This first-rate concept album tells the story of a genius, a junkie and a street girl and their alienation from 80s society. Layered guitars, operatic vocals and Michael Kamen’s orchestrations lend the whole thing a grand, epic feel, but this is a rare beast: an 80s metal album that puts the song – or, more specifically, the story – first and lets everything else take a back seat.
most challenging work yet, the epic concept album OPERATION: MINDCRIME. Originally issued in 1988, the hard-edged album slowly worked its way up the charts and became the band first gold-certified release (an opening slot on Def Leppard sold-out HYSTERIA tour certainly didn’t hurt, either). The story-line centers on a drug addict who falls in love with a former prostitute turned nun. Together, they uncover a dangerous underground movement and try to stop it before it too late.
OPERATION: MINDCRIME remains Queensryche best and most consistent release–most of the tracks can be enjoyed out of the context of the storyline on the strength of their songwriting and instrumental performances. Individual standouts include the two popular MTV hits “”I Don’t Believe in Love”” and “”Eyes of a Stranger””, as well as the lesser-known “”Anarchy X””, “”Revolution Calling””, the title track, “”Speak””, “”Spreading the Disease””, and the more than 10-minute long epic “”Suite Sister Mary””. For fans of metal with a prog-rock edge, OPERATION: MINDCRIME is definitely one of the ’80 best.
Check all samples: www.allmusic.com/album/operation-mindcrime-mw0000652301
Operation: Mindcrime is the third studio album by the American progressive heavy metal band Queensryche, released on May 3, 1988.
It is a concept album and a rock opera, its story following a recovering drug addict who becomes disillusioned with the society of his time and reluctantly becomes involved with a revolutionary group as an assassin of political leaders. In January 1989, it ranked at No. 34 on Kerrang! magazine “”100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time””.
In the United States, the album was certified gold a year after its release, and was certified platinum in 1991.
The band shot a one-off promotional video in 1988 for the song “”Speak”” using performance footage. It did not include a dramatization of any of the story concepts.
The song “”I Don’t Believe in Love”” was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1990 in the category “”Best Metal Performance””.
The album begins with the protagonist, Nikki, in a hospital. He lies in a near catatonic state, unable to remember anything but snippets from his past. Suddenly, Nikki memories come flooding back in a torrent. He remembers how, as a heroin addict and would-be political radical frustrated with contemporary society due to the economic inequality, corruption, and hypocrisy around him, he was manipulated into joining a supposed secret organization dedicated to revolution. At the head of this organization is a mysterious political and religious demagogue known only as Dr. X, who manipulates Nikki through a combination of his heroin addiction and brainwashing techniques to become an assassin.
Whenever Dr. X uses the word “”mindcrime””, Nikki becomes his docile puppet, a state which Dr. X uses to command Nikki to undertake any murder that the Doctor wishes. Through one of Dr. X probable associates, a corrupt priest named Father William, Nikki is offered the services of a prostitute-turned-nun named Sister Mary. Through his friendship and growing affection toward Sister Mary, Nikki begins to question the nature of what he is doing, seeing that Dr. X has his own nefarious agenda. Dr. X takes notice and, seeing a potential threat in Mary to his cult of personality, orders Nikki to kill both her and the priest. Nikki goes to Mary church and kills the priest, but, after confronting Mary, he fails to comply with the command to murder her. He and Mary decide to leave the organization together, and Nikki goes to Dr. X to tell him that they are out. Dr. X, however, reminds Nikki that he is an addict, and that he is the one who can provide him with his daily fix. Nikki leaves, conflicted and uncertain, and he returns to Mary only to find her dead.
Nikki cannot cope with the loss, as well as the possibility that he himself may have killed her without knowing it (whether her death occurred at his hand or at the hand of someone else such as Dr. X is left deliberately ambiguous), and he begins to succumb to insanity. He runs through the streets calling her name. The police arrive and attempt to subdue him. A gun is found on Nikki, and they take him into custody under suspicion of Mary murder and the murders he committed for Dr. X. Suffering from an almost complete loss of memory, Nikki is put into a mental hospital, where he sees a news report on the recent spree of political homicides. This jogs his memory and returns us to the beginning where he remembers what has happened and begins to tell his story.
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “”I Remember Now”” Chris DeGarmo, Geoff Tate, Michael Wilton 1:17
2. “”Anarchy-X”” DeGarmo 1:27
3. “”Revolution Calling”” Tate, Wilton 4:42
4. “”Operation: Mindcrime”” DeGarmo, Tate, Wilton 4:43
5. “”Speak”” Tate, Wilton 3:42
6. “”Spreading the Disease”” Tate, Wilton 4:07
7. “”The Mission”” DeGarmo 5:45
No. Title Writer(s) Length
8. “”Suite Sister Mary”” DeGarmo, Tate 10:41
9. “”The Needle Lies”” Tate, Wilton 3:08
10. “”Electric Requiem”” Scott Rockenfield, Tate 1:22
11. “”Breaking the Silence”” DeGarmo, Tate 4:34
12. “”I Don’t Believe in Love”” DeGarmo, Tate 4:23
13. “”Waiting for 22″” DeGarmo 1:05
14. “”My Empty Room”” Tate, Wilton 1:25
15. “”Eyes of a Stranger”” DeGarmo, Tate 6:39