Queensryche | Operation: Mindcrime

I enjoy listening to concept albums. They are  rock-n-rolls’ operas. A glass of wine and a pair of headphones is all I need to listen to a great story. The images are up to me I’m my own director and the movie is different every time.  These posts pay homage to some of my favorites.

Queensryche: Operation Mindcrime

Government corruption, economic inequality, priests involved in sex scandals and Dr. X. What more could anyone ask for? It’s a great story. Here is the cliff notes version.

Nikki a heroin addict lies in near catatonic state in a mental institution  when memories of the past come flooding back. Disillusioned by society he is manipulated into joining a secret organization dedicated to revolution which is  led by Dr. X We can sense Dr. X is evil however Nikki is desperate for answers and falls for the trap. Dr. X brainwashes Nikki into becoming a hitman for his organization.

Through Dr. X Nikki is introduced to Father William a corrupt priest who offers the services of a teenage prostitute turned nun named Sister Mary. Nikki begins to fall in love with Mary and questions his own actions and those of Dr. X. Realizing that Mary is a threat Dr X orders Nikki to kill her and Father William. Nikki kills the priest but cannot bring himself to hurt Mary. He decides he has to leave the organization and confronts Dr. X. Conflicted and confused he returns to Mary only to find her dead.

Nikki cannot cope with the loss and the possibility that he might have been responsible for Marys murder and he goes insane. He is arrested for the murder of Mary and the others he committed. He now suffers almost complete memory loss and is put into a mental hospital. The story comes full circle ending with Nikki looking into a mirror not recognizing who he is or what he has become.

This was their 3rd studio album released in spring of 1988. At the time I owned a record store with my niece and nephew in law. We specialized in all thing hard rock and heavy metal. As soon as we opened the case it was on the stores sound system. We were blown away. This album is truly stellar throughout. There are no weak cuts. You are taken on a virtual roller coaster ride of emotions as you see Nikkis life collapse through the eyes of a stranger.  

Unfortunately, bands don’t make much money from streaming music, If you can please support them by seeing live shows, buying CDs and merchandise.