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Queensryche

Although they were initially grouped with the legions of pop-metal bands that dominated the American heavy metal scene of the '80s, Queensrÿche were one of the most distinctive bands of the era. Where their contemporaries built on the legacy of Van Halen, Aerosmith, and Kiss, Queensrÿche constructed a progressive form of heavy metal that drew equally from the guitar pyrotechnics of post-Van Halen metal and '70s art rock, most notably Pink Floyd and Queen. After releasing a handful of ignored albums, the band began to break into the mainstream with the acclaimed 1988 album Operation: Mindcrime. Its follow-up, Empire, was the group's biggest success, selling over two million copies due to the hit single "Silent Lucidity." Queensrÿche never sustained that widespread popularity -- like most late-'80s metal bands, their audience disappeared after the emergence of grunge. Nevertheless, they retained a large cult following well into the ensuing decades.

Guitarists Chris DeGarmo and Michael Wilton formed Queensrÿche in 1981 in the Seattle, Washington, suburb of Bellevue. Both guitarists had been playing in heavy metal cover bands and had decided to form a group that would play original material. The duo recruited high school friends Geoff Tate (vocals) and bassist Eddie Jackson (bass), as well as drummer Scott Rockenfield. Instead of hitting the club circuit, the group rehearsed for two years, eventually recording and releasing a four-song demo tape. The cassette came to the attention of local record store owners Kim and Diana Harris, who offered to manage Queensrÿche. With the help of the Harrises, the tape circulated throughout the Northwest. In May of 1983, Queensrÿche released the EP Queen of the Reich on their own record label, 206 Records. Queen of the Reich sold 20,000 copies and, in the process, earned the band major-label attention. By the end of the year, the band signed to EMI, which released an expanded version of the EP as the Queensrÿche LP later in the year; the record peaked at number 81.

At this stage, Queensrÿche sounded closer to British metal bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Over the next few years, the group continued to refine its sound, opening for hard rock acts as diverse as Bon Jovi and Metallica. Their next two albums -- 1984's The Warning and 1986's Rage for Order -- sold respectably, with the latter reaching number 47 on the U.S. charts. Rage for Order also demonstrated a flowering of progressive rock influences, an idea that would reach its fruition with 1988's Operation: Mindcrime. Boasting orchestral arrangements from Michael Kamen, the album was Queensrÿche's most ambitious and focused effort to date, earning both positive reviews and strong sales. Operation: Mindcrime stayed on the American charts for a year, selling over a million copies during its run.

Queensrÿche returned in the fall of 1990 with the equally ambitious Empire. The album proved to be their commercial high-water mark, peaking at number seven on the U.S. charts and going double platinum in America; in the U.K., the album also cracked the Top Ten. Empire's success was instigated by the stately art rock ballad "Silent Lucidity," which received heavy airplay from MTV and album rock radio. All the exposure eventually sent "Silent Lucidity" to number five on the U.S. singles charts. Following the long Empire tour -- which included a spot on the 1991 Monsters of Rock tour -- Queensrÿche released the live Operation: LIVEcrime in the fall of 1991. Recorded on the Operation: Mindcrime tour, the album replicated their live performance of the rock opera that represented their 1988 artistic breakthrough; the package also included a video and a thick book.

In the three years following the release of Operation: LIVEcrime, the band rested and leisurely worked on the follow-up to Empire. Occasionally, they contributed a song to a soundtrack, such as "Real World" for Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1993 movie Last Action Hero. Queensrÿche finally delivered their sixth studio album, Promised Land, in 1994. Though the heavy metal audience had changed drastically since Empire, with many fair-weather metal fans switching their allegiance to grunge and alternative rock, the group retained a strong following, as evidenced by Promised Land debuting at number three on the U.S. charts. Promised Land would eventually go platinum and spawn two album rock hits, "I Am I" and "Bridge."

With 1997's Hear in the New Frontier, Queensrÿche stripped back their sound to the bare bones, leaving behind the prog rock influences that made them distinctive. Although the album debuted at 19, it received mixed reviews and quickly fell down the charts, leading shortly thereafter to founding guitarist Chris DeGarmo's exit from the band. (DeGarmo would soon resurface as part of former Alice in Chains' guitarist Jerry Cantrell's touring band.) Q2k followed in 1999, as new guitarist Kelly Gray took DeGarmo's place. Queensrÿche's first best-of set, Greatest Hits, was released in 2000; the band supported the CD with an opening slot on one of the year's hottest metal concert tickets -- Iron Maiden's Brave New World reunion tour, which also included former Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford.

