Falling Into Infinity was actually the very first DT album I ever heard, way back when. That's probably the biggest reason why I can never hate it like some folks do. Also, it does feature some excellent songs.
Once in a LIVEtime is something between Falling Into Infinity and demo version of this song, which we can find on Falling into Infinity Demos "official bootleg" from YtseJam Records. in my opinion demo version is better than final remix, but once in a livetime beat them all. .. beautiful one.
This was the very first Dream Theater song I heard. Anyone who looks at my last.fm stats will know it was the start of something truly beautiful. The lines "His final scene / the actor bows / and all those years / are gone somehow / the crowd applauds / the curtain falls" will certainly survive the test of time, much like this band has. Hail, hail.
Falling Into Infinity was far from Derek Sherinian's fault. No one was left at East/West Records that gave a crap about Dream Theater. Go back and listen to all the demos for Falling and you will see there were plenty of songs that could have made the album better.