I always make sure to keep The Warning, Rage for Order and Mindcrime with me. Empire's probably my 4th favorite QR album and once DeGarmo left, I thought their music went downhill. That doesn't diminish the brilliance of Operation Mindcrime and Rage for Order though.
@Brian: Rage for Order is definitely a great album. Mindcrime is probably 1a and Rage for Order is 1b for me. It also depends on what kind of mood I'm in. Rage for Order is more progressive and popish, while Mindcrime is more your straight hard rock/metal.
They did pull of the "conceptual album" idea extremely well.
Agree! One of my fav concept albums is by Tony Carey - used to be in Rainbow and later in Planet P. He's NINish - plays 90% of the instruments... His Pink World and now Go Out Dancing (2 cds) is really good. Not metal per se but very good. :)
I meant he's more of a one-man band like NIN/Trent Reznor. Not similar musically. At all. :)
What's funny is when he originally did Go Out Dancing - he released it on the web, as a free download. That was in 2004 I think. But he's got his solo stuff - as you said for the most part very straight up rock. His Planet P stuff is different - I'm not sure I'd shuffle it in under progressive, but it's close. Here is a good, short review of GOD Pt I: http://www.geocities.com/prognaut/reviews/ppp.html...
Joe is Joe.. His last 3 or 4 releases have been good. Especially Supercolossal.. He still does G3 here and there. Lately its been Satriani, Vai and Petrucci for G3 which is quite a show. I'm still getting used to this new one.. Its got some good tunes on it though. Its been a while since I saw DT live.. The last time I went was just before 6DOIT was released.
With your list of music, I'd definitely recommend starting with earlier Queensryche. I'd definitely check out both Rage for Order and Operation Mindcrime. They sound pretty radically different from each other--but that's pretty typically of QR. Each album was pretty different from the last. iTunes has all the albums, so you can get your lips wet with previews of the songs.
I'm not sure why this thought just occurred to me, but if you don't have any of the Bozzio, Levins, Stevens albums--I recommend both Black Light Syndrome and Situation Dangerous. BLS is basically all improve jams and with SD they took a week to actually really compose the songs. Both albums are brilliant, but completely different.
I also highly recommend Steve Stevens solo album Flamenco-a-go-go (I've blogged about it in the past.) Back in the 80s I just thought of Steve Stevens as "Billy Idol's guitarist" but his solo work has really impressed me--lots of great melodies.
Oooh. I like Steve Stevens. Wonder if that is still in print? Another in the same vein is Liquid Tension Experiment (Mike Portnoy, John Petrucci, Tony Levin and Jordan Rudess). It's like DT without the singer :)
I really dig Transatlantic's cover of Shine on Crazy Diamond. Since you like Transatlantic, I recommend checking out both Spocks Beard (the stuff with Neal Morse) and definitely check out Neil Morse's solo album Sola Scriptura (which Mike Portnoy plays drums on.) I never thought anyone would write a kick ass album about the life and times of Martin Luther (you know the German monk,) but that album is excellent. One of my favorite albums of the best couple of years.