Seattle-based progressive metal band Queensrÿche was formed in the early 1980s. Current members include Geoff Tate, Michael Wilton, Mike Stone, Eddie Jackson, and Scott Rockenfield.
The Grammy Award nominated group has released eleven studio albums, most notably the Platinum-certified "Operation: Mindcrime" (1988), "Empire" (1990), and "Promised Land" (1994). They also released EPs and DVDs.
The band, which scored the hit single "Silent Lucidity" (1990), was #82 on VH1's “100 Greatest Artist of Hard Rock.” In 2007, they simultaneously released a compilation, a cover, and a live album.
Childhood and Family:
"The umlaut over the 'y' has haunted us for years. We spent eleven years trying to explain how to pronounce it." Geoff Tate
In the early 1980s, in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, guitarist Michael Wilton (born February 23, 1962, in San Francisco, California) and drummer Scott Rockenfield (born June 15, 1963, in Seattle, Washington), both of whom attended the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, formed a band called “The Mob” that would be the core of “Queensrÿche.” They were joined by guitarist Chris DeGarmo (born June 14, 1963, in Wenatchee, Washington) and bassist Eddie Jackson (born January 29, 1961, in Robstown, Texas) and recruited vocalist Geoff Tate (born January 14, 1959, in Stuttgart, West Germany), who was still committed to the band “Myth.” Mike Stone (born November 30, 1969) would join the band in 2003 for their “Tribe” tour, playing lead and rhythm guitars and singing backup vocals.
The band eventually picked their current name after recording a demo tape and becoming inspired by the first song on the demo.
After rehearsing for two years, Queensrÿche eventually recorded and released a demo tape, which consisted of four songs, "Queen of the Reich," "Nightrider," "Blinded," and "The Lady Wore Black." The demo tape was later released as a self-titled EP on their own 206 Records label in 1983. That same year, the band signed to EMI and re-released their self-titled EP, which peaked at #81 on the Billboard charts and received Gold certification. To support the EP, Queensrÿche embarked on their first tour and opened for Quiet Riot, Dio and Twisted Sister.
Wrapping up the tour in November, the band began preparations for their first full-length album, "The Warning." Released on September 7, 1984, the album rose to #61 on The Billboard 200 and went Gold. It spawned the singles "Warning" and "Take Hold of the Flame." Their sophomore effort, "Rage for Order," was released on June 27, 1986. It also received Gold certification and rose to #47 on The Billboard 200. Two songs from the album were released as singles: "Walk in the Shadows" and "Gonna Get Close to You," the latter of which is a cover of Dalbello's 1984 song.
"Operation: Mindcrime," Queensrÿche's third full-length album, hit the music stores on May 3, 1988. The album peaked at #50 on The Billboard 200 and eventually went Platinum. Singles off the album include "Revolution Calling," "Breaking the Silence," "I Don't Believe in Love" (#41 US Mainstream Rock Tracks), which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Metal Performance in 1990, and "Eyes of a Stranger" (#35 US Mainstream Rock Tracks). In January 1989, the album ranked #34 on Kerrang magazine's "100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums Of All Time."
Entering the 1990s, Queensrÿche released their next album, "Empire," on August 20, 1990. It delivered the singles "Best I Can," "Jet City Woman" (#6 US Mainstream Rock Tracks), "Another Rainy Night (Without You)" (#7 US Mainstream Rock Tracks), "Empire" (#22 US Mainstream Rock Tracks), "Silent Lucidity" (#1 US Mainstream Rock Tracks; #9 The Billboard Hot 100; #21 on VH1 Greatest Power Ballads), which was performed live at the Grammy awards with a supporting orchestra, and "Anybody Listening?" (#16 US Mainstream Rock Tracks). The album rose to #7 on The Billboard 200 and went three times Platinum in the U.S., Silver in the U.K., and Gold in Canada. The band also released a promotional sampler titled "Evolution Calling" on September 4, 1990.
During this time, the band also recorded the song "Last Time in Paris," which appeared in the 1990 action film "The Adventures of Ford Fairlane." They contributed the song "Real World" to the action film "Last Action Hero" in 1993.
On October 28, 1991, Queensrÿche released a live album, "Operation: LIVEcrime" (#38 US). Three years later, on October 18, 1994, they released their fifth studio album, "Promised Land." It yielded the singles "I Am I" (#8 Mainstream Rock Tracks), "Bridge" (#6 Mainstream Rock Tracks), and "Disconnected" (#32 Mainstream Rock Tracks). The album peaked at #3 on The Billboard 200 and #10 in Germany and received Platinum certification in the U.S. It went Gold in Canada.
March 25, 1997, saw the release of "Hear in the Now Frontier," Queensrÿche's sixth studio album that debuted at #19 but quickly vanished from the charts. It produced the singles "Sign of the Times" (#3 US Mainstream Rock Tracks) and "You" (#27 US Mainstream Rock Tracks).
"Q2K," Queensrÿche's next studio album, was released by Atlantic Records on September 14, 1999. The first single of the album is "Breakdown."
Hitting the new millennium, the band released a compilation album, "Greatest Hits," on June 27, 2000. It went to #149 on The Billboard 200. The following year, on September 25, 2001, the group released a live album, "Live Evolution." It climbed to #143 on The Billboard 200 and #20 on Top Internet Albums.
Another Queensrÿche's compilation album, "Classic Masters," was released on March 11, 2003. Also that year, the band released the album "Tribe," which was followed by the live album, "The Art of Live," in 2004. It includes two cover versions, "Comfortably Numb" (Pink Floyd) and "Won't Get Fooled Again" (The Who), which were performed on stage with Dream Theater during the group's 2003 tour with Dream Theater in support of "Tribe."
The band's album "Operation: Mindcrime II," was released on March 31, 2006, on the Rhino Entertainment label, which is co-owned by Atlantic Records. The album debuted on the Billboard 200 album chart at #14 and yielded the singles "I'm American" and "The Hands."
In 2007, Queensrÿche released three albums, the live album "Mindcrime at the Moore," the cover album "Take Cover," and the compilation album "Sign of the Times: The Best of Queensrÿche."