Queensrÿche (EP)

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Queensryche - Queensryche EP cover.jpg
EP by
ReleasedSeptember 1983 (1983-09)
RecordedSeptember 1982
StudioTriad Studios in Redmond, Washington
Label206 Records
Neil Kernon (track 5 on reissue)
Queensrÿche chronology
The Warning
Singles from Queensrÿche
  1. "Queen of the Reich" / "The Lady Wore Black"
    Released: 1984
Audio sample
"Queen of the Reich"

Queensrÿche is the self-titled debut EP by the American progressive metal band Queensrÿche, released independently in September 1983 through 206 Records and reissued later that same year through EMI-America.[2] A remastered edition was reissued in 2003 through Capitol Records.


In the early 1980s, Queensrÿche was known as The Mob, a cover band that played songs from popular heavy metal bands such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.[3] Their line-up consisted of guitarists Chris DeGarmo and Michael Wilton, drummer Scott Rockenfield and bassist Eddie Jackson. Without a singer, they performed several shows with Geoff Tate, who at the time was the front man of the local band Babylon, and later of Myth. Tate chose not to join The Mob, because he was not interested in performing heavy metal covers.[4]

Inspired by the positive responses from their performances at local rock festivals, The Mob decided to switch from playing cover songs to writing original music.[4] The four members, who were between 17 and 19 years old,[5] rehearsed five days a week[4] in the basement of Rockenfield's parents,[5] and took on at least two jobs each to earn enough money to record a 24-track demo tape.[6] They booked the graveyard shifts[7] from Monday through Friday at Triad Studios in Redmond, Washington to record four songs.[6] Tate was asked to join the band for the recording sessions, and in the same week write the lyrics to one unfinished song, which became "The Lady Wore Black".[6] The whistle at the beginning of "The Lady Wore Black" was unintentional, as Brett Miller recalls: "Geoff needed to set the mood, so he had the lights turned off and sang with a single candle burning in the studio. While waiting for his first verse to come up, he whistled along with the opening guitar not realizing they were taping him. He told them it was a mistake, but everyone agreed it was cool, so they kept it."[6]

Attempts to be signed to a label through the demo were unsuccessful.[6] Kim and Diana Harris, the owners of Easy Street Records, ultimately offered The Mob a management contract.[6][8] As the band name "The Mob" was not available,[8] it was changed to "Queensrÿche".[6] Kim Harris sent the demo tape and a band photo to a friend at the British music magazine Kerrang!, resulting in a glowing review[6] and causing a growing buzz in both the United States and Europe, following which the Harrises released Queensrÿche's demo tape as a self-titled EP on their independent 206 Records label in 1983.[8][1][9] After the EP garnered international praise, receiving much airplay and selling an unusual number of copies for a small independent release,[6] Tate agreed to leave Myth and become Queensrÿche's permanent lead singer.[6][10]

Kim Harris convinced EMI-America A&R manager Mavis Brodey to see Queensrÿche perform as the opening act for Zebra in Portland and Seattle on June 29–30, 1983.[6][11][12] Brodey offered Queensrÿche a contract with EMI, spanning 15 years and encompassing seven albums.[10] To support the EP, the band toured with Quiet Riot through the south and with Twisted Sister to the East Coast and Canada, and played in Seattle opening for Dio.[6] After the tour had ended in November 1983, the band began preparations for their first studio album, The Warning.


Shortly after Queensrÿche were signed, EMI re-released the EP Queensrÿche to moderate success, peaking at No. 81 on the Billboard charts. "Queen of the Reich" was released as a single.

The 1988 reissue by EMI saw the addition of a bonus track, "Prophecy", which was recorded during the Rage for Order sessions in 1985–86. This song was performed live by the band circa 1983, and was included on the 1984 Live in Tokyo home video. A demo version of "Prophecy" appears on the soundtrack for the movie The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years, and on the deluxe edition of Sign of the Times: The Best of Queensryche.

On the 2003 remastered edition, tracks 5–14 were live recordings of Queensrÿche's second performance in the tour supporting The Warning, held August 5, 1984 at the Nippon Seinenkan in Tokyo, Japan, The performance was previously released on VHS in 1984 as Live in Tokyo, but is now out of print.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
Robert ChristgauD+[13]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal8/10[14]

In 2005, Queensrÿche was ranked number 336 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.[15]

AllMusic reviewer Eduardo Rivadavia noted an "obvious Iron Maiden influence" and the "'dungeons and dragons' lyrical themes" of the EP's songs. Rivadavia praised the song "The Lady Wore Black" for "display[ing] more maturity – a sign of things to come." Rivadavia concluded his review by saying "this is a must-have release for Queensrÿche fans."[1]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Chris DeGarmo, except where noted.

Original EP
1."Queen of the Reich" DeGarmo4:21
2."Nightrider" Michael Wilton3:47
3."Blinded" Wilton3:06
4."The Lady Wore Black"Geoff TateDeGarmo6:13
Total length:17:27




Country Organization Year Sales
USA RIAA 1991 Gold (+ 500,000)[16]


  1. ^ a b c d Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Queensrÿche - Queensrÿche review". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  2. ^ ""Queensrÿche – Queensrÿche"". Discogs. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  3. ^ Brett Miller. "Before the Storm: The Early Days of Queensrÿche: The Storm is Coming". QueensrycheHistory.com. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Brett Miller. "Before the Storm: The Early Days of Queensrÿche: I've Been Mobbed". QueensrycheHistory.com. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Scott Rockenfield (Queensryche) 2013 Interview on the Signals of Intuition". The Signals of Intuition. 99.1 CJAM-FM. May 25, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Brett Miller. "Before the Storm: The Early Days of Queensrÿche: The Rÿche Is Born". QueensrycheHistory.com. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  7. ^ Queensrÿche EP (1988 reissue). Liner notes.
  8. ^ a b c "Declaration of Michael Wilton" (PDF). Court declaration. June 9, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Pictures of the original EP release". Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  10. ^ a b "Declaration of Scott Rockenfield" (PDF). Court declaration. July 10, 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 22, 2012. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
  11. ^ Suter, Paul (September 20, 1984). "Behind the screams". Kerrang!. No. 77. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  12. ^ "Queensrÿche: 1981–1983". Anybody Listening. Archived from the original on March 28, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  13. ^ Christgau, Robert (June 12, 1984). "Christgau's Consumer Guide: Turkey Shoot". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  14. ^ Popoff, Martin (November 1, 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 274. ISBN 978-1-894959-31-5.
  15. ^ [...], Rock Hard (Hrsg.). [Red.: Michael Rensen. Mitarb.: Götz Kühnemund] (2005). Best of Rock & Metal die 500 stärksten Scheiben aller Zeiten. Königswinter: Heel. p. 76. ISBN 3-89880-517-4.
  16. ^ "RIAA Searchable Database: search for Queensryche". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved January 13, 2017.