“Operation: Mindcrime” (expanded edition) by Queensryche

Artist: Queensryche
Title: “Operation: Mindcrime” (expanded edition)
Label: EMI Music/Capitol Records
Release Date: 6/27/2006
Genre: Progressive Metal
Rating: 10/10

Queensryche truly had a winner with their third album; the long acclaimed and revered Progressive Metal Rock Opera “Operation: Mindcrime”. The release became an instant favorite among their fan base and proved to the Metal world that the group was not a one-trick pony. The release of the expanded edition by EMI Music/Capitol Records celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the band’s formation and takes the original release and expanding it to a larger level of potential. The original album saw the remaster process a couple of years ago with the rest of the catalog and these are some of the best releases I had ever gotten my hands on so how could an already well-done issue be pushed up another notch. The answer would be simply to just do it and give the people a little bit more to enjoy of this Metal masterpiece. On top of the original album and its bonus tracks a second CD would be included that featured an unreleased performance of the album from the Hammersmith Odeon in London. While the label had issued an individual album called “Operation: Live Crime”, it is a great idea to have this connected to the studio recording. Those who have enjoyed the music on this album can attest that hearing Mindcrime live in its entirety is simply amazing. The storyline of the album was so rich in detail that one begins to wonder why this never saw conversion to either the Big Screen or Broadway stage. It could have worked and become a bit of a cult classic if done to the exact specifications of the plot.

Having reviewed the original release on these pages recently is making me stray from repetition and let us face it – what new details can be divulged on an already widely acclaimed album? By this point in time, there should be only select few who have not been impressed by this album and its level of political story telling. I am sure that even the natives of some remote islands have managed to find a copy of the album (perhaps lost by a participant on the Amazing Race or Survivor) by now. The band was reaching their zenith with this third album and it truly showed that they were deserving of the acclaim they were receiving. “Operation: Mindcrime” continues to grow in popularity and scope across all age groups of Progressive Metal and Rock fans. I was not sure why two versions would be released since there was no real reason to do it like that. You have the CD only version, a deluxe one that includes a DVD entitled “Video Livecrime”, and I have offered some commentary on that aspect of the release below for your better information. Needless to say, the double CD edition is great to have and will floor you with its power once again. The live CD is meant to be listened to from start to finish much like Pink Floyd’s classic “The Wall” or “Dark Side Of The Moon”. Merely choosing a track here and there never gives you the desired effect and is only suitable when loading up your own personal music player perhaps.

Video Mindcrime DVD: This release on VHS coincided with the album and included all the videos that the group recorded to go with it. I felt that Queensryche did this one properly by making sure to give a fair amount of films for the release; as you look at the tracks, you will find that not much is left out from the full scope of the recording. The videos themselves are very coordinated with one another and have a similar style that places the band in mostly performance footage while clips that relate to the storyline flash by. The track rundown is as follows: I Remember Now, Anarchy-X, Revolution Calling, Operation: Mindcrime, Speak, Breaking The Silence, I Don’t Believe In Love, Waiting For 22, Eyes Of A Stranger, Credits (Suite Sister Mary). There is also a brief “Making Of” segment and a television spot. I think fans who owned the original VHS will enjoy this portion the most. The only thing missing from this is some sort of commentary in the present tense on the album and its overall impact on Metal, the industry and the band as a whole.

A most recommended purchase this album from 1988 sounds better than ever and by far tops most contributions from other artists who are still recording from this time period. If there is any reason that you do not own a copy of “Mindcrime” on CD by now, then here is your perfect chance to remedy the situation. Not only will you get the incredible original release, but a live album and a DVD of videos as well as comprehensive liner notes with photos. Do you remember how it started? If you answered “no” then perhaps you need a little reminding. Do not miss out on this one.

Track Listing:
1. I Remember Now
2. Anarchy-X
3. Revolution Calling
4. Operation: Mindcrime
5. Speak
6. Spreading The Disease
7. The Mission
8. Suite Sister Mary
9. The Needle Lies
10. Electric Requiem
11. Breaking The Silence
12. I Don’t Believe In Love
13. Waiting For 22
14. My Empty Room
15. Eyes Of A Stranger
16. The Mission – live
17. My Empty Room – live

Official Web site: www.Queensryche.com

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