Queensr che - Operation: Mindcrime - Remastered and Expanded
Any music critic will tell you that just about any band has their "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band," "Dark Side of the Moon," or "Led Zeppelin IV" per se, speaking of an influential album that a band creates on a creative peak, revolutionizing production and performance, while being hailed by fans and music lover alike. Operation: Mindcrime is Queensryche's pinnacle release.

Released in 1988, at the height of the commercialization of "Hair Metal" dominating the hard rock music scene, Operation: Mindcrime can easily be seen as something that was ahead of its time, and it was. Regardless of going the wayside, only to possible become influential years later, like many "ahead of its time" released and bands, Mindcrime was an instant success, both commercially and credibility wise.

It came like a breath of fresh air to the hard rock scene at the time, where bands like Poison, Warrant, and Bon Jovi were staples all over radio and MTV. Spawning two major hits "Eyes of a Stranger" and "I Don't Believe in Love," this record reaped all the rewards of any metal releases of it's time, getting regular rotation on MTV and Top 40 radio as well as many other album cuts being successful on AOR Hard Rock radio, not to mention multi-platinum sales.

For the time period and political landscape, the record, literally a concept album about psychological breakdown, murder, and revolution; a more down to earth theme rather than complete science fiction, something that had never been heard on an album before. It was complete contrast to the whole "lets get drunk, party, and fuck" attitude of the "Hair Metal" bands of the day. The sound was also unique, virtuoso musicianship kept tight with progressions of songwriting that was way beyond the normal verse chorus form.

Produced by Peter Collins, who is also known for his work on several Rush albums, captured the band at their best. Keeping the guitar arpeggios in complete tight form among layers of vocals and occasional synth pads while keeping it easy on the ears. Rather than being just a couple of long epical cuts, Mindcrime offers several tracks in a song form, rather than an extended track that could become redundant.

The album keeps itself consistently heavy, with fillers like "Waiting for 22" and "My Empty Room" adding a ballad like stance to the album. Other ambient noises such as footsteps, voice echoes, and clocks ticking among other ambient noises add to the atmospheric tone to this record. Other "stand out" tracks include "Revolution calling" with its anthem like chorus and the slower paced, yet emotional "Suite Sister Mary."

Although a huge commercial success at the time, this album would not be as commercially successful as the follow up Empire, which was released only two years later spawning two major hits "Jet City Woman" and the ultra successful ballad "Silent Lucidity," which made Queensryche even more of a household name.

To many fans and Metalheads alike, Mindcrime is the last great album that Queensryche released; many argue "Empire" was, while some would say it all ended with "Rage for Order." But to fans alike this album by majority is a favorite, being the most popular when looked back upon for influence. It set the standard for many Metal bands looking for a more melodic path to take as well as becoming the basis for Progressive Metal (we also have to remember that Dream Theater had not even appeared yet, and were completely unknown). Operation: Mindcrime truly is the "Dark Side of the Moon" of the 80's, without one dated note on it.

Note: the live tracks are not taken from the Operation: Livecrime release; they were recorded at various gigs in London. The remastered sound has given it more high end, with the reverb/delay be more noticeable and spacious.

Written by Hashman
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
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Hashman: 10/10

Members: 9.58/10 - Average of 6 ratings.

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Profile pictureSteen (Staff)

Rating: 9/10
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Rating: 10/10
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RevelationZ Comments

Comment by K.K. (Anonymous) - Friday, June 13, 2003
I disagree with the rating. It would be higher!!! Thiw album is really a masterpiece.

Comment by Christopher (Anonymous) - Thursday, February 19, 2004
A great, great album. Their best, in my opinion.

Comment by DrStein (Anonymous) - Thursday, April 8, 2004
Not only Queensryche's best album (although their rest alboums are very very close in quality and passion - Promised Land my next favourite) but the best Concept album ever recorded!!!!

