Dream Theater has been around for a long time now, but they made magic on their second album. Of all the music they have ever written, the middle instrumental of this song is one of their finest moments, bursting with creativity.
The “Part I” in the song’s title was actually meant as a joke. Being a progressive band, it was a nod to multi-part progressive rock songs of the past. It wasn’t until 1999 that the “Part I” gained meaning when they decided to use this song as the inspiration and backstory for an entire album, which became Metropolis Part 2: Scenes from a Memory.
1990s EDM has a special place in my musical memories, as a friend of mine at the time was quite into the scene, so I learned a lot about electronic dance music back then. This is a classic from the era, released on the Platipus label which specialized in psychedelic trance. It remains one of my favorite styles of electronic music to this day, and for me at least, this song still sounds fresh and exciting.
The final track on Steven Wilson’s second solo album, which was my favorite album of his until The Raven that Refused to Sing and Hand. Cannot. Erase. came along. Grace for Drowning is still a fantastic musical journey across two discs. This song is the perfect finale, and I think I could listen to the last three minutes go on for hours and never tire of it.
Originally released as a standalone single, “Stars Die” found a home on the US version of The Sky Moves Sideways, and later internationally as Steven Wilson was remastering and reissuing the Porcupine Tree catalogue.
This has always been one of my favorite Porcupine Tree songs, but it also is rather timely with the recent anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, as there is some NASA radio communication from that very event featured in the middle of this song.
I don’t usually feature the same artist two weeks in a row, but I listened to this again the other night and had to share it. It’s nearly as impressive just hearing it as compared to seeing it on the concert film included with the set. If you’re a drum fan, Gary O’Toole’s performance in the second half of this song is on fire and you won’t want to miss it.