For me, Operation: Mindcrime marked the end of Queensryche's greatness. Nothing after this album even comes close. The band rebounded from the slightly weird and awkward Rage For Order album with this excellent Heavy Metal rocker...and it may have been one of the first concept records that I heard as a kid. Well done all around.
Fun fact: Seeing Queensryche open for Metallica on this tour in March of '89 was my first time getting into the mosh pit. When Queensryche kicked in with The Needle Lies, a few people started to move and push, overcome with excitement, I jumped in and thrashed around with 15 other kids for about 30 seconds. Hey, what more do you want from some sheltered kid from Maine? Considering that I used to cower at the back of the stadium during concerts, afraid to make eye contact with anyone out of fear that I was going to get beat up by some drugged up hooligan...I'd come along way.