Queensryche – “Empire” – 7″ Single

At the May 2022 Record Show in Charlotte, I found a handful of singles and the one we are discussing today is from Queensryche for their single “Empire” from their 1990 album of the same name. The song was the first single and came out in September 1990. The song didn’t chart in the Top 40, but it did go to #22 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart. It is the 2nd most played song by the band live…”Eyes of a Stranger” is #1. The song was written by Geoff Tate and Michael Wilton.

The version I have is the standard U.S. Version on 7″ Vinyl and the B-Side is “Scarborough Fair” which was not on the original album but added as a bonus track for latest re-issues of the album. “Empire” is said to be the radio edit of the album version but any changes is virtually unnoticeable.

The song is very political and talks about how much the government spends on law enforcement and how little that amount is compared to military and space exploration. The song itself is about the drug trafficking within the United States and all the related crimes that arise from it. The song believes that it will inevitably lead to the breakdown of civility in American society. I can’t say for sure if that is the case, but today it is still just as bad as it was in 1990 and Society does seem to be imploding at times. The gun violence is definitely on the rise.

A-SIDE:

The song opens with a massive guitar riff and a very heavy, metallic drum beat. The vibe is foreboding and urgent. Geoff Tate almost speaks the lyrics as he describing the events that result from drug trafficking. When he gets to the chorus his vocals soar and then with “Empire” it turns deep and sinister. Some of the echo effects on his vocals are added fro dramatic effect and are so cool. Musically, the boys give us an industrial sound that is as dark and sad as the lyrics yet it rocks out as the production quality is perfection. There is a break in the song where Geoff speaks out statistics backed by the band with a driving beat that builds and builds until we get to the solo that will blow your mind…okay maybe not, but it is superb. The song might be one of the best they have ever done and there are a quite a few great ones from them.

B-SIDE:

“Scarborough Fair” is an old traditional English Ballad that dates back generations. It was made famous in modern times thanks to Simon & Garfunkel. Queensryche recorded it back in 1986 and it ended up as the B-Side for “Empire”. Back in 1990, you wanted this single for the reason that this song had been previously unreleased at the time. The song is sad sounding and Geoff sings in a deep dark voice…which doesn’t feel natural. The song sounds sinister and evil with how they are playing. It does build and get a little heavier and Geoff actually hits some higher notes as well. It is a weird song for them and not a favorite of mine, but there is something cool about it.

And there you have it. Another 7″ Single from the collection. Don’t worry…there are more to come. Thanks for stopping by.

You Picked It! – Queensryche – ‘Rage for Order’ – Album Review

Alright…You Picked It! And this one wasn’t really that close. After the first five picks were one for each artist, the winner took the early lead and never looked back. The winner this month is Queensryche and their album ‘Rage for Order’ which was one that was in my collection. This one was never really that close. Queensryche had the lead from vote 1 and never lost it. Here are the results.

  1. Queensryche – ‘Rage for Order’ – 8 votes
  2. John Prine – ‘John Prine’ – 6 votes
  3. Triumph – ‘Allied Forces’ – 6 votes
  4. Neil Young & Crazy Horse – ‘Barn’ – 3 votes
  5. Shania Twain – ‘Come on Over’ – 1 Vote

Thanks to all for participating. The February choices will be up on Saturday!

QUEENSRYCHE – ‘RAGE FOR ORDER’:

I discovered Queensryche back in 1988 when they opened for Def Leppard. They were touring for the ‘Operation: Mindcrime’ album which I immediately purchased. As a result, I went back and tried to find more music by them and the next thing I picked up was ‘Rage for Order’. The album came out back on June 27, 1986 and was unlike anything else I had heard at the time. It was progressive metal and I am not sure what the hell was with their clothes and that hair. Woah! That hair. Was it glam? Was it Metal? I had no clue.

Continue reading “You Picked It! – Queensryche – ‘Rage for Order’ – Album Review”

Queensryche – ‘Empire’ Super Deluxe Edition – Box Set Review

After the band’s revolutionary album ‘Operation: Mindcrime’, Queensryche delivered another masterpiece with the album ‘Empire’. The band is celebrating this album with a Super Deluxe Edition Box Set and it is full or wonderful things. You get 3 CDs, 1 DVD and a book all included in a wonderful and sturdy box. It looks like a lot of time was spent on the packaging. And if you look at the back cover, it tells you everything you are going to get, but maybe it is overstating things a little and I will get to that later.

Just look at all the stuff you get. You get a remastered album, ‘Concealed Empire – Bonus Tracks’, ‘Live at Hammersmith Odeon, London 11-14-90’ and a DVD called ‘Building Empires’. If that isn’t enough you get a hardback book with lot of wonderful goodies inside. Let’s not waste anytime and get right into it.

The 3 CDs / 1 DVD come housed in a cardboard foldout that houses each disc in a slot with the DVD getting its own packaging as well. And if you were smart, you would pull each disc out and place them in to their own jewel slim case so they don’t get scratched up…at least that is what Aaron would do over at keepsmealive.wordpress.com.

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Queensryche – ‘Operation: Mindcrime’ Super Deluxe Edition – Box Set Review

What is one of the greatest concept albums of all time? That is right! It is the Queensryche masterpiece, ‘Operation: Mindcrime’. The band is celebrating this album with a Super Deluxe Edition Box Set and it is full or wonderful things. You get 4 CDs, 1 DVD and a book all included in a wonderful and sturdy box. It look like a lot of time was spent on the packaging. And if you look at the back cover, it tells you everything you are going to get…or does it? More on that later.

Before we get to the meat of the box set, the CDs and DVD are housed in a tri-fold cardboard sleeve that is all black with the exception of the logo on the front. The CDs slide in to slots on each side while the DVD is housed in its own mini-cardboard sleeve which slides in to its slot in the middle fold. It is not my favorite way to house CDs as you have to be careful not to scratch them when you insert or pull it out.

The Front Cover
Continue reading “Queensryche – ‘Operation: Mindcrime’ Super Deluxe Edition – Box Set Review”