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Queensryche - Greatest Hits

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Average Rating
★★★★☆
(66 Reviews)

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  • This is one of those packages that make me suspect it was done without the blessing of the band, or at least without its involvement. Piss-poor liner notes that don’t offer squat in terms of musical or historical insight, somewhat arbitrary track selection, and two incredibly inept bonus tracks — as a greatest-hits set goes this is pretty pathetic, though strictly as a collection of songs, the music holds up.Though many of Queensryche’s best songs are on here (“Silent Lucidity”, “Eyes of a Stranger”, “The Lady Wore Black”, “I Dream in Infrared”), I would have liked to see more. The band’s more ambitious and less “hit”-oriented material is often the equal of the songs released as videos or singles. Missing in action: The gorgeous ballad “The Killing Words” and ethereal “I Will Remember” from Rage for Order; pivotal Operation: Mindcrime tracks “Revolution Calling” and “The Mission”, the latter being one of Chris DeGarmo’s crowning glories as a songwriter and guitarist, with a killer Michael Kamen string section; “Another Rainy Night (Without You)” and “Anybody Listening?” from Empire; and most significantly, no live material. Queensryche’s decision in 1991-1992 to perform Operation: Mindcrime in its entirety on the Building Empires tour was possibly the most important artistic decision in its career, but none of the tracks (which were released in the boxed set Operation: LIVEcrime) are included here. And there are no worthy rarities whatsoever: The two bonus tracks, “Somebody Else?” and the toothless mellow trip “Chasing Blue Sky”, both catch Queensryche at possibly its lowest points in songwriting clarity, unfocused and underarranged, lacking in edge and dynamics. I for one would’ve liked to see included tracks from Queensryche’s superlative performance on MTV Unplugged, which showcased the band’s prowess with acoustic arrangements; two of the songs from the show, “I Will Remember” and “Della Brown”, were found in the band’s Building Empires home video. These would’ve been prime fodder for bonus tracks — which, again, leads me to suspect that EMI slapped together this greatest-hits set without the band’s involvement and just swept the vaults for B-sides that the label has rights to (Queensryche having released the Q2K album with WEA/Atlantic last year). Even as far as B-sides go, the acoustic mix of “I Dream in Infrared” (the B-side to “Best I Can”) is far superior than either of the bonus tracks, as are the live Mindcrime tracks that were found on the B-side of some versions of the “Silent Lucidity” single.I don’t think there’s any buying incentive for the die-hard Queensryche fan, with such scant bonus material and, again, terrible liner notes. But if you just want to own only the most well-known songs because you don’t have the original albums, this collection will satisfy your want.

    Posted on November 22, 2009