In 2001, the band issued a double-CD/DVD package titled Live Evolution. Meanwhile, former member DeGarmo began gearing up to form a new band, which was purported to include former Alice in Chains drummer Sean Kinney and bassist Mike Inez; although he appeared on Jerry Cantrell's Degradation Trip in 2002, no solo material materialized. DeGarmo then rejoined forces with Queensrÿche for a brief spell, appearing on the band's subsequent album, 2003's Tribe, but never officially joining the lineup. Three years later, Queensrÿche (sans DeGarmo, who had become a professional charter pilot) released Operation: Mindcrime II, the long-awaited sequel to their 1988 conceptual smash. The year 2007 saw the dual release of Sign of the Times: The Best of Queensrÿche and Take Cover, the latter of which featured cover versions of songs by U2, Buffalo Springfield, and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

During the following two years, Geoff Tate launched a series of one-on-one interviews with various military vets; he then funneled what he'd learned into the band's next project, a concept album about war titled American Soldier. Produced by Jason Slater (who had also helmed Operation: Mindcrime II), the album was released in March 2009. After that release, the band set out on the conceptual Queensrÿche Cabaret tour, merging the band's prog sound with a wild cabaret aesthetic. The band also went overseas to Iraq to play the music of their American Soldier album for the troops for whom it was written. While there, they found themselves victims of a bomb attack but came out of the ordeal unscathed. Later that year, Queensrÿche announced that they were working on new material, and in 2011 released their 11th studio album, Dedicated to Chaos.

In June of 2012, the band fired founding vocalist and lyricist Tate and replaced him with ex-Crimson Glory singer Todd La Torre. Tate filed a lawsuit over use of the band's name and his songs. He used the Queensrÿche name as "Original Singer Geoff Tate & Queensrÿche" to strike first in the recording department, and issued the studio album Frequency Unknown in April of 2013. The La Torre version of the band countersued. It was this version of the band that issued the album Queensrÿche in June of that year. Tate eventually lost the lawsuit and started his own band called Operation: Mindcrime.

In 2014, Queensrÿche announced a PledgeMusic campaign called "Building the Empire." Not only was it designed to fund a new album -- with contributors receiving everything from music to gear -- it also provided accredited investors with the opportunity to buy into Queensrÿche Holdings, LLC. The band reentered the studio in December and emerged in February of 2015 with a completed album. Three preceding video singles -- "Hellfire," "Guardian," and "Arrow of Time" -- revealed that the band had returned to a harder, heavier sound. Condition Hüman was released on October 2. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Greg Prato
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Frequency Unknown

1. Cold

2. Dare

3. Give It To You

4. Slave

5. In The Hands Of God

6. Running Backwards

7. Life Without You

8. Everything

9. Fallen

10. The Weight Of The World

11. I Don't Believe In Love (Re-Recorded)

12. Empire (Re-Recorded)

13. Jet City Woman (Re-Recorded)

14. Silent Lucidity (Re-Recorded)

x

Track List: Guardian (Single)

x

Track List: If I Were King (Radio Single)

