You Not Me

Album: Falling Into Infinity (1997)

Songfacts®:

  • This Dream Theater song was co-written by Desmond Child. Wait, is that right? Desmond Child, the pop song Svengali whose super-slick choruses powered Bon Jovi's "You Give Love A Bad Name" and Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida Loca" teamed up with Dream Theater? Yes, it's true.

    When it came time to make the band's fourth album, Falling Into Infinity, their label, East West, had been taken over by Elektra, and Elektra was hot and heavy for a hit. So, they brought in the hit-maker Desmond Child to work with the band. Together, they crafted "You Not Me," which unlike most Dream Theater fare comes in under 5 minutes and is about romantic tribulations. It was a (very) minor hit, reaching #40 on the Mainstream Rock chart. The album sold fairly well, but the band was embittered by the process.
  • Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci wrote the lyric with Desmond Child, who by most accounts is wonderful to work with. In a Songfacts interview with Petrucci, he explained how it went down: "It was a fun experience. It was something I never did before. We had always kept everything internal to the band - we never had outside writers or anything like that - but it was an opportunity to do something different.

    I went down to his place. He was great, and we spent some time in the studio and reworked the lyrics to be in a better place, coming from his expertise and his influence. I never really have done anything like that again. It was a one-time thing, but it was a cool experience."
  • A version of the song that the band decided not to record was written and demoed when they took it to Desmond Child for polishing at the behest of their producer, Kevin Shirley, who had worked on the Aerosmith album Nine Lives, which contains "Hole In My Soul," co-written by Child. The band had always written their own material, but agreed to try the outside writer as an experiment. Drummer Mike Portnoy was not impressed. "As far as I'm concerned, the experiment failed and this will never happen again," he wrote on his website.
  • The band played this live a handful of times when they toured for the album, but retired it from their setlists after that.

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