Friday, 10 February 2012



   Queensrÿche is an American progressive heavy metal band formed in 1981 in Bellevue, Washington. The band has released eleven studio albums and several EPs and DVDs and continues to tour and record.

   Queensrÿche has been successful in the progressive scene, having sold over 20 million albums worldwide including over 6 million albums in the United States.

   The foundations for Queensrÿche began in the early 1980s. Guitarist Michael Wilton and drummer Scott Rockenfield were members of a band called Cross+Fire, who covered songs from popular heavy metal bands such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Before long Cross+Fire added guitarist Chris DeGarmo and bassist Eddie Jackson to their lineup, and changed their name to The Mob. The Mob, who were without a singer, recruited Geoff Tate to sing for them at a local rock festival. At the time, Tate was already in a band called Babylon. After Babylon broke up Tate performed a few shows with The Mob, but left because he was not interested in performing heavy metal.

   In 1981, The Mob put together sufficient funds to record a demo tape. Once again, Tate was enlisted to help. The group recorded four songs - "Queen of the Reich," "Nightrider," "Blinded" and "The Lady Wore Black." The group brought their demo to various labels and were rejected by all of them. Tate also was still committed to staying in his then-current band, Myth.

   At the urging of their new manager, The Mob changed their name to Queensrÿche (reportedly inspired by the first song on their demo). As they later joked: "The umlaut over the 'y' has haunted us for years. We spent eleven years trying to explain how to pronounce it."

   The demo tape was widely circulated and received a glowing review in Kerrang! Magazine. On the strength of the growing buzz surrounding them, Queensrÿche released the demo tape as a self-titled EP on their own 206 Records label in 1982. Based on the success of the EP, Tate agreed to leave Myth and become Queensrÿche's permanent lead singer. In 1983, the band signed to EMI who re-released the EP, Queensrÿche, to moderate success, peaking at #81 on the Billboard charts. They had never played together live before the band was signed. When this EP was eventually released on CD several years later, a 5th track, titled "Prophecy", was added to the tracklist; this was a song performed live by the band circa 1983 (and was included on the 1984 "Live in Tokyo" home video), and in 2003 was included on the remastered edition of The Warning as a bonus track. The track appearing on the CD release of the EP was recorded during the Rage For Order sessions (and is not the same version of the song which appears on the soundtrack for the movie, The Decline of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years).

Major changes:

   Queensrÿche released their sixth full-length studio album, Hear in the Now Frontier, in March 1997, to mixed critical and fan reception. The album debuted at #19 but quickly vanished from the charts. The musical sound and style of the album was more basic and stripped down than anything the band had released to date, and some fans and critics pointed to the grunge musical style as being a major influence on the record. Despite the reaction, the singles "Sign of the Times" and "You" received substantial airplay.

   Compounding the disappointing sales of the album were issues that plagued the band on the subsequent tour. Less than one month into the Hear in the Now Frontier tour, Geoff Tate became seriously ill and the band was forced to cancel concert dates for the first time. In an even bigger blow, the band's longtime label, EMI America Records, went bankrupt during the same period. Queensrÿche was forced to use its own money to finance the remainder of the tour, which ended in August after only two months. The band played a handful of December shows in South America due to contractual obligations, and it was during this time that founding member Chris DeGarmo announced he was leaving Queensrÿche.

   Although the official reasons for DeGarmo's departure have not been made public, members of the band have cited burnout and a desire to pursue interests outside of Queensrÿche as reasons for his departure. After he left Queensrÿche, DeGarmo recorded and performed with Jerry Cantrell and was in a short-lived band called Spys4Darwin, which released one EP in 2001. DeGarmo is now a business jet pilot.

Band members:

Current members:
  • Geoff Tate – lead vocals, keyboards, saxophone (1981–present)
  • Michael Wilton – lead, rhythm & acoustic guitars, backing vocals (1981–present)
  • Eddie Jackson – bass, backing vocals (1981–present)
  • Scott Rockenfield – drums, percussion, keyboards (1981–present)
  • Parker Lundgren – lead, rhythm & acoustic guitars, backing vocals (2009–present)
Former members:
  • Chris DeGarmo – lead, rhythm & acoustic guitars, backing vocals (1981–1998, 2003, 2007)
  • Kelly Gray – lead, rhythm & acoustic guitars, backing vocals (1998–2001)
  • Mike Stone - lead, rhythm & acoustic guitars, backing vocals (2002–2009)
Associated musicians:
  • Pamela Moore – vocals (1988–1992, 2006–2007)
  • Ronnie James Dio – vocals (2006)
  • Jason Ames – guitars, keyboards, backing vocals (2009)
  • Anthony "Kenny" Bender – guitars, keyboards, backing vocals (2009)
  • AJ Fratto – vocals as "The American Soldier" (2009)
  • Michael Kamen – composer


(1982 - original release)
(1983 - reissued release)

   Queensrÿche is an EP by the American progressive metal band Queensrÿche, released in 1982 and again one year later. It was originally released independently by 206 Records (run in part by the band's management). Based on the success of the EP, the band was signed to a recording contract by EMI. Queensrÿche is a reflection of the band's major musical influences, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest among them.

