Dream Theater’s fifth studio but first concept album, Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory, was released today on October 26, 1999.
The “Pt. 2” in the name is because it was arranged as a sequel to “Metropolis Part 1: ‘The Miracle and the Sleeper’”, a song from the band’s 1992 album, Images, and Words. The term “Part I” was originally added as a joke by John Petrucci. And it stayed a joke until the band recorded a 21-minute instrumental demo of the sequel, which was unfortunately not included in the final release though most of the motifs in the demo were reused on the final version.
The album’s unique sound is maybe thanks to Jordan Rudess, the keyboard wizard, since this was the first album to feature him on the keys. After working with him in Liquid Tension Experiment, a prog-rock supergroup, Mike Portnoy and Petrucci saw how easy it was for them to get along and write music together. And after the current keyboardist Derek Sherinian was fired via a conference call, Rudess became a full-time member of the band.