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Released: Sept. 4, 1990

Rating: 4.084 (average of 14 ratings)

Genre: rock > metal

Quotable: “A somewhat more commercial approach [than previous Queensr˙che albums] that has no negative impact on the quality of the material.” – Genevieve Williams,

Album Tracks:

  1. Best I Can
  2. The Thin Line
  3. Jet City Woman
  4. Della Brown
  5. Another Rainy Night without You
  6. Empire
  7. Resistance
  8. Silent Lucidity
  9. Hand on Heart
  10. One and Only
  11. Anybody Listening?

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only 3.0
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 3.0


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 7
peak on U.K. album chart 13

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Empire (9/22/90) #61 UK, #22 AR
  • Best I Can (12/8/90) #36 UK, #28 AR
  • Silent Lucidity (1/26/91) #9 US, #18 UK, #1 AR
  • Jet City Woman (5/25/91) #39 UK, #6 AR
  • Another Rainy Night without You (10/5/91) #7 AR
  • Anybody Listening? (2/15/92) #16 AR

Notes: A 2003 reissue added “Last Time in Paris,” which was from the 1990 soundtrack for Adventures of Ford Fairlane; a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair,” which was the B-side to “Anybody Listening;” and the song “Dirty Lil Secret.”


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more.

“Exploring the uncharted territory between heavy metal and progressive rock, Queensr˙che has always been difficult to categorize.” GW The band gained its “first commercial success” TJ with 1988’s Operation: Mindcrime, “one of the most praised metal albums of the late ‘80s.” AH That proved to be “an extremely tough act to follow.” AH The follow-up album, Empire, may not be “quite on a par with that gem, [but] it is certainly one of the most absorbing headbanger efforts of 1990” AH and the group’s “most accessible, with a somewhat more commercial approach that has no negative impact on the quality of the material.” GW Not surprisingly, Empire is “the largest-selling album in Queensr˙che’s history.” AH

Empire demonstrates beautifully just how imaginative Queensr˙che can be.” AH “Guitarist Chris DeGarmo’s heading up of the project and his focus in keeping the band as far away as possible from the tropes of Mindcrime is, in large part, the key to the album’s success as a pop record.” TJ If anyone has bridged the gap between the bombast of Iron Maiden and the artiness of Pink Floyd, it is Queensr˙che.” AH

Unlike the rock opera of Mindcrime, “Empire’s songs all stand by themselves as tough singles, though arguably Silent Lucidity,” TJ a sonically close cousin to Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” “that had teens all over the world flicking their Bics during the band’s tour and swaying together;” TJ “stands head and shoulders above the rest.” TJ That song is “probably their best-known song, and ironically unlike most of their other work.” GW

Meanwhile, “Resistance, with its complex guitar intro and syncopated runs, is the perfect anthemic metal track to precede ‘Silent Lucidity.’” TJ

The album’s closer Anybody Listening?, “with its fingerpicked minor-key guitars, spare bassline, and almost spiritual entreaty from Tate in the lyric, caps off the album with a call to arms before it’s too late.” TJ It “is probably the best perspective on a life lived on stage since Rush’s ‘Limelight.’” GW

While that trio of songs may remind one “of Floyd’s The Wall, …Empire leaves no doubt that Queensr˙che has a rich personality all its own.” AH “Heavy metal recordings had made the charts, [but] none of them did with the sheer pop glee of Empire.” TJ The opening track is “the frighteningly heavy and catchy Best I Can, with its twinning of metal guitars and shimmering keyboards and near operatic crescendos.” TJ

One and Only is another metallic love song, and once again free of facile, sexist obviousness. Its overdriven guitar parts and Geoff Tate’s on-the-edge singing make its insistence on love conquering all a reality – at least for as long as the song lasts.” TJ

“With The Thin Line and Jet City Woman blazing out of the box and pointing the way to more blues-oriented progressive songs such as Della Brown and the title track, with its crunching dual lead guitar riff and overblown bassline.” TJ

“The songs ‘Jet City Woman,’ ‘Della Brown,’ and Another Rainy Night (Without You) create a miniature concept album within the first half of Empire, as they are linked by audio effects that bring the listener from one audio background to another seamlessly. Empire could arguably be included within this series, as the song begins with voices on an answering machine (as are also used in ‘Another Rainy Night’), though its subject is more of a stretch to relate.” WK

“If there is a song of hope on Empire, …Hand on Heart, is it…With its staggered guitar part playing counterpoint to the sung melodies, its lyrics full of determination, aspiration, and promise, and a chorus only a Grinch could hate, ‘Hand on Heart’ carries the quiet affirmation of ‘Silent Lucidity’ and engraves it in rock.” TJ

This “is an impressive collection that is all substance, no filler.” GW

Review Source(s):


Best I Can

Silent Lucidity

Jet City Woman

Another Rainy Night without You

Anybody Listening?

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Last updated January 14, 2011.