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Dokken album by album thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by paradox55, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. paradox55

    paradox55 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Starting tomorrow.
    Any Dokken fans out there?
    If so, bust out your Breaking the Chains cassette and listen to it with fresh ears.
    We will focus on the music of Dokken, as well as the work of George Lynch, most notably KXM and Lynch Mob, discussing an album every 3-4 days.
    As for myself, I was first turned onto Dokken by hearing Into the Fire blasted in the high school bleachers during gym class. From that moment, I was hooked- got a copy of Tooth and Nail, travelled backwards with the aforementioned Breaking the Chains, and have been with them ever since that fateful day. I’ve seen them in concert over a dozen times, from their glory days in the arena, Monsters of Rock, the clubs, and half empty bars.
    Hopefully some forum members will join in for some discussions and memories of all things Dokken.
     
  2. TexasBuck

    TexasBuck Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    I'm in! Dokken was my favorite band from 86-91 or thereabouts. George Lynch was my favorite guitarist and is still right up there for me. Love his tone. Don Dokken had an excellent voice and not sure any band harmonized better than Dokken did. Jeff Pilson was the band's secret weapon. Mick Brown was a solid drummer and also contributed to the excellent vocal harmonization.

    I haven't heard any of their post "Beast from the East" albums. As with Ratt, I jumped off the train when grunge arrived and never looked back. Well.... other than revisiting the glory year albums, from time to time.
     
  3. paradox55

    paradox55 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Lynch was a beast, no doubt. Glad you’re on board. Hopefully you’ll give the post- glory releases a listen.
     
    Matthew Tate likes this.
  4. paradox55

    paradox55 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Early Years

    Don Dokken's first band formed in 1976, named Airborn. He played shows at clubs in the Los Angeles area, including the Starwoodon Sunset Strip. Airborn included Bobby Blotzer on drums and Juan Croucier on bass, but Blotzer and Croucier left the band in 1978 to form FireFoxx. Don Dokken was unable to keep the Airborn name because another band named Airborn had already acquired a record deal. Bringing in Greg Pecka on drums and Steven R. Barry on bass, Dokken recorded a 7" single, "Hard Rock Woman" b/w "Broken Heart", released in 1979 under the band name Dokken, produced by Drake Levin, best known as the guitarist for Paul Revere & the Raiders.

    A Dokken line-up consisting of Don, guitarist Greg Leon, drummer Gary Holland (both from the band Suite 19 which also once featured Mötley Crüe's Tommy Lee), and bassist Gary Link toured Germany in 1979 where the band met an up-and-coming producer by the name of Michael Wagener, also the live sound engineer for Accept, who would follow Don back to Los Angeles for a short vacation, a move that became permanent shortly thereafter. The '79 touring line-up quickly fell apart with Leon taking over Randy Rhoads' spot in Quiet Riot and Holland joining Dante Fox, later known as Great White. A Michael Wagener-produced Hamburg recording of the '79 line-up surfaced in 1989 under the title Back in the Streets, released by the German label Repertoire Records without the band's consent. Dokken toured Germany again in 1980, this time with Croucier back on bass.

    In early 1981, Don Dokken returned to Germany trying to get a record deal with a new band in tow, guitarist George Lynch and drummer Mick Brown, who had been playing in a band called Xciter at the time, with Croucier remaining on bass. After recording demos with Wagener and with the help of Accept's manager, Gaby Hauke, a deal was secured with Carrere Records. Recorded between July and September 1981 at Studio Stommeln with Wagener and Dieter Dierks, Breaking the Chains was initially released under the name "Don Dokken" before it was changed to simply Dokken on subsequent pressings. While in Germany, Don would also demo songs with the Scorpions for their Blackout album as the band's vocalist Klaus Meine was forced to undergo surgery on his vocal cords and his return was uncertain for a time. Dokken did eventually perform backing vocals on the album. Meanwhile, Lynch, Brown and Croucier ended up working as studio musicians for German singer Udo Lindenberg on his 1982 album Keule, playing on four songs: "Urmensch", "Ratten" (both co-written by Lynch, Brown and Lindenberg), "Zwischen Rhein Und Aufruhr", and "Gesetz". Promotional activities for the European release of Breaking the Chains included a German TV appearance as Dokken performed a 40-minute live set on the Beat-Club as part of a Musikladen Extra which aired on January 4, 1982.

