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Queensrÿche bio, timeline, discography, pics & more

Queensrÿche photo 2013
[LtoR] Scott Rockenfield, Michael Wilton, Todd LaTorre, Eddie Jackson and Parker Lundgren

Queensrÿche Biography

The Hard-Rock collective, Queensrÿche were formed in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, Washington USA, in 1981 when all the band members were in their late teens; singer + songwriter Geoff Tate, guitarists Chris DeGarmo and Michael Wilton, bassist Eddie Jackson and drummer Scott Rockenfield started gigging around the local bar circuit and recorded a demo-tape of 4 songs that caught the attention of the Kerrang Magazine, the U.K. Heavy-Metal bible.

Their first release was a self-titled EP which came out on EMI America Records in 1982; it sold more than 350,000 copies and reached the #81 position on The Billboard Top 200 chart.

The following year Queensrÿche's first full-length album, "The Warning" was recorded in London, the disc peaked at #61 in the United States and established the band as a creative force.
On their next release, 1986's "Rage For Order", Queensrÿche captured the power an discipline that defined their music; it eventually peaked at #47 on The Billboard Top 200 Albums chart.

In the spring of 1988 the quintet released an ambitious concept album called "Operation: Mindcrime" which crossed over to mainstream success breaking the top 50 in the U.S. and went gold; "Eyes Of A Stranger", the first single on the record, hit on Billboard's Rock top 40.

Two years later Queensrÿche scored their second Mainstream Rock top 40 hit with "Last Time In Paris", a song which originally appeared on the soundtrack of the film "The Adventures Of Ford Fairlane".
The band's fourth album, "Empire", exploded into The Billboard 200 chart at #7 upon its September 1990 release and also hit the top 10 in Great Britain; it sold over 3 million copies worldwide reeling off an unprecedented six Mainstream Rock charting singles including two top 10 hits: "Jet City Woman" and "Another Rainy Night (Without You)", three top 30 hits: "Anybody Listening?", the title-track and "Best I Can" plus the massive smash "Silent Lucidity" which soared to #1 on album Rock radio chart and also hit #9 on The Billboard Hot 100.
An extensive tour followed and the concert album, "Operation LIVEcrime", was issued in October 1991.

1993 saw the Seattle heavy rockers enjoying further success when their contribution to the soundtrack to the film "Last Action Hero", the single "Real World", climbed into the top 3 of the Billboard's Active Rock chart.

In October 1994 Queensrÿche finally delivered the follow-up to "Empire"; written and recorded at the band's home studio and an isolated cabin in the San Juan Islands, off the coast of northwestern Washington State, "Promised Land" achieved a career-best peak of #3 on The Billboard Top 200 Albums list and was certified platinum spawning two Mainstream Rock top 10 hits in "Bridge" and "I Am I", plus a minor hit single with "Disconnected".

1997 saw the the group moving into the alt-Rock territory with their seventh studio record, "Hear In The Now Frontier"; it reached the #19 position on The Billboard 200 and its main single hit the top 3 of The Mainstream Rock list; the second single off the CD, "You", peaked at #11 on the same chart.

In January 1998, guitarist Chris DeGarmo announced his departure from the band he co-founded and after several months of discussions, the position was filled by longtime Queensrÿche friend and producer Kelly Gray.
The revamped line-up issued the band's Atlantic Records debut, "Q2K", in September 1999, but the album didn't rise higher than #46 in the U.S. and generated only one Mainstream Rock top 40 single, "Breakdown".

In July 2003, reunited with DeGarmo, the group released "Tribe" through Sanctuary Records, reaching #56 on The Billboard 200; the band kicked off their world tour in Europe that June and returned to the States for a co-headlining run with fellow progressive stalwarts Dream Theater.

Queensrÿche returned to the studio in 2005 for the long-anticipated sequel to 1988's acclaimed "Operation: Mindcrime"; the new record, titled "Operation: Mindcrime II", was performed by the Seattle-based quintet, Tate, Wilton, Jackson, Rockenfield along with new guitarist Mike Stone. The album hit store shelves in April 2006 and quickly ascended into the top 20 of The Billboard 200. It contained the album-Rock radio single "I'm American".

After speaking with soldiers who served in various conflicts, from World War II to Iraq, Geoff Tate turned their firsthand experiences from the frontlines into an unflinching musical examination of the life of a soldier and the consequences of war; the result was another successful concept album, "American Soldier", which debuted at #24 on The Billboard Top 200 chart.

In April 2012, Geoff Tate was fired from the band after a physical altercation with his band mates before a show in Brazil. Tate and his wife, Susan, who was the band's manager for the last seven years before also being fired, filed a lawsuit claiming wrongful termination.

April 2013 saw the release of "Frequency Unknown", a new album recorded by a new version of Queensrÿche which featured Tate on vocals, guitarists Kelly Gray and Robert Sarzo, bassist Rudy Sarzo, keyboardist Randy Gane and drummer Simon Wright.

Singer Todd La Torre joined original members Michael Wilton, Scott Rockenfield and Eddie Jackson when original vocalist Geoff Tate left to form his own version of the band. This Queensrÿche line-up recorded an eponymous album which contains the single "Fallout".


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Queensrÿche pictures:

  • Queensrÿche band lineup mid 80s Queensrÿche band lineup mid 80s
    The band line-up 1984
  • Queensrÿche 2006 Queensrÿche 2006
    Queensrÿche 2006: from left: Scott Rockenfield, Mike Stone, Geoff Tate, Eddie Jackson and Michael Wilton