“Revolution Calling” by Queensrÿche on the Sunday Song Spotlight

In late 1987 and early 1988, Queensrÿche were at frigid Morin Heights in Quebec, recording what would become their most important album.  Their first true concept album (although you could make good arguments for Rage for Order) was in fact partially inspired by the perennial Quebec separatist movement.  Singer Geoff Tate envisioned the story and characters, with guitarist Chris DeGarmo joining him on the lion’s share of the writing.  Still, it was Tate and guitarist Michael Wilton who came up with “Revolution Calling”, the third track but in all fairness, the first song on Operation: Mindcrime.  Wilton co-write a huge chunk of side one.

The eerie thing about “Revolution Calling” is how it still applies today.  Direct references to characters like the evil Dr. X aside, so much of this song is relevant to current events.

“I used to trust the media to tell me the truth, tell us the truth.”

“Well, I’m tired of all this bullshit they keep selling me on T.V., about the communist plan.”

“I used to think that only America’s way, way was right.  But now the holy dollar rules everybody’s lives, gotta make a million, doesn’t matter who dies.

I have criticised the Operation: Mindcrime for being too “comic-book-y”, a critique also levelled at the album by revisionist reviewers in the 1990s.  Now, I’m not so sure.  As the world teeters on the brink, a song like “Revolution Calling” impacts harder than it did in 1988.  How many Nikkis are out there ready to start their own revolutions?

As we look forward to the new Queensryche album Digital Noise Alliance, let’s also look back at one of their strongest songs from Mindcrime, “Revolution Calling”, on the Sunday Song Spotlight.

REVOLUTION CALLING (Tate/Wilton)

For a price I’d do about anything
Except pull the trigger
For that I’d need a pretty good cause
Then I heard of Dr. X
The man with the cure
Just watch the television
Yeah, you’ll see there’s something going on
Got no love for politicians
Or that crazy scene in D.C.
It’s just a power mad town
But the time is ripe for changes
There’s a growing feeling
That taking a chance on a new kind of vision is due
I used to trust the media
To tell me the truth, tell us the truth
But now I’ve seen the payoffs
Everywhere I look
Who do you trust when everyone’s a crook?
Revolution calling
Revolution calling
Revolution calling you
There’s a revolution calling
Revolution calling
Gotta make a change
Gotta push, gotta push it on through
Well, I’m tired of all this bullshit
They keep selling me on T.V.
About the communist plan
And all the shady preachers
Begging for my cash
Swiss bank accounts while giving their secretaries the slam
They’re all in Penthouse now
Or Playboy magazine, million dollar stories to tell
I guess Warhol wasn’t wrong
Fame fifteen minutes long
Everyone’s using everybody, making the sale
I used to think
That only America’s way, way was right
But now the holy dollar rules everybody’s lives
Gotta make a million, doesn’t matter who dies
Revolution calling
Revolution calling
Revolution calling you
There’s a revolution calling
Revolution calling
Gotta make a change
Gotta push, gotta push it on through
I used to trust the media
To tell me the truth, tell us the truth
But now I’ve seen the payoffs
Everywhere I look
Who do you trust when everyone’s a crook?
Revolution calling
Revolution calling
Revolution calling you
There’s a revolution calling
Revolution calling
Gotta make a change
Gotta push, gotta push it on through
Revolution calling
Revolution calling
Revolution calling you
There’s a revolution calling
Revolution calling
Gotta make a change
Gotta push, gotta push it on through
There’s something going on
There’s a revolution, there’s a revolution, there’s a revolution

5 comments

  1. This got me to listen to the one song on the album I do like, “I Don’t Believe in Love”, so 50% successful I guess :)

    Like

  2. “I used to trust the media
    To tell me the truth, tell us the truth
    But now I’ve seen the payoffs
    Everywhere I look
    Who do you trust when everyone’s a crook?”

    One of the many reasons why I don’t watch the news.

    Like

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