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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 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


Track List: Hellfire


Track List: Arrow of Time


Track List: If I Were King (Radio Single)


Track List: Welcome To The Machine


Track List: Mindcrime At The Moore


Track List: Operation: Mindcrime (Deluxe Edition)

Disc 1

1. I Remember Now (2003 Digital Remaster)

2. Anarchy-X (2003 Digital Remaster)

3. Revolution Calling (2003 Digital Remaster)

4. Operation: Mindcrime (2003 Digital Remaster)

5. Speak (2003 Digital Remaster)

6. Spreading The Disease (2003 Digital Remaster)

7. The Mission (2003 Digital Remaster)

8. Suite Sister Mary (2003 Digital Remaster)

9. The Needle Lies (2003 Digital Remaster)

10. Electric Requiem (2003 Digital Remaster)

11. Breaking The Silence (2003 Digital Remaster)

12. I Don't Believe In Love (2003 Digital Remaster)

13. Waiting For 22 (2003 Digital Remaster)

14. My Empty Room (2003 Digital Remaster)

15. Eyes Of A Stranger (2003 Digital Remaster)

16. The Mission (Live;2006 Digital Remaster)

17. My Empty Room (Live 24-Bit Digitally Remastered 06)

Disc 2

1. I Remember Now (Live)

2. Anarchy-X (Live)

3. Revolution Calling (Live)

4. Operation: Mindcrime (Live)

5. Speak (Live)

6. Spreading The Disease (Live)

7. The Mission (Live)

8. Suite Sister Mary (Live)

9. The Needle Lies (Live)

10. Electric Requiem (Live)

11. Breaking The Silence (Live)

12. I Don't Believe In Love (Live)

13. Waiting For 22 (Live)

14. My Empty Room (Live)

15. Eyes Of A Stranger (Live)


Track List: Revolution Calling

Disc 1

1. Queen Of The Reich

2. Nightrider

3. Blinded

4. The Lady Wore Black

11. The Lady Wore Black

Disc 2

10. Prophecy

Disc 3
Disc 4
Disc 5
Disc 6
Disc 7

Track List: Greatest Hits

1. Queen Of The Reich

2. The Lady Wore Black

3. Warning

4. Take Hold Of The Flame

5. Walk In The Shadows

6. I Dream In Infrared

7. I Don't Believe In Love

8. Eyes Of A Stranger

9. Jet City Woman

10. Empire

11. Silent Lucidity

12. I Am I

13. Bridge

14. Sign Of The Times

15. Chasing Blue Sky

16. Someone Else? (With Full Band)


Track List: Operation: Live Crime

1. I Remember Now

2. Anarchy-X

3. Revolution Calling

4. Operation: Mindcrime

5. Speak

6. Spreading The Disease

7. The Mission

8. Suite Sister Mary

9. The Needle Lies

10. Electric Requiem

11. Breaking The Silence

12. I Don't Believe In Love

13. Waiting For 22

14. My Empty Room

15. Eyes Of A Stranger

16. The Lady Wore Black

17. Roads To Madness


Track List: Guardian (Single)


