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How much Mindcrime?

There have been several re-issues and related releases to the original Operation:Mindcrime album. Hey, when you have a good thing - why not?!

So there is:

1. Operation: Mindcrime (original and remastered),

2. Operation:Livecrime - recorded at Wiscaahhnsin between 10-12 May 1991 (on VHS, DVD and CD),

3. Operation: Mindcrime Deluxe Edition (with bonus live album - Hammersmith Odeon, London, England on November 15, 1990 - and a DVD (the Video Mindcrime VHS with bonus stuff),

4. Operation: Mindcrime 2 (the follow up).

5. Mindcrime At The Moore - Both original and follow up albums in their entirity live. Available both on CD and DVD/Blu-Ray.

 

Queensryche, were recently asked if they were a Prog-Metal band, "definately not" they answered. Well, they certainly have Prog tendencies, they WERE Metal, though these days they are just Heavy Rock. They began with comparisons to Judas Priest and Iron Maiden and have a vocalist in Geoff Tate who can certainly live with that kind of competition. Created one of the greatest concept albums of all time (Operation:Mindcrime), embraced MTV (had a hit with a "ballad" - although it was about lucid dreaming!) and became more commercial, then got slower and more rhythmic in later albums. They continue to change their sound, but unfortunately don't seem to do "fast" songs anymore. They are one of my favourite "Metal" bands.

A brief guide to early Queensryche:

qr 1st qr ameri qr banner qr ded qr hear qr mind qr mind moore qr mind2 qr now qr promised qr take qr tribe qr warning qr1 qr2 qr3 qr4 qr5 qr6 qr7 qr empire

Queensryche released three classic albums in a row: Operation:Mindcrime, Empire and Promised Land. Some may argue for Rage For Order to be included but it never really grabbed me in the same way. These three albums I can listen to (almost) all the way through. And each is very different to the next. Empire is the most accessible, Operation:Mindcrime is an epic concept album which must be listened to as a single piece of work. Promised Land is slower, more introspective and hints at their future direction. Operation: Mindcrime is flawless, the others each have a few fillers. BUT, buy the remasters for the bonus tracks which are excellent.

qr rage

The first EP and following two albums were queensryche the Metal band - for fans of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Dio and Helloween. Technical metal, often played fast, high pitched vocals and lacking the subtlety of the next few albums. But there were hints of what was to come as they progressed with each release with slower  and more complex songs becoming more common.

qr q2k

While Promised Land introduced a slower more rhythmic sound, it wasn't until Hear In The Now Frontier that Queensryche really changed their sound. Unfortunately it was to a more Grungey sound, down-tuned, muddier mix, less anthemic. Which is strange as it was years after their fellow Seattle bands had changed the Metal scene. Many cite De Garmo leaving as the change in sound/songwriting style. But he wrote most of the songs on Hear... and they were not up to previous standards. Next, Q2K was also disappointing, just without De Garmo. Actually I prefer it to HITNF. But I felt Tribe, despite it being a slow, rhythmic album, had real power to it.

What do a band who have suffered a critical and sales backlash do? Go back to what made them successful. And so Queensryche revisited the album they said they never would. Operation:Mindcrime 2 was well received, but obviously not a patch on the original. It tried to be Queensryche of old, but the downtuned guitars were still there and there were too many mid paced numbers, and it lacked the production of the first. However, at least it had a few up-tempo numbers and the twin guitar solos of old and Ronnie James Dio too! Then, Take Cover - INDEED! A cover album that did little to re-interpret the originals and therefore seemed pointless. Though the Pink Floyd cover was surprisingly good and the Police track was nicely rocked up. American Soldier WAS a concept album, a brave one for so many reasons. It featured real soldiers talking about their experiences - sort of Band Of Bothers and The Pacific set to music. But again, it is a mid-paced album and not an easy listen.

Queensryche's latest album 'Dedicated To Chaos' has suffered poor reviews, which is probably unfair. But again this is an underwhelming Queensryche album, more concerned with rhythm than song writing. But it does have some good moments, and is worth a go.

I actually quite like it - but it is certainly not always "metal".

Queensryche Rarities

 

The 2cd version of the Best of "Sign Of The Times" 2007: Features three Myth (Tate's earlier band) demos: 'Take Hold Of The Flame', 'Walk In the Shadows' and 'Before The Storm' and three later demos: Waiting For The Kill (a never before released song), No Sanctuary and Prophecy. Plus you get the previously unreleased Della Brown (MTV Unplugged) AND the new song Justified.

 

Empire - 20th Anniversary Edition with bonus live CD of the rest of the set from Hammersmith Odeon 1990.

 

Dedicated To Chaos comes in a Special Edition with 4 bonus tracks (all new songs)

 

B sides: all the B sides appeared on later remasters. Except Silent Lucidity (live) which was re-issued on the 2CD best Of.

 

2003 Remasters: Each remaster has a few Bonus tracks and each one is worth getting for these alone.

A whopping ten live tracks added to the self titled EP.

The Warning has the excellent Prophecy and two live tracks.

Rage For Order has two B sides: the 12" version of Gonna Get Close To You and the 1991 Acoustic Remix of I Dream In Infrared plus two live tracks.

Operation: Mindcrime has two live tracks added.

Empire has three bonus tracks: Last Time In Paris (from the Mindcrime era), Scarborough Fair (Simon & Garfunkel cover) and Dirty Lil Secret.

Hear In The Now Frontier has Chasing Blue Sky and three MTV Unplugged tracks.

 

 

Geoff Tate's self titled solo album 2002:

I must admit I didn't like this at the time. Now, re-listening, some of it is similar to Dedication To Chaos and other later Queensryche albums. It is of course also softer and not very "Metal", but in later years the better Queensryche songs are often the softer ones with sweeping melodies. And there are plenty here. Plus he has that great voice! There is also a DVD Audio version of this album with multimedia bonuses and 5.1 Sound.

 

My favourite Queensryche songs:

 

No Sanctuary (Warning)

Roads To Madness (Warning)

 

I Dream In Infared (Rage For Order)

The Killing Words (Rage For Order)

 

Revolution Calling

(Operation: Mindcrime)

Speak (Operation: Mindcrime)

Spreading The Disease

(Operation: Mindcrime)

Suite Sister Mary

(Operation: Mindcrime)

The Needle Lies

(Operation: Mindcrime)

I Don't Believe In Love

(Operation: Mindcrime)

 

Best I Can (Empire)

Jet City Woman (Empire)

Silent Lucidity (Empire)

 

I Am I (Promised Land)

Somewhere Else (Promised Land)

Real World (Promised Land remaster/Last Action Hero OST)

 

Best Of The Rest (not as good as above):

 

Some People Fly (Hear In The Now Frontier)

Chasing Blue Sky (Hear In The Now Frontier remaster/Greatest Hits

 

Liquid Sky (Q2K)

Until There Was You (Q2K remaster)

 

Desert Dance (Tribe)

 

I'm American (Operation: Mindcrime II)

 

Sliver (American Soldier)

If I Were King (American Soldier)

 

Synchronicity II (Take Cover)

 

Get Started (Dedicated To Chaos)

Around The World (Dedicated To Chaos)

A few final questions:

 

Why doesn't Michael Wilton write songs anymore?

 

Is the version of Prophecy on the Decline Of The Western Civilisation Part 2 OST really different than the B side/EP/remaster version? Wikipedia claims it is.

 

What does Chris De Garmo do now?