significant MTV play and would later find new life as a fan favorite in the Guitar Hero World Tour game. Three decades since its release, Images and Words still ranks as Dream Theater's most commercially successful album and continues to garner critical accolades. (Guitar World listed it among the top guitar albums of 1992 and Rolling Stone picked it as one of the 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time).
Images and Words — which is showcased on Dream Theater's new live record, The Lost Not Forgotten Archives - Images & Words, Live in Japan, 2017 — is also a pivotal record for many of our favorite players, including super shredder and Alice Cooper guitarist Nita Strauss.
Below, Strauss recounts the transfixing moment she discovered Dream Theater, explains how Images and Words influenced her own guitar playing and reveals the song that was so "cool" she used its lyrics as her MySpace headline.
DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME YOU HEARD DREAM THEATER?
NITA STRAUSS The first time I heard Dream Theater was the  album Awake. I listened to it from beginning to end, uninterrupted, not saying a word. I was totally transfixed by the way the instruments played together. After being so blown away by Awake, I scrambled to get my hands on more Dream Theater music, and Images and Words was the next album I got. I wasn't sure what to expect after loving my first taste of prog metal so much, I was almost afraid the next album I heard would be a disappointment. It was the opposite! And totally solidified my Dream Theater fandom.
WHAT DOES THAT ALBUM MEAN TO YOU NOW?
Images and Words is almost like a safe place for me musically. Someplace I can listen and be transported back to my early years of being so excited and inspired by music.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE SONG ON IMAGES AND WORDS?
It would have to be a toss-up between "Metropolis — Part I: The Miracle and the Sleeper" or "Under a Glass Moon." I also always thought "Learning to Live" was one of the coolest lyrical Dream Theater songs. It was even my MySpace headline: "The way that your heart beats makes all the difference in learning to live."
JOHN PETRUCCI IS A MONSTER GUITARIST. HOW, IF AT ALL, DID HE INFLUENCE YOUR OWN CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT, OR THE WAY YOU THOUGHT ABOUT PLAYING MUSIC?
John Petrucci was, and still is, a huge influence of mine. He's such a technician and he shows that technical side in every song. There's not a Dream Theater song where you go, "The song is cool, but the guitar is boring." His guitar playing is always creative and interesting. I love that.
HAVE YOU EVER MET PETRUCCI?
A few times! Most recently, Dream Theater and Alice [Cooper] played a show together in Mexico City. It was one of those festivals where there are two stages, and Dream Theater was headlining one; we were headlining the other. I spent the entire time that I should have been warming up and stretching … on the side of the stage with John's awesome tech watching their set. John came over and chatted with us between songs for a few minutes and my inner Dream Theater nerd was just bursting with happiness. Then I had to sprint to the other stage after and play our own show! [Laughs]
DID YOU LEARN ANY TRICKS FROM WATCHING DREAM THEATER LIVE?
I've seen them so many times. I think the first one was at the Grove in Anaheim. I just love watching that level of musicianship live. It always makes me want to go home and practice, but in the best possible way.
DO YOU REGULARLY GO BACK AND LISTEN TO DREAM THEATER? OR DO THEY REPRESENT A CERTAIN PERIOD OF TIME IN YOUR HISTORY?
I do listen to them pretty regularly. When I want familiarity — but I also want to be inspired — Dream Theater is my go-to jam.