   When the original EP was recorded in 1982, Queensrÿche did not even exist. The band was then known as The Mob, and their lineup consisted of guitarists Chris DeGarmo and Michael Wilton, bassist Eddie Jackson and drummer Scott Rockenfield. Vocalist Geoff Tate was the lead singer of another local band, Myth. He had performed with The Mob on a few occasions, and was asked to join the band for the EP's recording sessions.

   When Queensrÿche was released, it sold extremely well for an independent release, and received a glowing review in Kerrang! magazine. Soon after, Tate left Myth and joined Queensrÿche as their full-time vocalist. In the summer of 1983, Queensrÿche signed with EMI, who re-released Queensrÿche. The EMI version is nearly identical to the one released on 206 Records.

   To support the EP, Queensrÿche embarked on their first tour and opened for Quiet Riot, Dio and Twisted Sister. The tour ended in November, and soon after the band began preparations for their first full-length album, The Warning.


   The Warning is the first full-length album by Queensrÿche, released on 7 September 1984 (see 1984 in music).

   The original tracklisting for the album was changed by mix engineer Val Garay under orders from EMI America against the wishes of the band. This original intended sequence is identical to the final tracklisting but with the following exceptions: "NM 156" as the opening song and "Warning" as the second to last track, displacing "Child of Fire".

   The album was re-released on May 6, 2003, this time containing three bonus tracks.


   Rage for Order is the second studio album by heavy metal band Queensrÿche, released in 1986 on EMI America Records.

   "Prophecy" was recorded during the sessions of this album, but was unable to make the final cut. However, it appeared as a bonus track on the CD reissue of the band's self-titled EP.The original version of "Gonna Get Close to You" appears on Dalbello's 1984 album Whomanfoursays. EMI, the record label that released Rage for Order, has created multiple cover layouts for the album over the years. A few thousand initial copies bear a bluish-silver banner that was later changed to black in order to make the artist and title easier to read. The original cassette edition also had all the gold accents on the cover changed to white. The band was invited to promote Rage for Order by opening for RATT on their Dancing Undercover tour. Rage for Order was ranked #88 on Kerrang! magazine's "100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums Of All Time" in January 1989.

   Although not credited, the album cover was designed by Garry Sharpe-Young. It had originally been proposed for a 12" picture disc, which never materialized, and was used by EMI Records for the album cover without permission. This logo, with subtle changes, would be used by the band throughout their career. In the reissue, the live bonus tracks "The Killing Words" and "Walk in the Shadows" were recorded at The Astoria Theatre in London on October 20, 1994, and in La Crosse, Wisconsin, between May 10 and 12, 1991, respectively. "Walk in the Shadows" was also covered by Arch Enemy on their "Revolution Begins" single. The song was also covered by Jess Harnell as a bonus track on his 1995 solo album "The Sound Of Your Voice."


   Operation: Mindcrime is a concept album by American progressive metal band Queensrÿche. Released on May 3, 1988, it is the band's third full-length album. A rock opera, its story follows a man who becomes disillusioned with the society of the time and reluctantly becomes involved with a revolutionary group as an assassin of political leaders. In January 1989, it ranked #34 on Kerrang! magazine's "100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums Of All Time".

   During the tour promoting the 1990 album Empire, Operation: Mindcrime was performed in its entirety. The stage show featured video, animation and guest singer Pamela Moore as Sister Mary. This live show was successful enough that the band released it as a box set called Operation: LIVEcrime. The story was initially explored in a series of video clips for MTV in the 1989 VHS video, Video: Mindcrime.

   Before filming Video: Mindcrime, the band shot a one-off promotional video in 1988 for the song "Speak" which only consisted of performance footage and did not include any of the story concepts that dominated the album.

  In the United States, the album was certified gold a year after its release and was certified platinum in 1991.

   In 2003, a 24-bit remastered version of Operation: Mindcrime was released that included live versions of "The Mission" and "My Empty Room" as bonus tracks. In 2006, EMI released a deluxe Operation: Mindcrime box set that included the 2003 remaster, as well as an audio disc of a November 15, 1990 Hammersmith Odeon concert, with the band performing the entire album, and a bonus DVD containing Video: Mindcrime and bonus clips.