    Back in the United States, Dokken were now managed by Cliff Bernstein who got the band signed to Elektra Records for a stateside release of Breaking The Chains, remixed for the American market. The band did an arena tour in the U.S. supporting Blue Öyster Cult in 1983, but when the tour was over the band was left with little money and was nearly dropped from the label due to the album's lack of success.

    While the band was very popular in Europe during this time they had not yet made commercial progress in the United States. Magazines such as Kerrang! publicized Dokken in the UK.
     
  5. Matthew Tate

    Matthew Tate Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    i'm in. finishing ratt today
     
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  6. johnny q

    johnny q Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bergen County, NJ
    @paradox55 This is a RIGHTEOUS idea! Looking forward to it!:righton:
     
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  7. slipkid

    slipkid Forum Resident

    I don't think I saw The Cult here in '83 but I did see them at the Spectrum in Philly January 7, 1984 (according to my live show diary). I wonder if Dokken were still opening for them then? Back then I saw most opening acts.

    Btw, that Cult show had something pretty funny happen. They used to have a big Godzilla monster thing come out behind the stage and spout smoke out his nostrils, hanging over the drummer Albert Bouchard during that song. Bouchard always took a drum solo during that song and at some point he tossed a stick into the air and the stick ended up stuck in one of the zillagod's nostrils! LOL...

    P.S. Bouchard wore a big godzilla monster mask covering his head during the song/drum solo as well IIRC.
     
  8. carlwm

    carlwm Forum Resident

    Location:
    wales
    Don't know their work all that well at all but I used to quite like Tooth & Nail and Under Lock & Key although I haven't heard either of them in an age.

    Like the Ratt thread then, which has been really interesting, I'm looking forward to reading everyone's opinions without having much to contribute, myself.
     
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  9. paradox55

    paradox55 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    [​IMG]
    Breaking the Chains
    First edition cover art
    Studio album by
    Dokken
    Released
    1981 (Europe)
    September 18, 1983 (US)
    Recorded Dierks Studios, Cologne, Germany

    Breaking the Chains is the debut studio album by American heavy metal band Dokken. It was originally released in Europe as Breakin' the Chains on the French label Carrere Records, in 1981. This version contains different mixes and titles of songs from the later US edition. "Paris Is Burning" is called "Paris", and is actually a studio version as opposed to the live recording in Berlin from December 1982. The album also contains a song called "We're Illegal", which later turned into "Live to Rock".

    The album was remixed, partially re-recorded, renamed and released in the US in 1983 by Elektra Records, and reached number 136 on the Billboard 200 chart The album was considered a flop by the label, which had the intention to drop the band.[citation needed] However, Dokken management convinced Elektra that they could make a more successful album, which materialized in Tooth and Nail in September 1984. Breaking the Chains' title track was named the 62nd greatest hard rock song by VH1.It is featured on the radio station "V-ROCK" in the 2006 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.

    In a discussion with George Lynch on January 26, 2011, he mentioned the existence of 500 copies of the Carrere Records Breakin' the Chains version printed with the Don Dokken moniker, instead of Dokken. This version also featured different album cover art.

    Track listing
    1981 Breakin' the Chains (Carrere Records)
    All tracks are written by Don Dokken and George Lynch, except where noted.

