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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 the group's live performance of the rock opera that comprised 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 has countersued. It was this version of the band that issued the album Queensrÿche in June of that year. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Greg Prato, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: If I Were King (Radio Single)


Geoff WAS one of the best singers ever. Unfortunatel y smoking and what ever other reason's, he is not! I'm just glad I saw him in his prime! AWESOME!
Look at all these haters posting negative s**t...Y'all can kiss my a** too, both cheeks...puc k e r up b**ches!! The original lineup is what made them huge & took them to the top of their game. Admittedly, after DeGarmo left, the bands overall sound and direction tanked. As a fan of the band since the mid 80's, I myself was disappointed with everything from HITNF to Freq Unknown (with the exception of MCII) sucks big time unfortunatel y . GT and the latest lineup can do way better!!
Suck on this ........ it's real long
the singing is sucky
they suck
The needle lies. Invega sustena.
Duel guitarists on these early Recordings ., when they tore it up ,. Then changed
S.R. top 5 drummers, and glue that is holding them together. Keep rocking Scott.
The lady wore black is a song about the first girl I had sex with.
1994 rules
2005 sucks
Feb 3, 2005 Beacon Theater N.Y. Incredible sound, great lighting, classic old Ryche plus Mindcrime in its entirety. Awesome!
I love the old Queensryche.
Empire is by far my Fav from QR.
Oh god Q2K tracks...
Operation Mindcrime is one of those must have albums for any rock and metal fan. If this disc is not in your collection already do yourself a favor and get it!
Love this!
I Don't Believe In Love. I die. every time.
GREAT F-ing Band
Time to update the page, Geoff is no longer in the picture (thank god).
as an added note that i didn't have enough space to post earlier is Last Time in Paris was on the Ford Fairlane soundtrack for those of you that remember the Dice Man and I loved his work as well and saw them all more than once. Life is to short to not remember the true entertainers .
I grew up as a child listening to this type of music and all I can really say is that I ended up with a great appreciation for the art that Queensryche created, I would say that if i had 2 musical creators to listen to for all time it would be Queensryche and Joe Satriani. If you dont truely love and respect thier work then thats your choice but I will never be able to give them the true Thanks that they so richly deserve. In my humble opinion, and on that note thank you for hosting them.
What a fall from grace. Sad. They used to great!
thomasgoode6 8
@STEVSE Lmao tesla boooooo! queensryche is the s**t man.

saw them live, watched the interviews and still think they are over rated, Tesla opened up for them and was every bit as entertaining , hope the new singer is not as flamboyant as the old one, can't stand his hair dont's!
My favorite rite track by this group.
hearing and listening, 2 different places. keep it coming!
we r listenin!
Queensryche is my all time fave metal band, what an amazing voice Geoff has! Operation mind crime should be converted to a movie, what an awesome story it would be!
F**king Epic!!!
JET CITY WOOOOOOOOOOM A N ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
geoff tate is a f**kin vocal god!!! i would say top 5 is Halford, Dickinson, Tate, Araya, and Billy
Saw em on Rage,Mindcri m e and Empire tours. One of the best. Its a shame they couldnt keep it togethet
The Warning is a masterpiece. What a debut album. You've been dealt your card.
Dr. X- Kill her that's all you have to do.
Nikki- Kill Mary?
Dr. X- She's a risk and get the priest as well.

Suite Sister Mary a 10:41 opus. Love Pamela Moores vocals.
One of my all time favorite bands. Operation Mindcrime is a classic - I saw the tour in the 80s...incred i b l e !
How said to see such a great band dissolve into such a stupid, meaningless feud. This always seems to happen to so many good bands like Pink Floyd, Styx, Foreigner just to name a few.
This isn't rock its metal t
Queen Of The Reich sounds hauntingly like Iron Maiden o.o
I actually thought it was.
dont read this because it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest possible friday by the love of your life. tommorrow will be the best day of your life. however if you do not post this comment to at least 3 songs you will die in 2 days. now youve started reading this so dont stop. this is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in at least 143 minutes when if done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is scary cuz it actually work
I love rock
Geoff has ruined his reputation by doing what he has to his old bandmates. His ego has consumed him, unfortunatel y .
Fact is Chris and Geoff joined after but are huge attributes. One left to fly planes and one turned in to a jerk off. The original three are staying true
to metal and want to play the older tunes for the fans as it should be.
Geoff Tate slamming original members lol Going after Michael Wilton
Looks like he and GT wrote this tune
One of my first concerts ever, QR on the Warning tour opening for Kiss, their first tour of out makeup. Needless to say, I wish it was Kiss opening for QR, although really, they didn't have enough material yet. The Warning will always be one of my favorite QR albums.
Kinda reminds one of the 2 Pink Floyd's and their feud.Sad.The music is still the same.Love QR!
There is just no other way to enjoy and appreciate this except to crank it til your ears bleed. damn I love this band.
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