Thursday, September 22, 2011

What I've been listening to lately


So the South Texas Pistolero finally convinced me that I had waited way, way, way too long to get Queensrÿche's The Warning. And I'm a bit surprised at myself at how long it took me.

You see, I'm a huge fan of Queensrÿche, or rather I'm a huge fan of a stage in their career. I didn't really get into them until a friend of mine told me back in 1986 that I should check out Rage for Order when that album first came out. I already liked the band somewhat because I was familiar with the songs that had received a lot of airplay -- songs such as "The Lady Wore Black" and "Queen of the Reich" from the band's self-titled introductory EP as well as "Warning" and "Take Hold of the Flame" from The Warning -- and I respected QR's sound immensely. But I had not actually bought any recordings, and it was not until I got Rage for Order and fully immersed myself into it before I realized, Hey, these guys are great!

I still love Rage for Order. To this day I listen to it. And when the next album, Operation: Mindcrime, came out, I was more than eager to get that and enjoy it to its fullest. Ditto for Empire, which some see as a sellout record, but I don't. It's still a great work with many fantastic songs on it (there's a lot more to it than "Silent Lucidity").

After that, though, I lost interest in QR's new stuff, and, from what I've read about some of the follow-up albums, I didn't miss much.

But, back to The Warning.

This album is great, and I can't believe I never got to enjoy the full experience until now, 27 years down the road. Thanks, Pistolero. I should listen to you more often.

First off, there's "Warning" and "Take Hold of the Flame", great songs that received a lot of airplay back in the day. But there's also another song that I was somewhat familiar with, and that I had forgotten about until I listened to this album again. That's "Before the Storm", another great tune that must have been played on some radio station in the 1980s. (Probably KXZL -- any longtime San Antonians remember that one?)

There's also "Deliverance" and "No Sancturary", which I'm really growing to like, as well as "NM 156", "Child of Fire", and a great piece that shows the promise to come for this band, "Roads to Madness".

All in all this is a very strong work, even if it is the band's first full album, and the musical talents of Tate and company have really stood the test of time. Queensrÿche was ahead of the pack with The Warning. I'm just sorry it took me so long to catch up.

And now, a bit of "Before the Storm":

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Heh. I like to think I have pretty good taste, even if I AM frightfully young. (I was all of six years old when The Warning was released.) I thought (and still think) that for a first full-length album it's phenomenal. Of course Geoff and the guys had shown tremendous potential with the self-titled EP and the Live in Tokyo VHS; incidentally, the latter featured several cuts from The Warning, which was not yet in stores when that live set was recorded. (The remastered EP includes the audio of Live in Tokyo. Man, Geoff Tate was a force to be reckoned with back in those days.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Though Promised Land did have its high points, I think Queensryche lost its mojo after Empire. That album and all the records that came before it are timeless classics of the genre, though.