Seattle metalheads Queensryche formed in 1981 on the foundation of '70s progressive rock bands like Van Halen, Aerosmith and Kiss. Guitarists Chris DeGarmo and Michael Wilton, then playing in a cover band called the Mob, recruited singer Geoff Tate, bassist Eddie Jackson and drummer Scott Rockenfield and changed their name to Queensryche. Their first break came in 1982 with the self-produced demo "Queen of the Reich," which was played on local radio stations throughout the Northwest and attracted the attention of EMI Records, who signed the band to a seven-album deal in August 1983.
Queensryche's first full-length album for EMI, The Warning, (1984) was produced by James Guthrie, who had Pink Floyd's The Wall among his production credits. The acclaimed 1988 concept album, Operation: Mindcrime marked the band's entry into the mainstream by selling over a million copies. Empire, released in 1990, fared even better; the album went double platinum and produced the No. 5 single and MTV favorite, "Silent Lucidity."
Throughout their career the band focused on their live performances, honing a unique stage image, which included art-rock makeup and shoulder-padded, sequin-studded overcoats. They toured on the Monsters of Rock tour and released the live Operation: Livecrime in 1991. After a three-year hiatus, the band released Promised Land in 1994 and, despite the fact that many metal fans had made the leap to grunge, the album went double platinum and produced two hit singles, "I Am I" and "Bridge."
Hear in the New Frontier, Queensryche's seventh album for EMI, was released in 1997 and was supported by a nationwide summer tour.