Comments

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jamieb12871
The Killing Words... MEMBER ...U MEMBER
......TRY
THESE WERE THE DAZE...& ONLY. THOSE WHO KNEW. ...LIKE A SECRET. .THEN OCCASIONALLY ...OB SOMEONES CAR ?CASSETTE?PL A Y E R .. PRETTY SURE CD'$ WEREN'T OUR YET...YEAH CASSETTES .. .
OLDSCHOOLDAZ E . . . m y buddy had an old '78/9 Z-28 ..SUPER MODIFIED .. also had a megaphone Loyd speaker hooked up 2 his system so he could talk thru his speaker's system ...pretty cool in '86
Great memories ...my sophomore year
...so really more like fall '87 footba
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Saw the orginal Queensryche here in Clearwater, Fl. They did both Operation:Mi n d c r i m e 1 &2....talk about an awesome concert! Just saw Geoff a couple weeks ago when his band opened for Ace Frehley..... m a n , he can still hit those notes! I do not even consider the new Queensryche even ion the same catagory as Geoff's band......to bad.....Quee n s r y c h e will never be Queensryche without Geoff Tate!!
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Such a phenomenal great vocalist and band these guys just rock a**! the mission by Queensryche. Just a phenomenal track, rock n roll at its finest, queensryke rocks! Rock on!
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This is true, because it is just another Rainy Night here in Richmond, VA. Awesome Jam, from off of a awesome Kick-A** album. Queensryke rocks! Rock on!
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gracestaplet o n 7 6
Have loved this band since Mindcrime. Which I guess makes me really old. ��
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Wow - That voice! Right up there with James LaBrie, Bruce Dickinson, and Sebastian Bach:)
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Wow - That voice! Right up there with James LaBrie and Sebastion Bach
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killing words
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SeenTate n crew at Tailgaters in Bowlingbrook a couple months ago he blew the Roof off the s**t !!!! Vocals never left!!!
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Well it another rainy night without you :( ))**((
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I rescued norma from the queen of the reich
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Classic Kick-A** Queensryche this whole album kicks a**! The mission killer rock jam Geoff Tate phenomenal vocals Queensryche rocks balls!! Rock on!
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take hold of the flame
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revolution calling
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I dont believe in love
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eyes of a stranger
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Queensryche probably makes it too my top ten prog bands,
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Have seen them many times. Best was the tour they did the complete mindcrime and most of empire. awesome! saw them at the grand ole opry several years ago and they rocked, but the audience was quite reserved, except for me!! think i pissed some people off that night!
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Saw Queensryche headline in Detroit in the early 1990's (Hear in the Now Frontier). Awesome show, great mix of old and new material. Saw them headline again in 2015 (without Geoff Tate), and they sound as great as ever.
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Saw in Abilene w metallica 1988
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Saw Q Ryche open for Leppard during Hysteria in the round - 87 - Did the whole Mindcrime set - F ing Unreal! - Really Great - Saw them last year w/ Scorpions without G.Tate or De Garmo - Tate has a 5 octave voice - & De Garmo could Rip - Not so great anymore - Mindcrime & Empire Fn Rock!
Report as inappropriate
johtd81
Waaaay underrated. Especially Geoff Tate
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Also, we picked up a hitch hiker on the way to show who drank all of our warm 3.2 Blatz. After the show he never showed up at the car so we had to throw his jean jacket our the window. A real shame.
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I saw the Queensryche open for AC/DC on the Who Made Who tour, late 80's. Incredible party scene in the parking lot before the show. During the show I saw a guy get taken out on a stretcher with an apparent stab wound so yes AC/DC concerts used to be a bit rowdy.
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Seen queensryche six times. They used to open for ac/dc and metallica,oz z y in the eighties. Lost my shoe at the ac/dc show and never did find it. Walked out with one almost new shoe on. Ac/dc shows are one of the rowdier shows you will see believe it or not. Jeff tate now owns a winery near seattle. Look it up online. He has even got some with queensryche on the label. He looks good too,sporting a completely bald head and a small gotee. He is touring without the band. Ridiculous to me.
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queensryche at lamours Brooklyn what shows back then just unreal so glad I grew up in the 80's .....
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stop by:

david... radio
50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s~


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Their new album kicks a**! It's definitely better than the piece of crap Geoff released
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:-( :-) <*_*> <^_*> <•_•> |^_^|
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agent.x7
Although they were initially grouped with the legions of pop-metal bands that dominated the American heavy metal scene of the '80s,
WTF? Their first album was a straight up attempt at an American Iron Maiden, and they didn't really go less metal until Empire. (Which I still think of as their last great album.)
Report as inappropriate
When May I See.....YOU. . . . . . . I S THERE ANYBODY..... L I S T E N I N G . . XxxxxxOoOoO
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Da Queensryche. . . . . Da.......LUV . . .
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Queensryche. . . . d a Luv Ya..,.the Chic.......d e LUV...XXXXXO O O 9
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what a band seen them many times in the 80's when we hand bands that played instruments and not a auto track like today....
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Savatage vs. Queensryche - Who is best?
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Screaming In Digital!!
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My FAVORITE Queensryche song. And no one can sing like Geoff!!!
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Yes I totally agree,we do need Dream Theatre here on the station but not all understand haohmaruofth e w i n d . . .
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I don't like Todd la Torre Tate is the better singer their and he should join back with them a again because it's his band and nothing can stop that and they were much better with Tate anyways
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MindCrime is by far there best,besides Empire...Tat e and Degarmo at there very Best...Rock On with the Ryche!!!!
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I saw them open for the Scorpions in October with their new singer, Todd la Torre, and they f**king rocked!!
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Spreading the Disease is a great song. Scratch that, Operation: Mindcrime is a great album.
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That is a terrible bio photo. Can we please get a better one? Thank you
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Your soul belongs to the Queen Of The Reich
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Thank you for adding some Queensryche with Todd La Torre on lead vocals you should ad the 2013 self-titled album too
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douche? Do you know him?
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Operation: Mindcrime and Empire are excellent, 10/10. Geoff seems like a total douche though but man has got the pipes.
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A lot of Kick A*s bands come out of Seattle...al o n g with great coffee..just sayin man!
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Lady wore black... man I forgot how bad a*s this song is! hadn't heard it in ages!
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queensryche seattles greatest band
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