SOUNDTRACK: QUEENSRŸCHE-Rage for Order (1985).
Thinks looked to be very different for Queensrÿche on Rage for Order. I mean, look at them. On the back of The Warning they were leather-clad hellions. On Rage, they are quite the dandys (man, I wanted Geoff Tate’s coat!). This would be the first of many times that they confounded their fans with a style change.
Yet despite the look of them, the album opens with a scorcher, “Walk in the Shadows.” It’s not as heavy as their earlier songs, but it has perfected many of the elements of those earlier records: the chanted vocals, the great riffs and the screaming solos. “I Dream in Infrared” shows their they’ve always been interest in technology. It’s ballady, but it’s got some really sharp guitars and some more soaring vocals.
The keyboards at the end of the song segue into “The Whisper,” the first indication that things would be different on this record–orchestra keyboards hits (which I have always loved) are used to punctuate verses, and there are cool, whispered words (which would be used prominently on Operation: Mindcrime.
Then comes the big shock, “Gonna Get Close to You” a weird synth/metal hybrid with a strikingly catchy and poppy chorus (that seems ever-so-80s to me)–see below for a fun surprise about this song.
Then “The Killing Words” opens with a keyboard riff that sounds not unlike 80s-era Marillion–Tate even whispers words not unlike Fish does on early Marillion albums. Of course, when the chorus comes in it is pure Queensrÿche . There’s more orchestral hits and cool effects on “Surgical Strike.”
I love everything about the opening of “Neue Regel,” from the unusual guitar to the “steam” sounds used as percussion to Tate’s processed, minimized voice–it makes for a wonderfully claustrophobic song. It’s made even more so by the overlapping, intertwining vocals later on.
“Chemical Youth (We Are Rebellion)” is a cool sparse song (the opening in particular). But it also shows their interest in, if not politics, then at least contemporary society (again, more foreshadowing of Mindcrime). “London” just builds and builds in intensity, while “Screaming in Digital” takes the technological aspect one step further with all kind of sinister synthesized sounds and the crazy way it ends.
The album ends with “I Will Remember,” an acoustic song complete with mournful whistling from Tate. But even as a ballad, it’s not your typical lyrical content: “And we wonder how machines can steal each other’s dreams.” I don’t love it as an album ender, although it does wind things down pretty nicely.
This is my favorite Queensrÿche album, hands down. I know most people like Mindcrime better, but for me, this one is more progressive and showcases a lot of the risks the band was willing to take.
Incidentally, there’s a wonderful review of Rage here, in which I learn that “Gonna Get Close to You” is actually a cover of a song by the Canadian singer Dalbello (who is really crazy and fun, and whom I’ve never heard of until I just looked her up). How did I not know it was a cover? (Or more like, I knew it, but forgot it over the last twenty some years)? I might actually like the original better.
[READ: October 25, 2011] “This Cake is for the Party”
This was a very short story that crammed a lot of emotion into two pages.
As the story opens, Bonnie is finishing a cake for a party. The party is to celebrate the engagement of Janey and Milt. Janey is one of Bonnie’s older friends and she’s happy for Janey. She likes her fiancée, Milt (even if he did just get a black eye). The black eye came from a misunderstanding. Milt was in a pub “lasciviously” twirling the mustache that his high school class dared him to grow. Someone in the pub thought he was making advances on his woman and punched Milt in the face.
But Bonnie’s boyfriend, David doesn’t like Milt. He won’t say why, he just doesn’t. It could very well have to do with the fact that he and Janey used to date, and it’s possible that Janey dumped David for Milt (that’s a little unclear in the story). (more…)
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