Queensrÿche were formed in Seattle, USA, by Geoff Tate (vocals), Chris DeGarmo (guitar), Michael Wilton (guitar), Eddie Jackson (bass) and Scott Rockenfield (drums) from the ashes of club circuit band the Mob and in Tate’s case, the Myth.
Immediatly Tate offered them a distinctive vocal edge, having studied opera but turned to hard-rock because of the lyrical freedom it offered. A four track demo recorded in the basement of Rockenfield’s parents house in June 1982 led to record store owners Kim and Diana Harris offering to manage the band. The tape itself took on a life of its own, circulating throughout the north west of America, and in May 1983,the band launched their own 206 Records label to house the songs on a self-titled 12 inch EP (Queen Of The Reich).Kicking off with these four tracks, the band was put of overachievers at the fore of the parched and drifting metal scene. Kerrang!, the British Metal magazine trumpeted the band’s Valhalla-high form of techno-metal to the hills. Queen of the Reich was forged in cold steel. An act prone to perfection. This E.P caused quite a stir in rock circles and to EMI offering them a seven album deal. The record was quickly re-released and grazed the UK Top 75.
Four years later and two albums recorded (The Warning – 1984 and Rage For Order – 1986), Queensrÿche created their distinctive style, making full use of modern technology. 1988 saw the Peter Collins produced Operation Mindcrime, a George Orwell-inspired concept album which was greeted with enthusiastic critical acclaim on its release. The band cook up some of their most threatening Maiden/Priest inspired licks on such high class pounders as Revolution Calling, Speak,The Needle Lies and Spreading The Disease. This album is a rare metallic tonic for the troops. With some of the grandiose futurism of earlier releases dispelled, and additional orchestration from Michael Kamen, worldwide sales of over one million confirmed this as the album to lift the band into rock’s first division.