THE RELEASE OF
THEIR ROCK OPERA, STREETS
From: Industrial Metal magazine, fall 1991.
By: Michael Moses
Contributed by: Ellen Bakvis
For the most part, concept albums usually
wind up collecting dust in the &2.99, "Buy 2 Get 8
Free", cut-out section at K-Mart. Take bombs like Blue Oyster
Cult's Imaginos or Kiss' The Elder for example (
for your mellower fans, think of Styx' Mr. Roboto LP).
"I don't know how the true,
grittier metalheads are gonna take to this, " says Savatage
vocalist Jon Oliva of new album Streets . "Some of it
they're gonna love and some of it they might have a hard time
Produced and co-written by Gutter Ballet's producer Paul O'Neill, Streets is a major undertaking for the band. Featuring live orchestras, sampled orchestras, choirs and children' s choirs ( "We used just about everything but the kitchen sink and if that made a sound, we'd have probably used that too, " says Jon ), the album contains 16 songs and a total running time of 74 minutes.
Īt was written by Paul, myself and Criss," explains Jon. "Paul and I wrote most of it and Criss came in and added some musical things at the end. We wrote the story and the lyrics first and then we went and put music to it. It's very intense and was very challenging trying to make everything work around the story and God ( laughing ), I hope it fucking works."
The story as described by Jon:
"I don't want to let too much out on it, but to give you a rough
idea, it's basically about this character who is a musician. He starts
with nothing, achieves everything, loses everything and then tries to
get it all back. Each song, as it progresses, goes through this guy's
life and shows you the different things he deals with through this
adventure. It deals with conflicts he has with certain people, his
drug problems, getting straight, then his trying to make it again.
As Jon related the story of Streets,
I wondered if Queensryche's recent success with Mindcrime encouraged
Jon and Savatage to attempt a project of this magnitude.