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Queensrÿche

Queensrÿche

Queensrÿche Biography

Biography

In the early '80s, Queensrÿche (along with Fates Warning) fused '70s progressive rock with the screaming guitars and "heaviness" of metal to form a new genre: progressive metal. Dubbed "Thinking Man's Metal" Queensrÿche influenced many of the later bands that would expand the genre even further - including Psychotic Waltz and Dream Theater. From The Mob to Queensrÿche (early 1980s) 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.[1] 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.[1] At the urging of their new manager, The Mob changed their name to Queensrÿche (reportedly inspired by the first song on their demo). They were the first band to apply the heavy metal umlaut to the letter Y. As Tate later joked: "The umlaut over the 'y' has haunted us for years. We spent eleven years trying to explain how to pronounce it."[2] 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 their Queen of the Reich EP on their own 206 Records label in 1983. Based on the success of the EP, Tate agreed to leave Myth and become Queensrÿche's permanent lead singer.[1] That same year, the band signed to EMI and re-released Queen of the Reich as Queensrÿche to moderate success, peaking at #81 on the Billboard charts. After the EP tour, Queensrÿche travelled to London to record their first full-length album. The band worked with producer James Guthrie, who had worked with Pink Floyd and Judas Priest. Released in September 1984, The Warning featured more progressive elements than the band's debut. It peaked at #61 on the Billboard album chart, a moderate commercial success. While none of the singles released from The Warning charted domestically, "Take Hold of the Flame" was a hit for the band outside the US (particularly in Japan).[3] Rage For Order, released in 1986, introduced a much more polished look and sound for Queensrÿche. The album featured keyboards as prominently as guitars, and the group adopted an image more closely associated with glam rock or glam metal than with heavy metal. A video was filmed for the song "Gonna Get Close To You". Incidentally this song was written by someone outside of the band; a singer named Lisa Dal Bello. Operation: Mindcrime and success (1988-1996) In 1988, Queensrÿche released Operation: Mindcrime, a narrative concept album that proved a massive critical and commercial success. The album's story revolved around a junkie who is drugged into performing assassinations for an underground movement; the junkie ("Nikki") is torn over his misplaced loyalty to the cause and his love of a reformed hooker-turned-nun ("Mary", vocals by Pamela Moore) who gets in the way. "Mindcrime" has often been mentioned by critics alongside other notable concept albums like Pink Floyd's The Wall and The Who's Tommy. The band toured through much of 1988 and 1989 with several bands, including Guns n' Roses and Metallica. The release of Empire (1990) brought Queensrÿche to the height of their commercial popularity. It peaked at #7 and sold more than three million copies in the US, more than their previous four releases combined (it was also certified silver in the UK). The power ballad "Silent Lucidity," which featured an orchestra, became the band's first Top 10 single. While the band retained its socially conscious lyrics (touching on topics such as gun control and the environment), the arrangements on Empire were more straightforward than anything they had released to date. The subsequent "Building Empires" tour was the first to feature Queensrÿche as a headlining act. The group utilized their headlining status to perform Operation: Mindcrime in its entirety, as well as songs from Empire. The tour lasted 18 months, longer than any tour the band has undertaken before or since. After taking time off to deal with personal issues, the band released Promised Land in October 1994 (a companion CD-ROM, featuring a Promised Land-themed game and other interactive features, was released in March 1996). It was a dark and intensely personal album, reflecting the mental state of the band at the time. Although the album debuted at #3 and was eventually certified platinum, it was clearly not the commercial success Empire had been. As with many other heavy metal and hard rock acts, Queensrÿche's commercial fortunes waned as grunge music and alternative rock surged in popularity. 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 their 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.[4][5] 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 commercial airline pilot. After DeGarmo (1998-present) DeGarmo was replaced by guitarist and producer Kelly Gray. Gray's connections with Queensrÿche went back to the early '80s, when he was the guitarist for Myth, Geoff Tate's previous band. Gray had also previously worked as a producer for bands such as Dokken and Candlebox. Queensrÿche's first album with Gray was 1999's Q2K. It was also the first album for their new label, Atlantic Records. Musically, Q2K bore little resemblance to the progressive metal of the band's past, and also displayed stripped-down sound similar to Hear in the Now Frontier. Gray was not embraced by the fans, who felt that his more bluesy style did not suit Queensrÿche. Additionally, declining popularity forced the band to tour in clubs and theaters, rather than larger arenas and outdoor ampitheaters. After the release of a greatest hits collection in 2000, Queensrÿche embarked on another tour, this time in support of the newly reunited Iron Maiden. This enabled the band to play Madison Square Garden for the first time. Unhappy with the lack of support they felt they received from Atlantic, Queensrÿche moved to Sanctuary Records in 2001. In July of that year, the band performed a handful of dates at the Moore Theater in Seattle, Washington. The shows were recorded and released in September 2001 as Live Evolution, the band's second live album. Kelly Gray departed Queensrÿche soon after. The band entered the studio as a quartet in the spring of 2003 to record their next album. In April, they announced they had been joined by Chris DeGarmo, although his future status with the band was uncertain. In July, Queensrÿche released their first and only album of new material on the Sanctuary label, Tribe. DeGarmo, who played on and co-wrote four songs, did not officially rejoin the band nor take part in the supporting tour. Kelly Gray's official replacement turned out to be Mike Stone, who accompanied the band on the Tribe tour as second guitarist to Michael Wilton's lead. In June 2003, Queensrÿche launched a co-headlining tour featuring another popular progressive metal band, Dream Theater. The two bands alternated the opening and closing spots, and ended the shows by playing a handful of songs together. Fates Warning was the special guest for the tour. In July 2004, Queensrÿche announced their plans to record a follow-up to 1988's Operation: Mindcrime. To generate fan interest in the upcoming album, the band hit the road in the fall of 2004 with the "An Evening With Queensrÿche" tour. The tour opened with a shortened greatest hits set followed by a revised production of Operation: Mindcrime with live actors and video; Pamela Moore reprised her role as Sister Mary. The band played a pre-recorded version of "Hostage," a track from the upcoming album, through the PA as an encore after the end of their set. The second leg of the tour began in early 2005. Before embarking on a third leg of the tour in the fall of 2005, Queensrÿche toured with Judas Priest across North America, playing an hour-long set consisting mostly of the band's older works and one song from the soon-to-be released sequel, entitled "I'm American." Operation: Mindcrime II was released internationally on 31 March 2006, and is said to answer some of the questions posed by the first album. The album is Queensrÿche's first for their new label, Rhino Entertainment, to which they signed in 2005. Ronnie James Dio provided the vocals for Dr. X, the villain of both albums. The album debuted at #14, the highest chart position for a Queensrÿche album since 1997. The group is currently touring in support of Operation: Mindcrime II. Pamela Moore is joining the band to perform both Mindcrime albums in their entirety. Queensrÿche recently announced that Ronnie James Dio will appear at select dates to reprise his role as Dr. X.[6] Side projects Geoff Tate has one solo release to date, a self-titled album released in 2002 on Sanctuary Records. Tate toured to support the album in the summer of 2002. Michael Wilton, with his band Soulbender, released a self-titled album in 2004. Scott Rockenfield and former Queensrÿche guitarist Kelly Gray are members of Slave to the System, who released a self-titled debut album in February 2006 and toured in April 2006. Rockenfield has also collaborated on a number of projects with musician Paul Speer. Rockenfield/Speer was nominated for a Grammy Award (Best Music Video, Long Form) for their 1999 release TeleVoid. Current Lineup Geoff Tate – vocals (1981 - present) Michael Wilton – guitar (1981 - present) Mike Stone – guitar, vocals (2003 - present) Eddie Jackson – bass guitar, vocals (1981 - present) Scott Rockenfield – drums (1981 - present) Former members Chris DeGarmo – guitar (1981 - 1997) Kelly Gray – guitar (1998 - 2001) www.queensryche.com http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queensr%C3%BFche