    Side one
    No. Title Length
    1. "Breaking the Chains" 3:43
    2. "Seven Thunders" (Dokken, Lynch, Mick Brown) 3:56
    3. "I Can't See You" (Dokken, Juan Croucier) 3:12
    4. "In the Middle" 3:44
    5. "We're Illegal" (Dokken, Lynch, Croucier) 3:39
    Side two
    No. Title Length
    6. "Paris" 3:46
    7. "Stick to Your Guns" 3:25
    8. "Young Girls" 3:14
    9. "Felony" 3:25
    10. "Nightrider" (Dokken, Lynch, Brown) 3:14
    Total length: 35:01
    1983 Breaking the Chains (Elektra Records)
    Side one
    No. Title Length
    1. "Breaking the Chains" 3:43
    2. "In the Middle" 3:43
    3. "Felony" 3:08
    4. "I Can't See You" (Dokken, Juan Croucier) 3:12
    5. "Live to Rock (Rock to Live)" (Dokken, Lynch, Croucier) 3:39
    Side two
    No. Title Length
    6. "Nightrider" (Dokken, Lynch, Mick Brown) 3:13
    7. "Seven Thunders" (Dokken, Lynch, Brown) 3:55
    8. "Young Girls" 3:14
    9. "Stick to Your Guns" 3:25
    10. "Paris Is Burning" (live in Berlin, December 1982) 5:07
    Total length: 36:24
    Personnel
    Band members
    1981 Breakin' The Chains (Carrere Records)

    1983 Breaking The Chains (Elektra Records)
    Additional Musicians
    Production
     
  10. paradox55

    paradox55 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    "Breaking the Chains" (song)

    [​IMG]
    Cover for the Elektra Records 7" single
    Single by Dokken
    from the album Breaking the Chains
    B-side

    • "Felony" (7" single)
    • "Paris Is Burning" (12" single)
    Released 1983
    Format 7", 12"

    "Breaking the Chains" is a song by American heavy metal/glam metal band Dokken, appearing on the band's debut album of the same name. The song was originally released as a single in 1981 through Carrere Records exclusively in Europe, appearing as the b-side to the "I Can't See You" single. "Breaking the Chains" was released as a single in 1983 through Elektra Records, being the band's first American single. The song was a modest success, peaking at #32 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. The song remained on the chart for 13 weeks.
    Music video
    A video was produced for the song. It begins cutting between the band performing the song in a house and performing on a black stage. The band is later chained up in a dungeon before George Lynch breaks free and performs the song's solo. As Lynch performs the solo the other band members break free one by one. After the solo, Don Dokken wakes up chained to a bed, alone, before breaking free. The video ends with shots of the band performing in the house, in the dungeon, and against a backdrop of chains that explode as the video ends.

    Jeff Pilson appears in the video on bass as Juan Croucier had left the band before filming began.

     
  11. paradox55

    paradox55 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    As I mentioned earlier, I became aware of Breaking the Chains after Tooth and Nail. Although the title track and Paris is Burning are undoubtedly Dokken classics, I am not a fan of the album as a whole. Definitely lower tier, in fact, possibly their worst.
     
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  12. Matthew Tate

    Matthew Tate Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    i'll see if i can do a song by song breakdown here like ratt. not as big of a fan of dokken though and don't listen to the albums as much
     
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  13. Queezma

    Queezma Forum Resident

    A Nightmare On Elm Street 3 vhs tape was my intro to actually hearing them for the first time (around ‘86/87). The video for Dream Warriors was tacked on at the end of the movie. I knew who they were from the various rock mags prior to this but hadn’t heard them. Around this same time my friend at summer camp had the cassette of Tooth And Nail. I was instantly hooked. A few months later Back For The Attack came out and I received the lp for Christmas. Loved it..still do. Fast forward a year and I got my first CD player and Breaking The Chains was one of the first cd’s I purchased with my own money. By this time I was familiar with the Chains video but I was VERY DISAPPOINTED by the rest of the album. I just found it very weak (dons vocals sounded nothing like I was used to hearing on Tooth, Lock & Key, and Attack). To this day I still can’t get into it. It’s almost like the song Breaking The Chains didn’t belong with the rest of the album. The CD I have is the first Elektra pressing (manufactured in Japan) and I almost wonder if it’s the Carrere mix and not the Elektra remix (kind of like how some original Elektra pressings of Motley’s Too Fast For Love had the Leathur Records mix). For me Breaking The Chains is their weakest effort.
     
  14. Matthew Tate

    Matthew Tate Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia

    you mentioned this before to me. do you have the matrix of the pressing and maybe i can find something on it?
     
