Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on


Contest: Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Empire by Queensrÿche!

Last weekend I had the great opportunity to finally meet a record label friend of mine who is someone that I've known for nearly 20 years but we hadn't met face to face until a random New Jersey trip gave me the opportunity to connect in person.  After grabbing a quick bit of breakfast on Sunday morning, he made the excellent suggestion that I should take advantage of being in New Jersey and make a very necessary pilgrimage to Vintage Vinyl.

Yes! But of course, why didn't I think of that?

We rolled up to Vintage Vinyl and discovered that although my buddy thought they opened at 11am on Sunday, it actually was noon, which left us an hour to converse about music.  No problem at all, there.  So randomly, we spent the next hour talking about Queensrÿche and our various radio encounters with the band through the years.  As it turns out, I met my match as he had just as many cool Queensrÿche stories and maybe even more, but who's counting?

If you would have talked to me in 1990, I would have informed you that "I don't know what this desert island place is that you keep talking about, but if we're really going, I'm taking this here Empire album by Queensrÿche with me!"  Empire was a game changing album for me as a music fan and it was part two of a period of 'Rÿche-related metal musical discovery.  Just a few months prior to the release of Empire, a friend had turned me on to Queensrÿche and their Operation Mindcrime album with a note that they had a new album on the way.  I couldn't have asked for a better one-two punch introduction to a band and even now, those two albums hold up as two of my favorites for life.

But you start to realize that you're getting old when your favorite albums start to get old.  2010 has been a hard year for me in the sense that many of my favorite albums are turning 20 this year, with Empire included in that class.  Luckily, the 'Rÿche have given me a wonderful 20th anniversary edition of Empire to drown my sorrows (and gray hairs) in.

The package lands in stores on Tuesday morning featuring two CDs of material, including the original album plus assorted B-sides and rarities (including the choice "Last Time in Paris" from the Adventures of Ford Fairlane soundtrack) and the real money shot of the package, a full live CD recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon during the tour for Empire, featuring many of the classic cuts from the album plus various older favorites from their back catalog.

It's kick ass, folks.

And I'd love to give you the chance to win one.

Send me a note here with "Queensrÿche" in the subject line for your chance to win and I'll hook one lucky ATV reader up with the goods.

In the meantime (not a Helmet reference, I swear!), here's a sleazy little preview for you from the live portion - an epic version of "Resistance," which was the tour opening track for the Empire trek.

Listen now

Memories? Ah, memories - instead of sharing more of my 'Rÿche and Roll thoughts, here are some Resistance-related remembrances from Tate and Wilton:

"The song Resistance was a song written about protecting the environment. This is a cause I felt connected to when we wrote the song and a cause I still feel strongly about today." - GEOFF TATE

"Resistance was one of the last songs recorded for Empire. I had the parts ready and Chris (DeGarmo) and I pieced the music together for Geoff to sing this idea he had about the resistance in America at the time. The song recorded fast and my solo was a one taker. Kind of a whip jig." - MICHAEL WILTON

Good luck!

Photo by Ross Halfin