Queensrÿche is an American progressive heavy metal band formed in 1981 in Bellevue, Washington. The band has released eleven studio albums and several EPs and DVDs and continues to tour and record.
Queensrÿche has been successful in the progressive scene, having sold over 20 million albums worldwide including over 6 million albums in the United States.
The foundations for Queensrÿche began in the early 1980s. Guitarist Michael Wilton and drummer Scott Rockenfield were members of a band called Cross+Fire, who covered songs from popular heavy metal bands such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Before long Cross+Fire added guitarist Chris DeGarmo and bassist Eddie Jackson to their lineup, and changed their name to The Mob. The Mob, who were without a singer, recruited Geoff Tate to sing for them at a local rock festival. At the time, Tate was already in a band called Babylon. After Babylon broke up Tate performed a few shows with The Mob, but left because he was not interested in performing heavy metal.
In 1981, The Mob put together sufficient funds to record a demo tape. Once again, Tate was enlisted to help. The group recorded four songs - "Queen of the Reich," "Nightrider," "Blinded" and "The Lady Wore Black." The group brought their demo to various labels and were rejected by all of them. Tate also was still committed to staying in his then-current band, Myth.
At the urging of their new manager, The Mob changed their name to Queensrÿche (reportedly inspired by the first song on their demo). As they later joked: "The umlaut over the 'y' has haunted us for years. We spent eleven years trying to explain how to pronounce it."
The demo tape was widely circulated and received a glowing review in Kerrang! Magazine. On the strength of the growing buzz surrounding them, Queensrÿche released the demo tape as a self-titled EP on their own 206 Records label in 1983. Based on the success of the EP, Tate agreed to leave Myth and become Queensrÿche's permanent lead singer. That same year, the band signed to EMI who re-released the EP, Queensrÿche, to moderate success, peaking at #81 on the Billboard charts. They had never played together live before the band was signed. When this EP was eventually released on CD several years later, a 5th track, titled "Prophecy", was added to the tracklist; this was a song performed live by the band circa 1983 (and was included on the 1984 "Live in Tokyo" home video), and in 2003 was included on the remastered edition of The Warning as a bonus track. The track appearing on the CD release of the EP was recorded during the "Rage For Order" sessions (and is not the same version of the song which appears on the soundtrack for the movie, "The Decline of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years").