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  15. Curveboy

    Curveboy Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    Breaking The Chains

    So I first heard Paris on a college radio show and thought it was great...kinda like a take off on UFO's Lights Out.
    I had no idea who did it and didn't until after Tooth & Nail came out when I went back and bought Breaking The Chains. Of course it was a "live" version and not the studio version I had heard. And George's ripping solo that opens the live version is killer.

    That said...BTC is not a great album. It's amateurish production and weak songs combine for a not so great listening experience. The title track has a great riff but the lyrics...oh boy!

    In The Middle is OK, but if you hear the live version on From Conception Live 1981 you can see how much more powerful it sounds.

    The other song I like is Nightrider. The rest...is all meh.
     
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  16. Queezma

    Queezma Forum Resident

    Will get back to you when I get back home from holidays. You want the catalogue number? Or the number on the inside ring of the CD. No matter...will just give you both
     
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  17. slipkid

    slipkid Forum Resident

    Good stuff, thx for the info/this thread.

    I am not a fan of this album. Luckily it was not my first exposure to the band (that would be Tooth & Nail) or I probably would not have stuck with them and explored further.

    In the short review I wrote of it in the Rokken with Dokken thread I had this to say below in my comment section, & I only rated it a 2 out of 10 stars. As we move through this more thorough look at the Dokken catalog than what I wrote in that other thread, I will put in my comments here to show where I weigh in.

    The band is just learning to crawl I guess, most of it does nothing for me at all. The sound quality is really rough/weak IMO, and I usually don't complain about such things. Not an album I listen to very often.

    I just learned from wikipedia that this album was originally released on Carrere records in France as "Breakin' the Chains" with a different mix/songs, on LP in 1981 (two years prior to the USA release) - does anyone know if that version ever came out on CD? I did some searching on ebay & amazon but couldn't find that version on CD.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breaking_the_Chains_(album)
    Dokken - Breakin' The Chains

    Rating: 2
     
  18. Matthew Tate

    Matthew Tate Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia

    yeah both
     
  19. carlwm

    carlwm Forum Resident

    Location:
    wales
    That's a high quality pop rock tune! :righton:
     
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  20. TexasBuck

    TexasBuck Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Breaking the Chains

    I'm in agreement with most here. Dokken sound un-confident at best and like a small time bar band at worst. "Breaking the Chains" and "Paris Is Burning" are the clear exceptions. "In the Middle" could probably have turned into a decent track with better production and more refinement. I could maybe see "Nightrider" falling into that category as well. The rest is subpar, in my opinion: Lyrically and melodically weak. It's hard to believe most of these songs were a couple years in the making. They sound like they were thrown together in a drunken weekend.

    The "Breaking the Chains" video is so bad that it's funny. I actually like it because of that, but I'm guessing that's not what the band was going for.
     
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  21. paradox55

    paradox55 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    DON DOKKEN and GEORGE LYNCH Dispute 'Breaking The Chains’
    [​IMG]

    On recent episode of THE CLASSIC METAL SHOW, guitarist George Lynch and vocalist Don Dokken have traded barbs regarding their debut release in Dokken, BREAKING THE CHAINS. On the December 6th edition of THE CLASSIC METAL SHOW, Lynch was asked about which album he wishes he could take out of his catalog, to which he answered BREAKING THE CHAINS. Below is what Lynch had to say:

    GEORGE LYNCH: I was going to say BREAKING THE CHAINS, quite honestly.

    CLASSIC METAL SHOW: Really? You don't like BREAKING THE CHAINS?