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Such an awesome beautiful song, & what a classic by Queensryche. Silent Lucidity, is such an awesome beautiful song. It was an awesome video on MTV back in the day also. Queensryche Jams people! Geoff Tate is an awesome singer. What a kick-a** vocalist. & Rockin hard rock band. Rock on!
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Great show last year operation mindcrime at the Token. Now tnis week thursday feb, 24rh Jeff Tate at The Token.COME PARTY WITH ME IN WESTLAND MICHIGAN I will be wearing a big silver chain with a beer in my hand !!!!
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Great, great band!! Original and thought lyrics!!
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ok, they briefly mention it in the bio, but its not on the discography. . . .
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they don't even mention that turd of an album Mindcrime II - it lacked any of the previous albums riffs or catchy lyrics, bought it just because it was queensryche but it wasn't classic queensryche by any stretch of the imagination!
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Without Geoff Tate the ryche are nothing
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The record industry, producers and radio stations say if a song is over 4 minutes long than it's too long and the public will get bored with it. Well I'm guessing I'm not a part of the public......
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A. G. R. E. E. D.
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The Lady Wore Black. Man I wished they still made music like this...
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Watching the time tick,tick away
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One and Only...truly a classic by Degarmo and Tate.Skin tight leather deprives my pleasure...
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My 1st song form them was wallk in the shadows my fav all time
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Man I love these guys... makes me smile...
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Take Hold of the Flame... The first song I heard from them. My favorite song by them. Love it never gets old.... Rock n Roll. In my opinion their is no other genre....
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justinjenny4 9 5
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Queensryche in my opinion writes some of the most intelligent rock out there. man they are deep....
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Suite Sister Mary.... Deep tragic song. evil exist beware....
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Awesome Jam by Queensryche it's another rainy night without you this Jam totally rocks! Awesome band. Queensryche kicks and rocks a** America! Rock on!
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You must listen to their latest album, Condition Human. Sounds like it could have been recorded between Operation Mindcrime and Empire. Hellfire rocks!
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Awesome Jam from this awesome band, Empire by Queensryche. This Song Totally rocks a**, and so does that whole album. Its classic Queensryche at their finest! Rock on!
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cherokeeprin c e s s 1 2 7
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Awesome Jam by Queensryche, Jet City woman totally rocks A**! It's classic Hard Rock by this awesome band! Queensryche is one of my favorite 80s bands! Thay totally kick a**! & Geoff Tate is a phenomenal vocalist! Jet City woman totally rocks f****** a**! Awesome jam, its classic Queensryche at their finest! Rock on!
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cherokeeprin c e s s 1 2 7
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Totally awesome Jam! The mission by Queensryche. This whole album is totally awesome, operation mindcrime. Its classic Queensryche at their finest! It's still one of my all-time favorite albums by this awesome band! Queensryche totally rocks a** America! Rock on!
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They were awesome in the 80's and early 90's with DeGarmo!
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Roads To Madness,, now Queensryche is awesome. Wat a f**kin voice. Excellent on stage... ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Saw them recently - well, several years ago at Sunken Gardens in SA. Lead vocalist did not last long, but although quite good, not quite Geoff...the band, however, was certainly top notch! Hard metal rock, melodic yet reminiscent of Rush in the cerebral lyrics...Not just Anybody Listening, everybody was...
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Come by my david...radi o
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Sounds rockin !
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All of 'em are great but "The Warning", "Rage For Order" & " Op M. Crime" we're the iconic Queensryche albums.
"Rage..." -my fav!!
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No Geoff Tate, No Queensryche. . It cant be the same without his amazing talent!
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Queensryche is intelligent rock...
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cherokeeprin c e s s 1 2 7
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kittymomma21 8
LOVE Operation Mindcrime!!!
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I've been a diehard Queensryche fan since 83 been to several concerts over the years let alone buying all the albums. Rock on guys keep the flow going!!!
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Wish they would play "Take Hold of The Flame"..Geof f Tates vocals on this!!
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Hey Pandora!! WTF! Keep ZZ Top, Def Leppard, etc off this station...wh a t the hell is wrong with you people!
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Intellegent Rock 'n' Roll... Rock on people....
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i love empire
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Awesome band !!!
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The original band with De Garmo was great; the aftermath, not so much. I must say , though, Tate's sole composition of Operation: Mindcrime II was admirable. Real respect on that songwriting.
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The Warning and lady wore black man those were the days... Then Empire came out... this band bring back a lot of great memories. Definitely unique and one of a kind. Rock on Queensryche. . .
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Hey Pandora this band has new material.
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these guys are so f@cking amazing!
I love how they carved out their own style!
They didn't copy anyone, didn't know they had so many albums!
Like most, I had only heard if them when
operation : Mindcrime came out.
But much Respect!
Just wish I could have seen them live.
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Degarmo and Tate at there very best....
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QUEENSRYCHE one of a kind seen them at house of blues in myrtle beach. It was great about thirty feet from the band so awesome. I remember listening to them for the first time in 82 still listen and love it today
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Totally Rock and jam by Queensryche. Take hold of the flame, from the warning album. The first one I ever bought by them. This totally Rockin a** album, @ song started my listening to Queen'sryche . Been jamming with them since, queensryke rocks! Totally awesome band. Rock on!
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The song that started it all...
And she was no lady...
But she wore Black !!!
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