Title: “Operation: LIVE Crime
Label: EMI Records
Release Date: 9/25/2001
Genre: Progressive Metal
Released as a companion to the video bearing the same name Queensryche gives the listener the CD version of “Operation: LIVE Crime”. Simply put, this is an amazing recording of the full “Operation: Mindcrime” album by the band in their prime from a concert performed in 1991. Originally released when CD was a new medium it came as a boxed-set format with a VHS of the concert and a full color illustrated booklet. It was also released as a cassette tape (anyone remember those?). The VHS is what is featured on the DVD and while I would have liked to see the two released in the same package again, this serves the need for those fans that might only want audio and those that only want video. Music fans everywhere seem to know this recordings original album and that’s what makes this a must have for the Queensryche section of your music collection. The Mindcrime album broke ground for Progressive Metal and showcased the massive talents of Queensryche not only as musicians but as storytellers capable of delivering Heavy Metal’s version of “The Wall”. The two albums are similar in their epic and detailed story and listening to the live version from beginning to end is clearly the way that this album was meant to be enjoyed. In 1991 Queensryche was very on-top of their game and still running the original full lineup of Tate, DeGarmo, Jackson, Rockenfield and Wilton. Not a note seems to be missed and the production just makes you reach for that volume knob to edge it ever higher. I found myself doing this especially when my favorite numbers came on in the performance and in particular “I Don’t Believe In Love” and “the Needle Lies”. Pamela Moore from the original album makes an appearance during “Suite Sister Mary” and if you don’t own the DVD yet, you must grab it for this song is more powerful visually than I thought possible in the audio. Overall the piece is excellent and the CD also includes two bonus unreleased tracks with “The Lady Wore Black” and “Roads To Madness”.
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