    GEORGE LYNCH: I did like it when we originally recorded it, but then (Don) Dokken got ahold of it and destroyed it. He basically sent us home from Europe and said, "OK guys, we're done. I'm just going to stay back and hang out with my girlfriend." I was thinking, "OK." What he did was he stayed in the studio when we were gone and had his way with the record, which was (to) pump up all the vocals, take all my guitars out. Destroy the mix. It just sounded weak and wimpy. It just killed it. It was actually pretty muscular and pretty tough when we were in the studio. It was down in the basement at Dierk's studio in Germany. The Scorpions were upstairs. Rory Gallagher was upstairs. These guys wanted to hear what was going on, so they would bring down the guitar player from Scorpions and Rory. They would sit there. I was so proud of my guitar tracks. Me and Michael Wagoner were holed up there. We'd board the place up. We wouldn't let anybody in. I had a 24 track tube machine and an MC500 board. I had one of Richie Blackmore's old cabinets and a Rangemaster treble booster and my Tiger guitar. It sounded so good. It was the first record I'd ever done, really, so we were committed to making a statement. Quite honestly, the sound was just unbelievable. Then when it was all done, he did what he did to it and he killed it. It's very hard for me to listen to because of that, because I knew what it was and nobody will ever hear that unfortunately.


    Vocalist Don Dokken appeared on January 3rd edition of THE CLASSIC METAL SHOW, and was asked about Lynch's claims that Don stayed behind and remixed the record behind his back. Don's response is below:

    CLASSIC METAL SHOW: We talked to George (Lynch) a month ago, and he said that with BREAKING THE CHAINS, you stayed behind in Germany and remixed the record behind his back.

    DON DOKKEN: That's a typical George Lynch statement. No, it wasn't Bob (Ludwig, engineer). I love that he says, "behind his back". I guess George forgot that when we did BREAKING THE CHAINS, he wasn't in the band. For the record...George...what is he smoking? He must be smoking something. When I did BREAKING THE CHAINS, it was a solo record deal. George was not in the band. Mick was not in the band. Juan Crocier's picture is on the album, but he didn't play on it. Peter Baltes did because Juan missed the deadline to get to Germany. I had Peter play the bass tracks. It was a solo album, and the album came out originally in Germany, and it was called "Don Dokken BREAKING THE CHAINS". I have a copy. It's a picture of me on the cover and it says "Don Dokken". Now, George...I asked him to be in the band. He said no. I asked Mick if he wanted to be in the band. He said no. They were going to do something else. They were going to do Exciter. So for him to say "behind our back", he was paid $2500 to play on the record and that's it. He had nothing to do with Dokken. He wasn't in the band. He'd just come to Germany. We did a little tour. I paid him. He went back. He thought he was going to join Ozzy. That didn't work out. So he basically had nowhere to go, no band, and he was broke. That;'s when he came back and said, "I want to be in the band", because Mick had decided to come and play with me. To say that I did anything "behind his back", I don't know what that means because he wasn't in the band. He had nothing to do with Dokken. The guy is high.
     
  22. slipkid

    slipkid Forum Resident

    Innaresting. It's well known that Don & George don't see eye to eye on many things & have had their share of disagreements over the years. I guess that album story above is just one of those things. I wonder where the actual truth lies but doubt we'll ever know.

    Also cool info about Rory in that story. I remember reading when Rory heard the Scorps in that studio (and maybe it was Dokken above too) that was what influenced him to adopt a harder edged sound as a trio again (he changed his drummer & eliminated the keyboards altogether, and started over without the extraneous & unnecessary sax/violin/etc - thank God IMO). He had already abandoned his original Elliott Mazer's (over)produced version of the album he was working on (released many many years later as "Notes From San Francisco", also remixed by his nephew Daniel). The new album recorded in that German studio became "Photo-Finish".
     
  23. GodShifter

    GodShifter Forum Anhedoniac®

    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Gah, in too late! I would have loved to participate for a bit. Beast From the East is where I’d check out.

    Anyway, saw them live with Aldo Nova and BÖC in 82 or 83. Pilson was already with them. I’m very fond of the early stuff. Sorry I missed out.
     
  24. slipkid

    slipkid Forum Resident

    Huh? It just started buddy! You really didn't miss anything. Still on the 1st album. Join in.
     
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  25. GodShifter

    GodShifter Forum Anhedoniac®

    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Hey, Jon, I will if things don’t move too fast. I’ll try and get some thoughts in tonight. I’m sorry I missed out on the very beginning, though.
     
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