From Bellevue, Washington, is the heavy metal band known as Queensryche. Throughout their lengthy career, Queensryche has released 15 studio albums, 5 live albums,5 compilation albums, and an EP. It should also be noted that there is a lone album with the Queensryche label from the camp of Geoff Tate that is not included in the 15. Just within the United States alone, Queensryche sold over 6 million albums. At a worldwide level, over 20 million. They are considered among the top three leaders of progressive rock metal from the mid to late 1980s. Upon the release of their 1988 album (Operation: Mindcrime), the band received worldwide acclaim, and it is considered to be one of the best heavy metal concept albums of all time. The follow-up release of their 1990 album (Empire) brought forth their most successful hit single (Silent Lucidity), which charted top spot with US Mainstream Rock’s Music Chart. From these two albums, the band received several Grammy nominations. In 1998, Scott Rockenfield received an independent Grammy nomination as a drummer.
Who Really Is Queensryche?
Like most groups, Queensryche experienced lineup changes. In 1998, their primary guitarist and songwriter, Chris DeGarmo, left the band for personal reasons. He did return briefly in 2003 to help write and record their album (Tribe) before leaving again. There were three replacements that temporarily filled DeGarmo’s shoes. Kelly Gray was in from 1998 until 2002, then replaced by Mike Stone from 2003 until 2008, and finally Parker Lundgren from 2009 until his recent retirement in 2021. However, from 2011 until leaving Queensryche, he toured with them only. Mike Stone actually returned to tour with the lineup in 2018 and then rejoined full-time as of 2021. The most notable lineup change occurred when lead vocalist Geoff Tate was fired from the band after his highly publicized altercation in Sau Paulo, Brazil in April 2012.
The band’s manager, Susan Tate (wife of Geoff Tate), joined him in a lawsuit against Queensryche for wrongful dismissal. The preliminary injunction ruled both parties were allowed to use the Queensryche trademark until the court ruled on April 17, 2014, in favor of the band’s founding members (Jackson, Rockenfield, and Wilton). Tate’s version of Queensryche included a lineup of musicians that came from the rosters of AC/DC, Blue Oyster Cult, Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot, and Whitesnake. On April 23, 2013, they released the album (Frequency Unknown). WIth the Queensryche still consisting of its three founding members, replaced Tate with Todd La Torre of Crimson Glory fame. Also sticking to the label as Queensryche, they released their eponymous album on June 24, 2013, in Europe and on June 25, 2013, in the United States.
Here are our picks for the best Queensryche albums of all-time:
10. Queensryche (EP)
Not to be confused with 2013’s release, the mini-album (Queensryche) was released in 1983 and peaked at #81 on the US Billboard Top 200 Chart. This extended play release earned Gold status from the Recording Association Industry of America. The flag song from this album (Queen of the Reich) peaked at #94 on the UK Top Singles Chart.
Since this album’s release on July 22, 2003, it’s hit song (Open) and it peaked at #38 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart. This is the same song featured on the 2003 video game (True Crime: Streets of LA). The album’s overall performance charted in at #56 on the US Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart, and at #52 with Germany’s GfK Entertainment Chart. So far, this album has sold over 75,000 copies worldwide.
Queensryche has sold over 150,000 copies of the album (Q2K) since its release on September 14, 1999. Among the world’s most elite music charts, it peaked at #46 with US Billboard, #21 in Germany, #65 with Japan’s Oricon Inc. #67 with the Dutch GfK, and #60 with Sweden’s Sverigetopplistan Chart. Their hit song (Breakdown) from the album, peaked in at #27 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart.
7. Hear in the Now Frontier
The album (Hear in the New Frontier) was released on March 25, 1997. It has sold over 333,000 copies worldwide since then. The most successful song (Sign of the Times) smashed to #3 spot on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart, as well as #41 with Canada’s Singles Chart. The album, overall, ranked as high as #19 with US Billboard Top 200 Albums, #25 with Belgium’s Ultratop Music Chart, #41 in Canada’s Album Chart, #19 with Germany’s Gfk, and #60 in Japan. With Norway’s VG-lista Chart, it reached #36. In Sweden, the album peaked at #13, and in the UK, #46.
6. The Warning
(The Warning) is Queensryche’s first studio album release, which came out September 7, 1984. Since then, it has achieved RIAA’s Gold status. At a worldwide level, this album peaked at #61 in the US, #91 in Canada, #42 in Sweden, and #100 in the UK. While none of their music charted, the album overall was successful enough to put rock fans on notice there’s a powerful new band in town.
5. Rage for Order
Since the release of the album (Rage for Order) on July 14, 1986, it has achieved RIAA’s Gold status. With the prestigious album charts worldwide, it ranked as high as #67 in the USA, #85 in Canada, #58 in Germany, #31 with the Dutch, #47 in Sweden, and #66 in the UK. Again, just like their debut album, there was no single that truly stood out as far as chart rankings go, but overall the album is considered nothing short of phenomenal according to music fans and critics worldwide.
4. Operation: Mindcrime II
The sequel album to Queensryche’s (Original: Mindcrime) sees the March 14, 2006 release of (Operation: Mindcrime II) achieve 14th spot on the US Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart, #97 in Belgium, #51 in Germany, #27 in Japan and Norway, #35 with the Dutch, and 18th in Sweden. According to Switzerland’s Swiss Hitparade Chart it peaked at #59.
3. Promised Land
Released on October 18. 1994 is the album (Promised Land), which features the hit song (I Am I), as well as (Bridge), and (Disconnected). All three songs peaked within the top 10 of US Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Chart. The album, as a whole, received RIAA’s Platinum status since its release, as well as Music Canada’s Gold status. With the US Billboard Top 200, Promised Land peaked at #3 and in Canada, #28. As for the rest of the world, 10th in Germany, 16th with Japan and the Dutch, 6th in Sweden, 14th in Switzerland, and 13th in the UK.
2. Operation: Mindcrime
The highly successful (Operation: Mindcrime) was released as Queensryche’s third studio album on May 3, 1988. The hit song (Eyes of a Stranger) peaked at #35 with the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart in 1988, followed by the song (I Don’t Believe in Love) which reached #41 in 1989. Overall, the album’s success has since reached RIAA’s Platinum status and scored as high #50 with the US Billboard Top 200. Elsewhere, it peaked at #75 in Canada, #17 in Germany, #64 in Japan, #29 with the Dutch, #25 in Sweden, #21 in Switzerland, and #58 in the UK.
Since the release of the album (Empire) on September 4, 1990, this has proven to be Queensryche’s most successful of all time. Empire peaked as high as #7 in the US, #18 in Canada and Japan, #22 in Germany and Switzerland, #56 with the Dutch, #14 in Norway, #26 in Sweden, and in the UK it peaked at #13. Along with this album is an explosion of five charted hits:
- Empire (peaked at #22 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart)
- Another Rainy Night (Without You) (peaked at #7)
- Jet City Woman (peaked at #6)
- Silent Lucidity
Not only was Empire the most successful album released by Queensryche, but their song (Silent Lucidity) still remains the most favored song of all time from their entire discography roster. According to the US Billboard Mainstream Rock, it earned #1 status while the Billboard Hot 100 ranked it as high as #9. As for the album, it has earned RIAA’s 3X (three times) Platinum, MC’s Platinum, and British Phonography Industry’s Gold status.