Based on the recent news of Queensryche letting go of Geoff Tate, I am taking the opportunity to write a post of their top songs in my opinion. As a fan from day one through the ceiling of their career to the collapse of the band, I have been there. I will admit that I have never been able to make it completely through Operation Mindcrime II as it was simply horrible (as was American Soldier), but I tried every release and appreciate the band as one of the best bands that ever hit the scene. They would probably make my top 20 bands of all time.
With all of that being said, I tried to list my top ten songs of the Queensryche catalog, but this list could probably change from day to day. As of today (this minute), here is my list.
10. En Force
For good reason, the #10 spot was impossibly hard to narrow down, but I went with En Force, which comes off of The Warning. This is an amazing song that really showed Geoff’s vocal range at that time. This was power metal at its best before it became what it is today.
9. Operation: Mindcrime
Almost equally as hard as #10 was #9. I went back and forth with a few songs to take up these two spots, but decided to place the title track to the amazing Operation: Mindcrime on here. With the haunted opening phone call to the great opening riff, this song never lets up. The bass is intense and the chorus is simple amazing.
8. The Needle Lies
Let’s take another stab at Operation: Mindcrime, shall we? One of my favorites off of that classic is The Needle Lies. It is short and sweet, but packs a few really nice riffs, the best of which is directly before and after the solo break.
7. Suite Sister Mary
Are we starting to see a trend here with songs from Operation: Mindcrime? It is well deserved. As short as The Needle Lies it, Suite Sister Mary is the antithesis of it. It is an epic track with Geoff sharing vocal duties on parts of this track. While it is one of their longer songs, it never lets up from beginning to end.
6. Jet City Woman
Coming from the Empire album, is one of their singles, Jet City Woman. Some people may call me crazy for putting this one in here, but Geoff’s vocals are so intense on this one, that I never tire of hearing it.
5. Silent Lucidity
I still cannot believe that I have Silent Lucidity so low on this list. Although, there has been many a reference made to the Pink Floyd similarities to this track, it is excellent enough to stand on its own two legs with no problem. It is haunting and beautiful all at the same time.
Amazing. Not sure what else to say about this song that I have not said over the years. Empire is one of those tracks that never gets old. It is an amazing live song and get political without getting in your face making it not as abnoxious as some bands can get. I would listen to this song any day of the week and still bang my head to it.
3. Eyes of a Stranger
So, if Eyes of a Stranger is #3, then you know that the top 2 are simply amazing. The chorus to Eyes of a Stranger alone is about as intense as any vocal track could be and the buildup to the song’s intro goes from chaos to rocking. If you do not rock to this one, you have no pulse.
2. Queen of the Reich
Taking it old school with this one. Coming off of their first EP, is one of the staples of Queensryche’s live shows – Queen of the Reich. It pained me when they ignored this song live even though I know that Geoff could no longer pull off this high notes. From beginning to end, this track is pounding, but the star is the vocals.
1. Take Hold of the Flame
Speaking of vocals being the star of the song, we are finally at #1, and I could not imagine putting any other song here but the mighty Take Hold of the Flame. The album version is simply astounding. Geoff’s vocals are unmatched and he hits notes that I could only hit in my shower when singing along with this. You cannot listen to this song without either wanting to become the greatest vocalist that ever lived or without feeling completely inadequate. Regardless of your feelings after listening to this one, please listen to it if you have not.