Queensrÿche Metal Albums

Operation: Mindcrime Thumbnail Image
★★★★½

Long dubbed ”the thinking man’s metal band,” Queensryche have always been difficult to classify; somewhere between Iron Maiden and Pink Floyd. Mindcrime was their breakthrough album, garnering [...]

Empire Thumbnail Image
★★★★½

Exploring the uncharted territory between heavy metal and progressive rock, Queensryche has always been difficult to categorize. While Operation: Mindcrime is their most highly-praised album, Empire remains their [...]

Rage for Order Thumbnail Image
★★★★½

’This album’s a musical and emotional rollercoaster, but most of our albums are,’ Mike Portnoy says of Black Clouds & Silver Linings, Dream Theater’s tenth studio [...]

American Soldier Thumbnail Image
★★★★☆

Queensryche envisions war through the eyes of a soldier with the band’s 12th studio release, the epic concept album, American Soldier. The ambitious album encompasses a [...]

The Warning Thumbnail Image
★★★★☆

No Description AvailableNo Track Information Available Media Type: CDArtist: LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT Title: VOL. 1-LIQUID TENSION EXPERIME Street Release Date: 03/10/1998<Domestic or Import: DomesticGenre: ROCK/POPOver-wrought, self-indulgent, bombastic–hurl every clichéd prog-rock epithet you can think of–this [...]

Queensryche - Greatest Hits Thumbnail Image
★★★★☆

It doesn’t take very many fingers to enumerate the number of American heavy-metal bands who traversed the treacherously shifting musical tastes of the 1980s and ’90s [...]

Queensrÿche Thumbnail Image
★★★★½

Not less than one of the leading bands of the Finnish music scene. The unique combination of heavy metal and female singing has made this ingenious [...]

Operation: Mindcrime II Thumbnail Image
★★★½☆

Seattle quintet Queensryche has always stood apart from other heavy metal bands through their artful progressive bent and intense observations on the world around them. With [...]

Empire Thumbnail Image
★★★★½

Exploring the uncharted territory between heavy metal and progressive rock, Queensryche has always been difficult to categorize. While Operation: Mindcrime is their most highly-praised album, Empire remains their [...]

Operation: Mindcrime Thumbnail Image
★★★★★

Long dubbed ”the thinking man’s metal band,” Queensryche have always been difficult to classify; somewhere between Iron Maiden and Pink Floyd. Mindcrime was their breakthrough album, garnering [...]

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