Dokken are yet another of the 'hair bands' from the 80's that ruled the charts in that era. Like bands like Slaughter I did not initially like this band until long after their popularity had begun to fall. I have seen Dokken several times and was not impressed by Don Dokken's total lack of stage presence and his horrible vocals in the live setting. The last time I saw them was when they and Slaughter opened for Poison and Cinderella. After Slaughter's stellar performance, Dokken was a letdown, with bassist Jeff Pilson being the only one in the band with any energy. Jeff was also the stronger vocalist at this show. (Jeff Pilson has also played bass on Dio's "Angry Machines.") Anyhow, Dokken are one of those bands I get tons of emails asking why I don't have any. Well, now I do.

Under Lock & Key Dokken-Under Lock and Key (Elektra) 1985

1. "Unchain the Night" (5:17)
2. "The Hunter" (4:06)
3. "In My Dreams" (4:18)
4. "Slippin' Away" (3:46)
5. "Lightnin' Strikes Again" (3:47)
6. "It's Not Love" (5:01)
7. "Jaded Heart" (4:13)
8. "Don't Lie to Me" (3:38)
9. "Will the Sun Rise" (4:09)
10. "Til the Livin' End" (3:56)

Strong commercial and melodic heavy metal album with a stellar guitar performance by George Lynch. Plenty of strong tracks; "The Hunter, Unchain The Night, In My Dreams" and "It's Not Love." "In My Dreams" was an MTV hit for the band. Of course, what would an 80's pop metal album be with the obligatory power ballads? "Lock and Key" has it's share of these as well. (ie "Slippin' Away") Still, being a fan of this type of melodic metal, I certainly can appreciate this disc and am sure I will get more Dokken in the future.

Back for the Attack Dokken-Back for the Attack (Elektra) 1986

1. "Kiss of Death" (5:48)
2. "Prisoner" (4:19)
3. "Night by Night" (5:20)
4. "Standing in the Shadows" (5:05)
5. "Heaven Sent" (4:50)
6. "Mr. Scary" -instrumental (4:37)
7. "So Many Tears" (4:54)
8. "Burning Like a Flame" (4:44)
9. "Lost Behind the Wall" (4:18)
10. "Stop Fighting Love" (4:57)
11. "Cry of the Gypsy" (4:46)
12. "Sleepless Nights" (4:30)
13. "Dream Warriors" (4:46)

Dokken had a hit with the song "Dream Warrior", which was featured in the movie "A Nightmare On Elm Street 3 - Dream Warrior". Overall, however, I think this album featured the least amount of hits for this band, yet I find that this disc is heavier, more urgent, and more serious than any of the band's earlier outputs. Still, with all of the band's 80's outputs, if you like one, you like them all. Dokken just sounds like Dokken. The band also has a song that was released as a b-side called "Back for the Attack" that was originally recorded for this release, but for some stupid reason, left off. I have this song on a compilation cdr.

Up From the Ashes Don Dokken-Up From the Ashes (Geffen) 1990

1. "Crash 'N' Burn" (5:03)
2. "1000 Miles Away" (5:00)
3. "When Some Nights" (4:27)
4. "Forever" (5:16)
5. "Living a Lie" (4:38)
6. "When Love Finds a Fool" (5:34)
7. "Give It Up" (4:11)
8. "Mirror Mirror" (4:36)
9. "Stay" (4:28)
10. "Down in Flames" (5:11)
11. "The Hunger" (5:03)

Hmm, smells like Dokken, sounds like Dokken. Even looks like Dokken. Must be Dokken. This 'solo' cd release from Dokken mainman Don Dokken may have his full name on the disc and may have been hyped as a solo disc, but the music sounds so much like Dokken, it's a wonder he just didn't release it under his last name only. Perhaps the music is a tad more mellow here and there, but overall, this disc is just as good as most of the Dokken 1980's releases. Along for the ride is drummer Mickey Dee (Motorhead/King Diamond), bassist Peter Baltes (Accept), and guitarist/songwriter John Norum (Europe) who is a full fledged member of Dokken (the band) as of the winter of 2002. The band also starred in the movie Far Out Man.

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