Interesting perspective. Weird for me. I wasn't on the QR train until Rage. When I went back and got The Warning, the song "Warning" started it off on a bland foot for me, and while obviously I grew to enjoy and love many of the songs, the first track just started it all wrong.
But I think you (El Barto) and TAC are also six or seven years older than I am. So when I first heard QR in 1987, I was 11. I heard "Warning" for the first time in 1990, since I only had Rage and Mindcrime until Empire, and then bought the rest of the catalog. In 1990, I was already exposed to Mindcrime, Empire and Rage, and I guess my brain couldn't wrap itself around QR sounding like the song "Warning" by then. Just an odd way for listening, I suppose.
It was weird, I was a hardcore QR fan, but only had Rage and Mindcrime (and then Empire). As a kid, it didn't even occur to me to go back and get The Warning and the EP until 1990, even though I was a fan since 1987.