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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 27 July 2017
When I started getting into Dream Theater, this album didn’t appeal to me much. However, years later, I can listen to this and really appreciate it. It’s hard to categorise what this release actually is - it only has 5 tracks so appears to be an EP, but is just under an hour long so should be considered an album. 4 tracks are live, but the title track is a studio recording. This was the first release to feature keyboardist Derek Sherinian who also performed on ‘Falling into Infinity’. The title track is an incredibly long song (23 minutes), but it’s a good song. “Funeral for a Friend / Love Lies Bleeding” is a brilliant cover of Elton John, “Perfect Strangers” is a great cover of Deep Purple. Next up is a Led Zeppelin medley consisting of parts from “The Rover”, “Achilles Last Stand”, and “The Song Remains The Same”. Finally, is “The Big Medley” which consists of parts from “In the Flesh?” (Pink Floyd), “Carry On Wayward Son” (Kansas), “Bohemian Rhapsody” (Queen), “Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin’” (Journey), “Cruise Control” (Dixie Dregs), and “Turn It On Again” (Genesis).
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on 4 May 2017
Not quite as good as I was expecting. CoS OK, Covers clever, but not as good as leter DT. Hey ho, off to have another listen to The Astonishing
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on 9 April 2001
If you are not familiar with Dream Theater think Queensryche, Rush and a hint of Styx and you're probably in the right area. That said, DT have a fairly unique sound, not exactly prog, not exactly metal but an interesting hybrid of the two. This is my favorite of their albums, largely because the title track is an absolute classic. I've criticised DT before for overplaying and lousy lyrics, but neither of these flaws are in evidence here. The band play extremely well as a unit and Labrie (the singer) is given some room (within the music) and some decent lines as well. On top of that Perucci is an outsandingly good guitarist and Portnoy one of the top rock drummers (not Neil Peart but well ahead of the pack). The live material which makes up the second half of the album is a selection of cover versions. These are all competently handled and give an interesting insight into the bands taste, but they are played as straight covers for the most part and that always begs comparisons to the original. Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding is an interesting choice and on the whole well handled, but the piano sound isn't quite right and Labrie's voice doesn't suit the song so well.
Their version of Perfect strangers is in some ways an odd choice , but they deliver it well (in fact better perhaps than the original). The Led Zep medley is probably the weakest section though Petrucci's guitar sound is the culprit here. The Big Medley is the most fun and a good closer.
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on 2 February 2000
Change of Season is a Half and Half split album between live and studio work. The first hald of the CD is the studio side which is basically one whole musical masterpiece called Change fo Season (25mins Long ! ). This track displys some of the best work to date, it flows wonderfully between different musical style. Probably one of the best quality of this track is actually the vocals. Now the vocals on the Images and Words album were great and in some places very catchy and comercial, but when you listen to this new album there is so much though going in behind every word. It's like a story going through along with the music. My favourite vocal line from the piece being " oh come let us adore him, abuse and then ignore him". When you listen to it in contexts with the music it really shows emotion and thought that has gone into the lyrics which I believe were mainly written by Mike Portnoy (the drummer). I can easily play this track on a loop and never get tired or it. The second half of the album to be surprised are cover tracks taken from the bands that Dream Theater said influenced them when they were learning. To open, they do a wonderful version of Elton John's 'Funeral for a friend' in such a way that only Dream Theater could. The Live stuff is not what you really expect from Dream Theater and doesn't really complement the 25min masterpiece at the begin of the CD, but it is good to hear. It is like Dream Theater is trying to show / prove something to their fans, to tell a tale for how it was for them when they started. You never know what to expect from DT when they bring out an ablum !
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on 20 April 2001
This Album was designed as a filler between studio albums, and this contains a studio version their epic live masterpiece 'A change of seasons' (which is 24 minutes long) and also contains some live recordings of the band during their 'uncovered' show ('95). These are covers of songs rangeing from Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Queen etc. This is an amazing album, and it shows a different side of the band. The recording of the title tracks shows the band in great form, with probably the best performance so far from the singer (James LaBrie), and the 2nd half of live performances show them to be an amazing and precise live band-doing justice to the songs they are covering. When this CD was released, it was described as 'a gift to the fans'...which is exactly what it is!
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on 19 August 2003
Change of Seasons just takes you in from the opening acoustic section and spits you out at the closing repition and leaves you asking where the 23 minutes just went.
This classical masterpiece, broken up into themes, without sounded seperated, is not only amazing to listen to but is musically worthy of the great classical composers such as Bach or Mozart.
Petrucci's guitar solos and Myung's melodic basslines add a flavour to the incredible singing of LaBrie, making this, without a doubt, the best progressive rock, if not one of the best ever, songs written.
Well done Dream Theater, keep up the good work!
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on 25 April 2017
Considered by fans to be one of Dream Theater's best songs, 'A Change of Seasons' is the bands first venture into an old prog standard; the 20-minute epic! Clocking in at 23 minutes long, the title track of this release was originally intended for the 'Images and Words' album, but left off due to time restrictions.

