When Dream And Day Unite
was the debut studio album by Dream Theater. It was released on March 6th in 1989, on the Mechanic/MCA Records label. Recorded between July 18th and August 12th of 1988, it is the only studio album to feature the line-up of Charlie Dominici, Kevin Moore, Mike Portnoy, John Myung and John Petrucci.
- Mike Portnoy – Drums
- John Petrucci – Guitar
- John Myung – Bass
- Kevin Moore – Keyboards
- Charlie Dominici – Vocals
- Terry Date – Production, mixing, engineering
- Joe Alexander – Engineering, mixing
- Brian Stover – Engineering assistance
- Trish Finnegan – Engineering assistance
- Steve Sinclari – Executive production
- A Fortune in Lies (Petrucci) 5:12
- Status Seeker (Dominici, Petrucci) 4:17
- Ytse Jam (instrumental) 5:43
- The Killing Hand (Petrucci) 8:42
- I. The Observance
- II. Ancient Renewal
- III. The Stray Seed
- IV. Thorns
- V. Exodus
- Light Fuse and Get Away (Moore) 7:23
- Afterlife (Dominici) 5:27
- The Ones Who Help to Set the Sun (Petrucci) 8:05
- Only a Matter of Time (Moore) 6:37
About the album
As a young and hungry band, the band Majesty had performed for several years locally in the New York area. Seeking a record deal, they were signed to the newly formed record label Mechanic in June 1988. The band went straight to work on recording what would become their first album. Terry Date produced the album, but inexperience in how to record an album of this type combined with a very low budget and a very short visit to the studio made the result less than stellar. It is commonly referred to as the worst sounding Dream Theater album. The album went mostly unnoticed, perhaps due to the untimely requirement for them to change their name from the original Majesty to Dream Theater, but also likely because of the poor quality recording. The early promotion was sent out under the name Majesty, so the buzz surrounding the name Majesty (from the local concerts and the miniscule promotion from the record company) missed its mark when the album was released under the name Dream Theater.
Prior to Majesty’s arrival in Pennsylvania, the last occupants of both the studio and their temporary digs had been Queensrÿche , a band that all the members of Majesty had admired – who had just completed the recording of the seminal prog metal album “Operation: Mindcrime”. Charlie Dominici remember joking about wanting to use Geoff Tates bedroom in the hopes that some of the magic would rub off onto him.
The record company barely did any promotion for the record, and did not support a tour suppring the album release. The band was ultimately released from their contract and subsequently Charlie Dominici was fired from the band due to creative differences. It was only after the critically acclaimed Images and Words that the debut album got any attention.
Promotional singles from this album were “Afterlife” and “Status Seeker”. Both of these were remixed by Terry Brown, and were of a much better sounding quality.
The album was performed in its entirety at the 15th anniversary of the album, in Los Angeles in 2004. This was later released on an YtseJam Records Official Bootleg both as a CD and a DVD. Dream Theater have said that there is no intention to re-record it, and they don’t own the rights to remix or remaster it.
A relatively fast and complex album, the main influences on this album is Rush, Iron Maiden, Queensrÿche and Metallica. The lyrics are varied, ranging from personal texts to abstract lyrics, with both science fiction content and philosophical content dealing with religious questions.
The most known track off this album is “Ytse Jam”, as it was a live staple for many years afterwards (with the other songs off the album rarely being played). “Ytse Jam” is “majesty” backwards, and is pronounced “yit-say jam”. The album art shows the first appearance of the “Majesty Symbol” which was to become DT’s trademark logo. You can see it about to be branded on the man’s chest.
The title “When Dream And Day Unite” can be heard in the song “Only A Matter Of Time”. The title of the album can not be found on the front cover, something it only shares with one other Dream Theater album, the self-titled “Dream Theater”. An alternate title suggested by Charlie Dominici was “Once Upon A Time”.