Oh, man. It’s been a while hasn’t it? Both since I last did a Forgotten Tracks post, and since Queensryche ruled the airwaves. It’s time for both to be back!
Empire– I was in my early 20s, and I had just started opening my mind to heavy metal. My sister was away at college, which means it was open season on her record (yes record) collection. Iron Maiden, Metallica, and this little band from Seattle- Queensryche. When Empire was released, I dug it right away. Then I went back to her collection and found out I dug a lot more. So, like any 20something with disposable cash, I went to the record store and bought up a bunch of their CDs.
Operation: Mindcrime– One of the coolest things is when you realize you like a band that’s been out for 5-6 years, then you can go back and get all those albums (download all their songs, duh). This is exactly what I did. Since Styx was one of my favorite bands, I knew exactly what a “concept album” was, and really liked it. Operation: Mindcrime is the title song from this album. I was fortunate enough to catch Queensryche on the Building Empires tour in which they played this album cover to cover. Hell of a show.
Gonna get close to you– It was when I listened to this album that I knew I was fully on-board with Queensryche. I actually remembered this song, but never knew it was Queensryche. This happens a lot with me. This is one of their darker songs, but I love it. It’s one of my favorites.
The whisper– I can remember listening to this song in particular while playing Sonic The Hedgehog. Rage for Order was one of my goto CDs for that particular game. Had a good groove. Kept me focused. What can I say?
Jet City Woman– Much to many fans dismay, this song was played All. Over. The radio. Up and down the dial. From Classic Rock stations, to pop stations. The video was all over MTV and any other station that still played music videos. It’s a solid track from the Empire album.
Revolution Calling– I could very easily list this entire CD and call it a day. Revolution Calling is the signature song for Operation: Mindcrime. It sets the tone, and kind of explains the theme of the “concept album”. Funny listening to it now, it’s so apropos.
The lady wore black- This song appeared on Queensryche’s 4-song EP (extended play) album. Again, it was a song I have heard before but never knew the band who did it. Once I started listening to Queensryche I bought up all I could, and this was one.
Silent Lucidity– A collective groan from hardcore Queensryche fans, an eyeroll. Fists slamming on a table. I’m not sure I was ever that fan, especially since this was the album that I came on board on. A beautiful ballad, in the vein of Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb. Is it their fault it got tragically overplayed? I mean literally, you could catch it on many radio stations at the same time. Again, not their fault.
Eye’s of a stranger– Maybe my favorite Queensryche song. This is so beautifully written, sung, and performed. It is the final song from Opeation: Mindcrime, and it often made me want to hit play again.
Take Hold of the Flame- Early hard rocking Queensryche from The Warning. Geoff Tate screeching vocals dominates this track. It’s raw and powerful. It was interesting for me because I hopped on the Queensryche train when they were already polished.
Walk in the shadows– Another one of my favorites from Rage to Order. This one could have easily been on Operation: Mindcrime. You can see it has a similar vibe and concept, lyrically.
The killing words– A beautiful and dark power ballad from Rage to Order. Signature riffs that define the band, you will hear as they reoccur on Mindcrime and Empire.
En Force– Another song from The Warning. You can hear riffs and techniques that would be used in both Rage for Order and Operation: Mindcrime. It’s still kind of raw, but you can see this is much more polished than even Take hold of the flame.
I don’t believe in love– Whether you call this a power ballad, or a rock song, it kicks a fair amount of ass. It also explains another chapter in the concept album that is Operation: Mindcrime.
Bridge– An especially emotional song for me, because I could relate to the topic that Chris DeGarmo beautifully writes about.
Another rainy night– Heh, did you think I would leave this one out? Not a chance. Queensryche does power ballads justice, and this track is righteous!
One more time– Another song from the Promised Land album. Kinder gentler Queensryche? I dunno, but I could see this being on Mindcrime.
The voice inside– Hear in the now frontier was a big departure from what Queensryche has done for two decades. Faced with grunge, and the emergence of more boybands, hip-hop artists, and female solo acts, metal was fading fast from mainstream airwaves. The same stations that once played Metallica, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest were either changing formats of fading away. The late 90s were a sad time indeed for music. I am a little guilty myself, as this was the last Queensryche CD I purchased.
Queensryche had a great run, from the early 80s, deep into the 90s. Geoff Tate, Chris DeGarmo, Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson, and one of my favorite drummers of all time–Scott Rockenfield–Thank you!