THE BAND: Geoff Tate (vocals), Chris DeGarmo (guitar), Michael Wilton (guitar), Eddie Jackson (bass), Scott Rockenfield (drums & percussion).
THE DISC: (2000) 16 tracks clocking in at approximately 77 minutes. Included with the disc is a 10-page booklet containing song titles/credits/times, a 3-page intro to the band, 1 band photo, previous album(s) cover art, and what songs came from which albums. All tracks 24-bit digitally remastered. This compilation follows the band from 1983-97. Label – EMI / Virgin Records.
ALBUM REPRESENTATION: Queensryche EP (2 songs), The Warning (2), Rage For Order (2), Operation Mindcrime (2), Empire (3), Promised Land (2), Hear In The Now Frontier (1), bonus tracks taken from Japanese releases only (2).
COMMENTS: This “Greatest Hits” serves as a very warm intro to Seattle’s (technically Bellevue, WA) Queensryche. Full of soaring vocals, ripping guitars, intricate drumming. Not to mention some wonderful gothic costumes, make-up and hair back in the early-to-mid 80’s (some rock band’s felt they needed a gimmick years ago – and early photos of Tate & Co were pure hair & glam metal cheese). Back when Queensryche was starting out, I was sitting on the fence about their music. Then came “Operation Mindcrime” (1988) and I was forever a fan. “Empire” (1990) came next – a great follow-up though leaning to the commercial side of arena rock. “Promised Land” (1994) rounded at the triple threat, though I truly felt this album was a bit sub par (compared to its 2 predecessors) and more importantly it took way too long to come out (4 years). Grunge had moved into the rock scene and rock/metal was taking a back seat for a while… and so the band goes. THE GOOD: Most of the staples are here in glorious 24-bit digitally remastered sound – “Queen Of The Reich”, “The Lady Wore Black”, “Take Hold The Flame”, “I Dream In Infrared”, “Eyes Of A Stranger”, “I Don’t Believe In Love”, “Jet City Woman”, “Silent Lucidity”, “I Am I”, “Bridge”, “Sign Of The Times”, etc. The songs are in chronological order so you can hear the band change/mature over the years. The liner notes could have been more extensive (only 1 band photo – and it’s a bad one at that), but the necessary information is there regarding the songs and catalog. THE NOT SO GOOD: This is an EMI release, so nothing from labels Atlantic, Sanctuary or Rhino are here (all from 1999 – present). No representation from the albums: “Q2K”, “Tribe”, “Operation Mindcrime II”, or any of their live albums. Granted, several of these albums came out after this “Greatest Hits” was released in ‘00. Here’s hoping the “Gold” or “Essential” series will step up to the plate and make an all-inclusive 2-disc edition of the band’s work. Only 2 songs from “Operation Mindcrime” is criminal. Also worth noting are the significant song omissions – “Spreading The Disease” and “Revolution Calling”, as well as other gems – “Suite Sister Mary”, “Best I Can”, “Another Rainy Night”, “I Will Remember”, “Chemical Youth”, “Out Of Mind”, “Damaged”, and “Nightrider”. Get rid of the average (2) bonus tracks, and include 2 or 3 of the abandoned songs, and you’d have a 5-star disc. Looking for a studio album or two – readers must start with “Operation Mindcrime”, followed by “Empire”. Overall – this “Greatest Hits” package is excellent for the novice who wants to discover the band. For the long time fan, it’s nice to have so many classic Queensryche songs all in one place (4+ stars).