Watch: GEOFF TATE Celebrates 35th Anniversary Of QUEENSRŸCHE's 'Operation: Mindcrime' at CHANIA ROCK FESTIVAL

August 1, 2023

Former QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the band's classic "Operation: Mindcrime" album on tour in 2023. Fan-filmed video of his July 29 concert at the Chania Rock Festival in Chaniá, Greece, where he performed the LP in full, can be seen below.

Originally released in May 1988, QUEENSRŸCHE's third studio album, "Operation: Mindcrime" took the quintet to an entirely new level. The concept, revealed through the songs, revolves around the character of Nikki, a recovering drug addict disillusioned with a corrupt society. Drawn into a cult-like revolutionary group headed by Dr. X (voiced by the late and beloved British actor Anthony Valentine),Nikki is manipulated to assassinate political leaders until his friendship with nun Sister Mary finally opens his eyes to the truth. Regarded as one of the greatest concept metal albums of all time, "Operation: Mindcrime" was certified platinum in 1991 in the U.S. and was ranked in the "Top 100 Metal Albums Of All Time" by both Kerrang! and Billboard magazines. Rolling Stone included it on a similar list, noting that "nearly 30 years after its initial release, 'Mindcrime' feels eerily relevant."

The original "Operation: Mindcrime" album weaved themes of religion, drug abuse and underground, radical politics. By contrast, 2006's "Operation: Mindcrime II" was regarded as an unnecessary sequel that many felt cheapened the original album, despite being a decent record in its own right.

In a 2016 interview with East Valley Tribune, Tate said that he looked back fondly on "Operation: Mindcrime II". "I haven't listened to that album since I recorded it," he admitted. "However, it was a new story. Overall, it went down well live with the audience. I have no complaints or regrets about it."

During QUEENSRŸCHE's 2012 legal battle with Tate over the rights to the band's name, guitarist Michael Wilton submitted a sworn declaration in which he said the idea to make "Operation: Mindcrime II" was first brought to the table by Geoff's wife and QUEENSRŸCHE's then-manager Susan Tate. "The band was hesitant and did not want to lessen the original," the guitarist claimed. "But Susan Tate and Geoff Tate hired a budget producer and took control without really any other input. Scott Rockenfield [drums], Eddie Jackson [bass] and I were squeezed out of having any input in the musical direction or business decisions, thus the project suffered. During the initial writing phase, I would show up to bring my input to the creative process only to find that the producer, the new guitar player (who were both staying with the Tates at the time),along with Geoff Tate had been up late the night before or up early that morning and had written the songs without me. I was then told my ideas were not needed as the songs were now done. I could, however, 'bring my own style' in during the recording after learning to play what they wrote for me. In frustration, I gave up on the writing process knowing that I would at least get to make changes in the studio to bring back the QUEENSRŸCHE sound into these songs that we were known for. The final straw was when they refused to let me to be a part of the final recordings and mixes. I was shut out and they had the nerve to replace some of my parts on my songs. They denied me flying to San Francisco to be a part of my band, telling me that everything was ready to go and I was not needed. Had the communication been better, and had I been aware that parts needed to be recorded or rewritten, I would have been there. It was not until years later that I even became aware of the issues during the final recording and mixing of 'Operation: Mindcrime II'. It was all under the control of Geoff and Susan Tate. Call it delusions of grandeur, but they were convinced that this was going to sell three times more than the original, and to date (six years later) this album has sold fewer than 150,000 copies. The original album sold over 500,000 copies within a year."

In April 2014, Tate and QUEENSRŸCHE announced that a settlement had been reached after a nearly two-year legal battle where the singer sued over the rights to the QUEENSRŸCHE name after being fired in 2012. Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson responded with a countersuit. The settlement included an agreement that Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson would continue as QUEENSRŸCHE, while Tate would have the sole right to perform "Operation: Mindcrime" and "Operation: Mindcrime II" in their entirety live.

Tate's replacement, Todd La Torre, has released four albums thus far with QUEENSRŸCHE: 2013's "Queensrÿche", 2015's "Condition Hüman", 2019's "The Verdict" and 2022's "Digital Noise Alliance".

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