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The story behind an album (Attn: ESF)


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Here is the story of each track on Queensrche's Operation: Mindcrime album.

6:00 P.M.

Our friend Nikki, charged with several counts of murder involving members of this city's political and religious leaders, has been committed to State Hospital under heavy security. London-born nurse, Debbie, seems determined to administer the tranquilizer and give us her personal feelings regarding her patient. Hmm? Injection completed, Nikki listens to his favorite tape and retraces his past.

I Remember Now

page: "Dr. Davis, telephone please Dr. Davis, telephone please Dr. Blair, Dr. Blair, Dr. J. Hamilton, Dr. J. Hamilton" News Broadcast: "...the Soviets... In other news the bizarre murders of political and religious leaders that have shocked this city over the last month seemed to have ended as suddenly as they began. No terrorist groups ... responsibility for the slayings, but police have a suspect in custody under observation in a state hospital. His identity is being withheld pending further investigation. Sports and weather next..." Nurse: "It's ten minutes past curfew, why are you still up? Hello? Hello? Perhaps you need another shot. Ah, that should do it. Sweet Dreams, you bastard." Nikki: "I remember now, I remember how it started. I can't remember yesterday, I just remember doing what they told me..told me..told me..told me."


Weeks ago in Occidental Park, hundreds of people gathered for a political rally. There was a man shouting above all the others: "Do we have freedom? Do we have equality? This country's changing! It is no longer for all of the people! It is for some of the people!" The man's name? "Dr. X."

Revolution Calling

....Ring!....Ring! The phone hasn't stopped ringing since the hypnotic meeting with Dr. X. His plan is brilliant in its simplicity: assassination and replacement. He calls it, "Operation: Mindcrime," and Nikki is the key player. Nikki has a weakness. He likes the needle. Dr. X makes sure Nikki feels good so he can do a good job. The chosen "Death Angel" is then easily manipulated through subliminal suggestion over the telephone. The password into Nikki's brain is "mindcrime."

Operation: Mindcrime

Nikki was a loser. A street kid, left to fend for himself at a young age. He was independent, and unpredictable, but harmless. Except now he had a philosophy, and that made him dangerous. "Revolution!" was the word on his lips as he stood in the streets and screamed, "Hey, listen to me!"


Mary worked the S&M shows in Times Square. At seventeen she met Father William, who arranged her cloister with "Our Lady of Immaculate Pain." A new life. A different way of living. Except for her debt with him, which was expected to be paid in full, weekly, "...on the altar. Like a sacrifice." When she was eighteen, Father William introduced her to a man named Dr. X. Now she works for him.

Spreading the Disease

Nikki spends quite a lot of time these days in his room; drawing gruesome, detailed depictions of his victims' deaths upon the dingy white walls. Drowning in guilt, he sees Sister Mary as his only means to salvation. He lights another candle and flips through the TV channels one by one. The familiar face of Father William appears. Is it wrong? Is it right? ....Ring!.....Ring!....."mindcrime!!" Decision made. News Broadcast: "...informing Washington, a technical violation of the 1972 ABM Treaty..." Preacher: "...I'm asking for hands to be uplifted in just a moment. God the Holy Ghost is calling out to embrace you. I want you to reach deep into your hearts and your pocketbooks and take his hand. Nikki: "Bless me father for I have sinned" Preacher: "Some of you are in a state of rebellion right now you're saying..."

The Mission

A long, satin black sedan slides to a stop in front of Nikki. The rain, beading on the dark, tinted windows, distorts his reflection. Bemused by his melting facial features, he's startled as the electric window descends revealing the smiling face of Dr. X. "Kill her," he said. "and get the priest as well." "Kill Mary?," asks Nikki.

Suite Sister Mary

Father William lay crumpled on the stairs leading to the sanctuary. Mary watches in disgust as her lover Nikki's troubled face dissolves into the leering, drooling face of the priest huffing and puffing above her. "...Altar...sacrifice..." something snaps inside her head. Nikki feels the coldness overtake her. He pulls away, vowing to kill Dr. X and set them both free of their master's manipulations. Pulling closed the huge door behind him, he stumbles into the rainy night to keep his appointment with his "maker."

The Needle Lies

After Nikki leaves, Mary is plagued by the vision of Nikki turning into Father William. As they made love on the altar, the memories came flooding back. Years filled with men who has used her, degraded and beaten her, and driven their hatred and coldness into her heart. Once, she thought Nikki was her hope. But now he seemed like all the rest. She hated him. She hated men. She hated life. "Anybody home?" Unable to shake his addiction, and feeling beaten in his confrontation with Dr. X, Nikki returns. "Mary?" He finds her dead in her room.

Electric Requiem

Unable to accept Mary's death, Nikki runs like a raving madman through the streets calling her name. Everywhere he looks he sees her face.

Breaking The Silence

The police arrest Nikki. The charges are: disorderly conduct, carrying a concealed weapon without a license, and resisting arrest. They know he's a junkie because of the tracks on his arms. His weapon also matches the one used in a string of recent killings. Nikki isn't making much sense now, babbling on about perverted priests, some kind of covert operation, and not believing in love.

I Don't Believe In Love / Waiting For 22

Left alone, Nikki thinks of Mary; of the night she died, and why. He wonders about his future. Who will be there to care for him and be his friend?

My Empty Room

Charged with several murders, Nikki is committed to State Hospital to overcome his addiction. Awaiting trial, he suffers insomnia and is delirious. Searching through his past, he tries to find reasons for his actions and his weaknesses. Staring into the mirror, he sees a stranger.

Eyes of a Stranger

page: "Dr. Davis, telephone please. Dr. Davis Dr. Blair, Dr. Blair, Dr. J. Hamilton, Dr. J. Hamilton"

6:01 P.M.

"I remember now."


This story is really something.

Album art:


Audio clips/videos from the album and more here:


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