Comment by Mavric (Anonymous) - Monday, July 26, 2004
An amazing album. Usually, when I listen to an album, I find a song or two that I don't like, but on this, I didn't find that. I loved all of the songs even on the first listen. 11/10

Comment by Ben Honeycutt (Anonymous) - Sunday, November 7, 2004
What can I say about Operation: Mindcrime that hasn't already been said? This is the album that made Queensryche a household name, that broke all the rules and came out triumphant. This album, without a second consideration, is probably the greatest concept album ever conceived and cut to tape. After only three releases that saw mediocre success, Queensryche decided to embark on an extremely ambitious concept album about a young street junkie who is brainwashed by an underground revolution called Operation: Mindcrime to become an "angel of death" and assassinate political and religious leaders who, in the albums setting, run the country. If the plot of Mindcrime doesn't already seem complex enough, a love story is thrown in, as Nikki develops a love interest in Sister Mary, a young prostitute who is saved by Father William, a Mindcrime operative, and reborn as Sister Mary. While many think that a band just three releases into their musical career would fail miserably in pulling off a project of such magnitude, Queensryche defies all odds and releases the album of their career, seamlessly crafting songs that perfectly suceed in creating a musical palette of such depth that the listener feels like they are in the dark, brutal world of Nikki. The songs succeed in flowing together perfectly as a complete story, and yet they manage to have the same overpowering effect as stand-alone tracks - something few albums have ever accomplished. There is not a single weak track on the album, and I say that with absolute conviction. Every song manages to sound distinctly different from the other songs on the record, both in feel and in composition. Every song in itself is a masterpiece, a smaller story within the grand opus that Mindcrime is.

The real reason that Operation: Mindcrime is the unparalleled concept album of its time is Geoff Tate. Geoff Tate may, quite possibly, the greatest voice I have ever heard, commanding absolute control over every aspect of his singing, from his operatically-trained "perfect" vibrato to his almost dizzying vocal range. Can you imagine anyone else delivering the vocal performance of Mindcrime with the same conviction and emotion that Geoff Tate does? I can't. His performance on this album is the stuff of legends, as his powerhouse voice makes Nikki and everything he thinks, feels, and experiences come alive. Geoff Tate is what makes this album feel real to you, what makes Nikki feel like a living, breathing person. Geoff Tate's absolutely electrifying performance on Operation: Mindcrime has not been surpassed since it's release - not even by Geoff himself.

That said, no other guitarists could have created the intense, unforgiving musical palette of Mindcrime than Chris DeGarmo and Michael Wilton. Their creative spark that had begun to flourish on Rage for Order had become a full-blown electrical storm by Mindcrime, and their sonic input, like Geoff Tate's vocal performance, was seemingly exhausted on this album and never matched again. Their tone throughout the album is very brutal and cold, giving the entire album a dark, foreboding feeling of doom. Their twin guitar leads are so seamless that you can't tell who is playing between the two of them -listen to the solo in "Breaking the Silence" for proof. Together, they create lush textures that bring Mindcrime to life. Anyone who thinks Queensryche is just another hair metal band should listen to "Suite Sister Mary," a ten minute epic featuring a duet between Seattle vocalist Pamela Moore (as Sister Mary) and Geoff Tate which dispels that rumor in a heartbeat.

The album's first full-length song, the anthemic "Revolution Calling," is the most upbeat song on the album, as the proceeding songs quickly assume a doom and gloom feel, depicting Nikki's spiral into oblivion. Each song becomes progressively darker and more despairing, beginning with Nikki as a man whose mission has revitalized his sense of purpose and giving his life new meaning to a man utterly transformed by Mindcrime's chain of events to such a degree that he no longer recognizes himself in the mirror. The album ends with "Eyes of A Stranger," an absolute awe-inspiring closer that is the explosive culmination of everything that has taken place in Mindcrime and ultimately serves as the album's masterpiece and consequentially its darkest track. In my opinion, "Eyes of A Stranger" is Queensryche's magnum opus, embodying all of their fiery energy and musical abilities into a grand finale that closes Mindcrime with a bang. By the end of "Eyes of A Stranger," you truly feel as if Queensryche has given every fiber of their being and exhausted themselves in delivering the performace of a lifetime.

This may be my favorite album of all time, because it succeeds in being an unconquered masterpiece as a full package and in each individual song. I have listened to Operation: Mindcrime countless time, whether it be one or two songs or the disc in its entirety, and I have never come close to growing weary of it. The depth of the album's musical vision and itsability to transport me into the dark world of Nikki place it leagues above anything else I have heard. No other concept album has come close to pulling off such an ambitious storyline with such meteoric success as Mindcrime, with Dream Theater's Metropolis II: Scenes From a Memory being the only contender. This album is as close to perfection as it gets, and I await the day an album comes along and snatches the title away from Operation: Mindcrime as the greatest concept album of all time.

Comment by Donk (Anonymous) - Sunday, November 7, 2004
A release that is just as fresh today as it was in 1988!! Hammersmith Odeon 27/4/89 the greatest gig ever!!!! Even with no Suite Sister Mary.

