Album review

Queensrÿche : Operation Live Crime

Queensrÿche : Operation Live CrimeThe concept album has been a cruel joke on the face of the music industry. Few - probably less than that even - have mastered its virtues. So back in '88 when Queensrÿche, who were better known for churning out reasonable metal tunes with dorky videos, released Operation: Mindcrime, the world stood still as the curve ball came in to land. To the sound of "Doctor Davies to emergency please", Queensrÿche found themselves propelled into the rock stratosphere . . .
    Mindcrime had charisma, class and a confidence that few others had captured on a regular album let alone one of high-concept. Watching them perform the entire story on the '91 Empire tour, there was little doubt that we would now be dealing with an altogether different beast as Mindcrime and Empire became the rock on which the greatest story ever told would be built. We'll stop there.
    Crossing genres on stilts, Mindcrime appealed to all, and successfully bridged the chasm that sat between the then 'glam vs thrash' scene. 2001 finds Mindcrime still inhabiting the same high ground, which is a shame when its creators seem to be occupying rock limbo at the moment.

Operation Live Crime - obviously the live version of events for those slow of mind - was deleted from circulation a few years back, much to the annoyance of the fanbase who seemed to have around five minutes to make their purchase before it disappeared forever. To hear this again reminds you that there was a chemistry at work here that is not often repeated as Queensrÿche have recently discovered.
    From the haunting opening of I Remember Now delivered by Anthony Valentine, Queensrÿche produced the story bombastically and consistently. Revolution Calling, Spreading The Disease and I Don't Believe in Love are the highlights, but the point of Mindcrime was that it was never anything more than the sum of its parts, hence even the vitriolic Anarchy-X becomes part of the bigger picture.
    Chris DeGarmo was the man back then - could even still be now. I saw people cry at the Empire show mentioned previously, and when Geoff Tate delivers on Eyes Of A Stranger, you'd better know you're in the presence of one of the greatest vocalists that ever walked the earth in any genre.

Old fans should have it - if not get it before it disappears again. If you're unfamiliar with the band, check out the band like this: Empire; Operation: Mindrime; Promised Land; Operation Live Crime. For those cynical enough not to buy Operation Live Crime on the grounds that it might come out on DVD in the near future . . . well let's just say I'm going to sit on your side of the bus.

:: Sion Smith

Go to previous pageGo to top of page
Latest articles

Alone in the dark: Buffy The Vampire Slayer bows out in style with the Season Seven DVD Collection.

Johnny Knoxville plays him in the movie Grand Theft Parsons, but counterculture speaks to the man himself: Phil Kaufman interviewed.