   A sequel, Operation: Mindcrime II, was released on April 4, 2006, with Ronnie James Dio taking over the role of Dr. X. The subsequent tour consisted of the band performing both Operation: Mindcrime and its sequel in their entirety, back-to-back, with actors, props, an elaborate stage set, and a video screen. The live act from that tour also portrayed Mary's death clearly for the first time. It was later released on the 2007 DVD Mindcrime at the Moore, which included a recording of Dio's only live performance of "The Chase".


   Grammy Nominated Empire is the fourth full-length album by Queensrÿche, released on August 20, 1990. The power ballad "Silent Lucidity" reached #1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks and #9 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the album reached triple-platinum status.


   Promised Land was the fifth studio album by American progressive metal band Queensrÿche and their highest charting record to date. It was released by EMI on 18 October 1994, 4 years after their successful Empire album.

   The songs on this album are tied together firmly by the theme of success and how to deal with it, and reflections on American society and how that shapes our goals in life.

   The album opens with a piece of musique concrete, "9.28 a.m.", put together by drummer Scott Rockenfield. The song follows a soul from death through the ether into a reincarnation, and rebirth, followed by the sound of a crying baby which then floats into "I Am I". This song is driven by a heavy riff and Tate's trademark vocals to a background of percussion instruments. Chris DeGarmo performs cello and sitar parts on this song as well as the guitar solo. After almost four minutes it merges into "Damaged", a more straightforward heavy rocker.

   "Out of Mind" and the subsequent "Bridge" are more quiet acoustic pieces, both of whose lyrics were written by Chris DeGarmo. The last one deals with the relationship with his father, who died during the Promised Land sessions.

   The eight-minute title track is the first track in the Queensrÿche catalogue to be credited to the entire group. It is a rather dark piece, full of Rockenfield tape effects, DeGarmo/Wilton twin guitar work and it marks Tate's first appearance as a saxophonist. On this track, the theme of the album is most present, as it deals with the drawbacks of success. It ends in a bar scene of people talking and drinking (slightly reminiscent of the ending of "Welcome to the Machine" on Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here, which deals with a similar subject matter). These sound effects merge into "Disconnected," a rather alienating piece dealing with the American consumerist society. It features Tate on sax again.

   The subsequent "Lady Jane" deals with the similar theme of the influence of commercials. It is a heavy ballad featuring DeGarmo on piano and another twin solo.

   "My Global Mind" is another more straightforward rock song dealing with globalization. After that, "One More Time" is an acoustic rocker, with lyrics much in the vein of the title track.

   The album's final track, "Someone Else", features just Tate on vocals and DeGarmo on piano, and this stripped down approach makes for a highly emotional closure to this very introspective album.


   Hear in the Now Frontier is the sixth studio album by progressive metal band Queensrÿche, released in 1997. It was partly recorded at Studio Litho in Seattle, the home studio of Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard, and was engineered and mixed by Toby Wright, who had recently worked with Alice In Chains.

   The album debuted at #19 but quickly vanished from the charts. Hear in the Now Frontier features a more basic, stripped down musical style than anything the band had released to date, and some fans and critics pointed to the grunge genre - rooted in Seattle, near where Queensrÿche formed - as being a major influence. Despite the reaction, the singles "Sign of the Times" and "You" received substantial airplay. Both tracks, as well as "Some People Fly," would later be featured on best-of compilations. Sign of the Times: The Best of Queensrÿche, a 2007 compilation, also takes its name from the song.

   During Queensrÿche's tour in support of Hear in the Now Frontier, their longtime label, EMI America Records, went bankrupt. Queensrÿche was forced to use their own money to finance the remainder of the tour, during which founding member Chris DeGarmo announced he was leaving the band. DeGarmo would return to play and co-write five songs for Tribe, in 2003 but did not officially rejoin.

   The band played only half the album on its 1997 tour with 6 songs still unplayed to date including: "Cuckoo's Nest," "Hero," "Miles Away," "All I Want," "Anytime/Anywhere," and "sp00L." However, "sp00L" and "Hero" have been played by Geoff Tate's band during the 2002 tour supporting his own solo album.


   Q2K is the seventh studio album by progressive metal band Queensrÿche, released on 14 September 1999. It was the only Queensrÿche studio album to feature guitarist Kelly Gray, who, in the early 1980s, was in a band called Myth with vocalist Geoff Tate. "Breakdown" was released as the first single off Q2K.

   Rhino Entertainment, Queensrÿche's current label, purchased Q2K from Atlantic Records and re-released it with bonus tracks.

   In Canada, the album was released by Anthem Records, also the Canadian home label to fellow Atlantic act Rush.

   All songs written by Queensrÿche.

