DREAM THEATER's 2002 Performance Of IRON MAIDEN's 'The Number Of The Beast' Album To Be Made Available On Streaming Services
April 23, 2022
DREAM THEATER's 2002 performance of the entire "The Number Of The Beast" album by IRON MAIDEN will be made available for the first time ever on vinyl and streaming services on June 10 via InsideOut Music.
Originally released on DREAM THEATER's YtseJam Records in 2005, this one-of-a-kind performance sees the progressive metal giants again paying tribute to some of their historic musical icons. This unique 2002 performance in front of a French audience at La Mutualite in Paris, France is the only available recording of this one-off historic event, forever preserved in the YtseJam collection as part of the growing "Lost Not Forgotten Archives" series.
A few days before the Paris show, DREAM THEATER also performed the entire "The Number Of The Beast" album during its appearance at the London Astoria. They played the material exactly as per the original album, with the exception of "Gangland", which was done in a jazz style. DREAM THEATER, who feature a sole guitarist in the shape of the very-capable John Petrucci, reproduced the second-guitar parts by having keyboardist Jordan Rudess play them on the keys, including the solos. Following an intermission in the regular set, then-DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy took the stage wearing a MAIDEN shirt, after which the classic "The Number Of The Beast" spoken intro kicked in. "The Number of The Beast" album cover was projected behind the group, but with DREAM THEATER in the style of the IRON MAIDEN logo.
Last year, DREAM THEATER's James LaBrie confirmed to Canada's The Metal Voice that he was asked to try out for the singer position in IRON MAIDEN when Bruce Dickinson left the British heavy metal legends back in 1993. He said: "At the time, we were being looked at to be managed by IRON MAIDEN's management. And so, [MAIDEN's manager] Rod Smallwood, at the time, we were playing darts, and he took me aside and he said, 'What do you think about…?'
"You've gotta remember — I was in a very bizarre situation," he continued. "DREAM THEATER, we had already recorded [1992's] 'Images And Words', we were looking for management, we were getting ready to try and set up a tour and get out there. And I remember him saying to me — he takes me aside, and the rest of the guys in DREAM THEATER were there too, playing darts, because we were looking at him for management. And he says, 'I just wanna throw something at you.' And he had his assistant with him too — Merck — at the time. And they were both standing there. They were going, 'What do you think about being the singer with IRON MAIDEN?' And I said, 'What? What are we talking about here? I'm confused. Are you not here for the reason that you might start managing DREAM THEATER? Or are you here to get me to become…?' And I had already recorded the [DREAM THEATER] album. Can you imagine how bizarre that was?'
LaBrie said: "Anyways, so I just said, 'No. No way. You know what? I'm gonna tell you the reasons why I'm not going to do this.' And they said, 'What's that?' And I said, 'One: DREAM THEATER. That's it. Period.' And I said, 'But if I need to go any further with this, way back when I was 22 years old, I sang for a band called CONEY HATCH for a year. And I walked [in as the replacement for] another singer [named] Carl Dixon,' and I said, 'and basically what I felt like was a glorified jukebox.' And I said, 'Because I came into the band, I was able to sing all that stuff no problem — no problem — but there was never that 'This is me. And this is what I created.' It was about, 'Are you looking at me for who and what I am?' I don't think so. And I don't think you ever will.
"Bruce and I have mutual respect for one another. We've met several times. We've done several shows. I remember doing the BBC show with him. And there was that mutual respect between the two of us. And I remember just thinking, 'I'm not gonna get out there and be singing MAIDEN every night — even though I think they're a great band, and Bruce is a great singer. No, thank you.' I need to create something that I can say, 'No, this is what I created from the beginning.' And we all know, okay, I wasn't on the first [DREAM THEATER] album, 'When Dream And Day Unite'."
James added: "And [the offer to audition for MAIDEN] came and went. As fast as it was asked, it was dismissed. And they went, 'All respect. Totally get it. No problem.' Boom. And we moved on."
This unique 2002 performance in front of a French audience at La Mutualite in Paris, France is the only available recording of this one-off historic event, forever preserved in the YtseJam collection and now available to pre-order for the first time ever on vinyl and streaming.
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