How a book on dreams inspired Queensryche’s biggest ever hit single

Silent Lucidity, from Queensryche's 1990 album Empire, is a single that charted twice in the UK. In April 1991, it got to number 34, but in August 1992, on being reissued, this climbed to number 18. In the States, Silent Lucidity was the only single from the band to break into the Top 100, peaking at number nine. It was also their sole charting single in New Zealand, Germany and Switzerland.

Here singer Geoff Tate recalls the band' s brush with chart sytardom...

Where did the inspiration for Silent Lucidity come from?

“Chris [DeGarmo, guitraist] got the idea from a book called Creative Dreaming, which explains how to tap into your subconscious. In a lifetime the average person spends about four-and-a-half years dreaming. You’re doing things like flying, walking through walls - it’s so intense. People can experience incredible physical sensations during dreaming.”

What was the reaction to it?

“Our producer Peter Collins initially didn’t want to put it on the Empire album. He didn’t think it was sufficiently developed as an idea, and felt we were wasting our time on it. But that inspired Chris and me to go away and really work it out.”

Did you feel like pop stars?

“More like rock stars, I suppose. But it took a while for this to actually become a hit. However, the label spent a lot of money on making it happen. They truly believed the song was worth all their effort and expense. From that point of view we did feel important, because the record company showed so much commitment.”

Was having a hit a blessing or a curse?

“It was a great time for rock music. The blessing was that we were a rock band at a time when it was commercially cool to be one.”

Silent Lucidity b/w The Mission (live), Eyes Of A Stranger (live)

(EMI USA, 1991)

Highest UK chart position: no. 18

Malcolm Dome

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica, published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He died in 2021