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LIVEcrime Boxset
December 2001
Released: 1991, EMI
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Box-sets are interesting to review. Only real die-hard fans of a band get box sets. There are rare, usually limited editions, and often quite expensive. There are probably only about 30 metal box-sets in the history of metal! Most box-sets are compilations of material the fans already have, but it is those little extras that make them special.

I choose 3 box-sets this month to coincide with new releases by those artists. (See my Rhapsody box-set review and my Alice Cooper box-set review.)

Queensryche has just signed to Sanctuary and in true fashion the label quickly churned out 2 releases. For a scathing attack on the inferior and sub-standard Queensryche Double Live CD, Live-Evolution see my review and an excellent review of the LIVE EVOLUTION DVD by Celtic Bob in the "Library of Loudness" -

The 10th anniversary of this box set is upon us and so instead of reviewing the re-issue I thought I would go with the original box-set. This box-set was a true representation of the Livecrime Tour in 1991and this is a compilation of a three day stint in Wisconsin.

The box set contains the full OPERATION: MINDCRIME set live version (mine is the cassette) and the VHS video of the same concert. It also contains a 44-page book. The glossy full colour, book is an oversize collectable with tons of live photos and images that the band would show on the rear-screen projection during the theatrical production. It has lyrics, credits and occasional summaries of the story. The middle is a neat four-panel fold out poster of the boys live in action.

The video is very produced, multi-camera angles, shots of the band the stage, the crowd the extra people and it is interspersed with images of the characters from the story Dr. X and so on. The sound is phenomenal as is the light show. The highlight for is the part when Sister Mary (played by Pamela Moore) joins Geoff Tate on stage for a duet. For a review of Pamela Moores “real” band, Radar, click here.

The music, what can I say? A real delight. It has crystal clear production, excellent musicianship with the band at the height of their power. The whole thing was orchestrated by Michael Kamen and produced by James Barton. It is the little extras that fans (like me) will appreciate; the slight lyrical changes, the altered song introductions and endings, and just the whole live treatment of songs we all know and love.

I fully and highly recommend this box-set. Not only for the fans like me who somehow, tragically missed the show but a cool souvenir for those who were in attendance at one of the historic dates on the tour. The sticker on the box in 1991 said, “Never to be available again”. Well, it is out of print but as I mentioned Sanctuary is re-issuing the DVD, which I’m sure someone will review for the Library of Loudness next month! They re-issued the live disc and added a couple of unrelated bonus tracks. Find a copy of the original instead.
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