Comment by online gambling (Anonymous) - Wednesday, November 2, 2005
No comments. Well done.


[online gambling]

Comment by ryche (Anonymous) - Sunday, May 28, 2006
Why is there no review of Operation Mindcrime II yet?

Comment by Steen (Staff) - Sunday, June 4, 2006
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Comments: 518
We never received a promo for review so that is probably the main reason. I bought the album about a month ago but haven't listened enough to it to fully review it yet. It did get a mention in my playlist this month so check that if you want my first impression.

Posted by Steen (Staff)
Sunday, June 4, 2006

Comment by ThraX (Member) - Tuesday, February 27, 2007
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Comments: 135
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This happens to be my favorite album of all time , tied with Dream Theater's "Scenes Of A Memory" & Fates Warning "A Pleasant Shade Of Grey".....A great concept album with great musicianship and Geoff Tate's vocals are just amazing!!!!.......10/10 is an understatement of just how good this album really is!!!

Posted by ThraX
Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Comment by notrap (Member) - Friday, September 26, 2008
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Comments: 55
Ratings: 66
Like Ben Honeycutt said "What can I say about Operation: Mindcrime that hasn't already been said?"
This impressive concept release changed the standard metal idea of "...Yeahhh those Metal Guys can play well the guitar, good long hairs..But no head at all...Just look at the lyrics...".
I still remember my friends finding "Operation" so dam boring...
This Album it's Queensryche's best work and the most important Heavy/Rock concept release ever.

I disagree with Ben Honeycutt when he said "The real reason that Operation: Mindcrime is the unparalleled concept album of its time is Geoff Tate. "
Geoff's voice is, of course, impressive and extremely important on "Operation", but the secret ingredient is Chris. He's the main composer and I believe the composers must always have the gold credits.

Operation Mindcrime is definitely 10/10

Posted by notrap
Friday, September 26, 2008

Review by JoiRide (Member) - Wednesday, May 13, 2009
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Ratings: 2
One of my favorite albums of all time. An amazing concept record, taken as a whole, but each track stands on its own as a great song. It's like listening to a movie.

Rating: 10/10

Posted by JoiRide
Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Review by Steen (Staff) - Monday, July 27, 2009
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Comments: 518
The perfect concept album? Yes, pretty much. Spellbinding from beginning to end it is a completely genius creation.

Rating: 9/10

Posted by Steen (Staff)
Monday, July 27, 2009

Comment by YNGWIEVIKING (Member) - Tuesday, July 28, 2009
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Comments: 11
Ratings: 11
Agree with Steen : that's the perfect Concept-album but in the same time each song stand on it's own !

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Comment by savafan4ever (Member) - Friday, January 29, 2010
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Comments: 2
Ratings: 3
one of if not the all time best concept album of all time even thou i think it is right next to savatages streets as the greates put together masterpieces of all time. these guys are geniuses

Posted by savafan4ever
Friday, January 29, 2010

Review by savafan4ever (Member) - Friday, January 29, 2010
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Comments: 2
Ratings: 3
all i can say is (masterpiece) pure and simple

Rating: 10/10

Posted by savafan4ever
Friday, January 29, 2010

Comment by angelripper84 (Member) - Tuesday, June 7, 2011
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Comments: 2
Ratings: 2
One of the best albums ever!!!!!!

Posted by angelripper84
Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Review by Hashman

Released by
Capitol/EMI Records - 2003

1- I Remember Now
2- Anarchy-X
3- Revolution Calling
4- Operation: Mindcrime
5- Speak
6- Spreading the Disease
7- The Mission
8- Suite Sister Mary
9- The Needle Lies
10- Electric Requiem
11- Breaking the Silence
12- I Don't Believe in Love
13- Waiting for 22
14- My Empty Room
15- Eyes of a Stranger
Bonus Tracks
16- The Mission (live)
17- My Empty Room (live)

Originally released in 1988 on EMI-Manhattan

Heavy Metal/Progressive Metal

Related links
Visit the band page

Queensr che - Official Website

Other articles
Rage for order - (Steen)

Tribe - (Steen)

Tribe - (Hashman)

Empire - (Hashman)

The Art of Live - (Hashman)

The Warning - (Steen)

American Soldier - (Brian)

Z supported shopping

1 - Horrifying
2 - Terrible
3 - Bad
4 - Below average
5 - Average
6 - Good
7 - Very good
8 - Outstanding
9 - Genius
10 - Masterpiece
666 - Unrated

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