No problem! Chuck a few live covers in there, and here we have arguably one of the greatest EP's of all time.

With such a lengthy track, you know that each musician will get the chance to show off their skills, and indeed they do! All five members (including newcomer Derek Sherinian on the keyboards), flawlessly show their mastery of their respective departments, with the song twisting and turning through all kinds of time signatures and dynamic changes, crafting a wonderful tale that takes us on a journey through life and reminds us of how quickly it passes by.

As for the other "half" of this EP, there are four live covers that I don't mind, but are kind of hit-or-miss for me. Covering Elton John, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and a medley consisting of Kansas, Queen, Journey and Genesis, none of them are terrible, but in fairness none of them are overly memorable either. Blatant filler.

As a whole, it's a great record, and an absolute must-have for fans of Dream Theater, and whilst the title track itself is entirely worth hearing, it's the covers that prevent this from getting a five-star rating. Still, it's as essential to your collection as any of the bands studio albums.
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on 25 January 2002
The 23-minute title track (really a 7-part suite) easily ranks not just as one of the greatest prog-rock tracks of all time, but as a singularly moving piece of music for any broad-minded listener. Like all of DT's best tracks, it grows on you --- you pick up details on every listen that you haven't picked up before. And yes, these guys *are* expletive-ing great musicians.
The rest of the album is just a set of live (very faithful) covers of other people's material, which mostly offer insight into DT's musical influences. (Rock influences, that is: all of the band members except the singer have conservatory degrees in their instruments, and classical music and jazz inevitably have left their mark.) I'd have given the cover album 3--4 stars (great covers, but nothing groundbreaking), but because I would give the title track 6 or 7 stars if I could, it averages out to five.
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on 16 September 2009
This is the only DT album I own, indeed have heard. I got a loan of my mates copy and bought it on CD. This is a masterpiece of an album for any rock fan.

The album only has 5 tracks and kicks off with the title track. An epic concept piece, just sit back and enjoy. However it is the rest of the album that excites me. These are covers, and they are outstanding. A great choice of tracks, customised to suit their style, they are fantastic renditions of some classics.

The album is recorded live. You'd hardly notice as it sounds as good as a studio recording. These are seriously talented musicians and the singer is incredible.

This album is an absolute pleasure to listen to and I highly recommend that you get this in your collection now.
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This is a very long and complicated song, split into seven distinct parts, so i will review each part seperatley as if they are tracks on an album.

A Change of Seasons
I. The Crimson Sunrise
The song starts with a menacing acoustic guitar, which, after about a minute, explodes into a metallic wave of sound, with many complicated drum rolls and stuff. I loved the acoustic guitar at the beginning, and the metal solo is good, but can get boring after it's three-minute peroid. 4/5
II. Innocence
This is probably one of the best sections of the song, and one of the only times when LaBrie's medicore voice actually sounds GOOD. He sings about the crimson sunrise, and his loss of innocence with a more artistic style than his usual more-shouting-than-singing style. 5/5
III. Carpe Diem
The song dramatically changes, to a softer, menacing ballad, whilst someone whispers "carpe diem, sieze the day". LaBrie sings about when he found out the news of his mother's death, and was sad. This is a nice change from long, pointless solo's, although, as i said, LaBrie dosen't have much vocal talent, so this isn't that transfixing. 4/5
IV. The Darkest of Winters
The heaviest section of the song, this is what Dream Theater are known for. Long, POINTLESS solo's. Maybe they are trying to musically represent dispair or something, but this just drags on way to long. 3/5
V. Another World
The best section of the song, LaBrie angrily shouts at the people harrasing him, telling them he dosen't need their sympathy, and finally shaking the winter off his shoulder's with a "i won't let them push me away". This is filled with raw emotion, and is one of Dream Theater's only human moments. 5/5
VI. The Inevitable Summer
This is another electric solo, and while not as long as the Darkest of Winters, it is probably more boring, and for that it gets a 3/5
VII. The Crimson Sunset
The song ends with LaBrie sitting down with his son, watching the crimson sunset, and shouting alot. This is a return to LaBrie's awful, shouty style, and this is why the end loses a point, because the last 45 seconds is graced by the beautiful, menacing acoustic guitar, hinting the cyclical nature of all things that they would fully explore in their album Octavarium. 3.5/5
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