"The Right Side Of My Mind" was released as the band's first video since the Promised Land album and has had occasional airplay on VH1 Classic, which also premiered it in a special co-hosted with Geoff Tate.


   Tribe is the eighth studio album from progressive metal band Queensrÿche, released on 22 July 2003. It featured a reunited lineup, with Chris DeGarmo returning to contribute with guitar parts and writing credits on some tracks. Upon release of the disc Sanctuary Records misrepresented Chris Degarmo's involvement as a "reunion" with Queensrÿche, which some have considered to be a PR stunt to generate sales.

   Tribe was self-produced by Queensrÿche with Scott Olson engineering and Adam Kasper mixing the album. The album was not commercially successful generating only 75,000 soundscan units as of 2007. Songs such as "Open" and "Losing Myself" have been played on the satellite station, Ink'd.


   Operation: Mindcrime II is the ninth studio album by American progressive metal band Queensrÿche. It is a concept album and the sequel to the group's 1988 release, Operation: Mindcrime. The album was released on April 4, 2006 in North America, (March 29, 2006 release in Japan, March 31 in Germany, April 3 rest of world) on the Rhino Entertainment label. The lead single, "I'm American," was performed by Queensrÿche during their 2005 tour in support of Judas Priest.

   The album resumes the story of Nikki, a drug-addicted political revolutionary assassin who was arrested for the murder of enslaved prostitute-nun Sister Mary at the end of Operation: Mindcrime. As Operation: Mindcrime II begins, 18 years later, Nikki is released from prison and begins to plot his revenge against Dr. X, the manipulative villain of the first album.

   Vocalist Pamela Moore reprised her role as Sister Mary for the album, while the role of Dr. X (played by actor Anthony Valentine on the first album) was taken over by heavy metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio.

   The album debuted on the Billboard 200 album chart at #14, the highest chart position for a Queensrÿche album since Promised Land peaked at #3 in 1994. The tracks "I'm American" and "The Hands" have been released as singles with accompanying videos.


  Take Cover is a cover album by Seattle-based progressive metal band Queensrÿche, released on November 13, 2007. Its release was announced by the band on August 28, 2007. After its first week of release the album entered the Billboard Top 200 chart at No. 173, with sales of 5,500 copies. Their cover of Pink Floyd's "Welcome to the Machine" served as a single.
 The idea to release an album of cover songs came from a game of "name the riff" guitarists Michael Wilton and Mike Stone would play during sound checks. The band members agreed to each choose two songs to record for the album.

   This was the band's last album to feature Stone, who left in 2009.


   American Soldier is the tenth studio album by American progressive metal band Queensrÿche; it is a concept album released on March 31, 2009. The album debuted at #25 on the Billboard 200. As its title suggests, American Soldier revolves around the lives and experiences of those who serve or have served in the United States armed forces.

   The album includes a particularly personal duet between Geoff Tate and his 10-year old daughter Emily. The song, entitled "Home Again," focuses on a father returning home to his family after having been gone an extended period. This theme reflects both the life of Tate as a touring musician and the life of one who serves in the military.

   Tate spent a few years interviewing veterans from all conflicts America has been involved in from World War II to the Iraq War, including his own father and collecting their stories in order to help him write the album.

   Speaking about the inspiration for the album, Tate said:

   "Queensrÿche has always had incredible support from members of the Armed Services. It seems like after every show, I’d end up speaking with a fan that was or had been involved with the military. The more and more I began to hear their accounts and feelings, the more I really felt a conviction to tell their story. Over the last two years, I’ve conducted dozens of one-on-one interviews with veterans of many different American wars. I listened to their amazing and moving recounts and did my best to examine war through their eyes."

   "The very first thing... that was a conversation with my dad. My dad has been in the military; he has all this experience from all the places he served... Korea, Vietnam... We talked about his life in the army. You know, Susan, my wife, once told me “Why don’t you write a song about your father?” So, when we were started talking about life in the army... then I started to think about the soldiers 'cause we don’t know much about them. The way they feel about lots of things..."


   Dedicated to Chaos is the twelfth studio album by American progressive metal band Queensrÿche. The album was released first in Japan on June 21, 2011, and a week later in the USA on June 28, 2011, and is the band's first album for Roadrunner Records' Loud & Proud label.

   The album has received mixed reviews. Allmusic's Eduardo Rivadavia wrote, "Queensrÿche are virtually unrecognizable nowadays, which is possibly worse than ripping themselves off." Sputnikmusic staff reviewer Trey Spencer criticized the album, writing "Dedicated to Chaos is a whole new chapter in the band’s sound that most long-time fans will probably wish was never written."

   The album debuted at #70 on the Billboard 200, the lowest charting full-length album for the band in its history. The band's last album, American Soldier, peaked at #25 on the Billboard 200.

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