CD Reviews

Dokken - 'Breaking The Chains' / 'Tooth And Nail' / 'Under Lock And Key' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 09, 2014    
0.0 (0)
4139   0   3   0   0   0

All three of these albums are well worth owning.

Considered one of the archetypal Sunset Strip bands, the explosion of talent that happened in the Hollywood clubs in the early 1980s had actually been brewing since the 1970s when bands like Quiet Riot, Mickey Ratt, Mötley Crüe and Dokken first formed.

Unlike a lot of their independent label-bound brethren, singer Don Dokken, guitarist George Lynch, drummer Mick Brown and former Quiet Riot bass player Juan Croucier went the rather unusual route of getting European management, signing to French label Carrere and heading to Germany to record the original version of ‘Breakin’ The Chains’ in 1981 with producer Michael Wagener. The album got decent enough reviews and sold rather moderately, but a home-grown band without a U.S. deal was a promising enough proposition for Elektra to pick up the album in the hope of emulating the success they’d had with the re-vamp of Mötley Crüe’s ‘Too Fast For Love’. With a sparkling new mix, a re-titling of ‘We’re Illegal’ to ‘Live To Rock (Rock To Live)’ and a longer live version of ‘Paris’ (now called ‘Paris Is Burning’), ‘Breaking The Chains’ (note the added ‘g’!) eventually appeared in 1983 and did merely okay, but as it hadn’t cost them much the label decided to persevere. It’s actually a really good opening statement with the driving title-track, the sassy ‘Felony’, the Pop sensibilities of ‘I Can See You’ and the urgency of ‘Nightrider’ showing a band with song-writing chops, a good singer and an exceptional guitar player, even though they didn’t really get on and spent the whole time arguing. The re-mix was a great idea and the re-master sounds excellent, although personally I would have kept the original track order and the studio version of ‘Paris’ was one of the highlights.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site

Bassist Juan Croucier hadn’t played on the debut despite being credited, he was also a member of Ratt and things were moving much faster in that camp, so he threw in his lot with them. Dokken picked up a great bassist, singer and writer in Jeff Pilson and the last piece of the definitive Dokken line-up was in place. Produced by Tom Werman (Cheap Trick) and the legendary Roy Thomas Baker (Queen), 1984’s ‘Tooth And Nail’ was a huge step forward and consolidated their own sound, ranging from the hard riffs and breakneck speed of the title-track, ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’ and ‘Turn On The Action’ to the balladic ‘Alone Again’. There are no duffers but perhaps the more commercial strains of ‘Into The Fire’ and ‘Just Got Lucky’ score the highest with their vocal harmonies and truly great Lynch solos, this re-issue adding the single edit of ‘Just Got Lucky’ and a live single b-side of ‘Alone Again’. Production-wise it was always a bit thin-sounding, but at least on the re-master you know the bass is there, even if you still can’t hear it clearly.

It was on their third and most successful album that Dokken dropped the big one, even though the band just weren’t getting on, so they brought in Neil Kernon to work with Michael Wagener because they thought Wagener on his own would make Don sound good at their expense. ‘Under Lock And Key’ turned out to be their most consistent set of songs and the perfect balance of melody and aggression. A little more radio friendly in parts than its predecessor, the faster tracks were kept to a minimum with just ‘Lightning Strikes Again’ and ‘Til’ The Livin’ End’ really Rocking out, whilst opener ‘Unchain The Night’ was a bit slower but still had a big riff, a simply awesome guitar solo and a simple chorus that just wouldn’t leave you alone. All the band were on top of their game on the mid-paced Melodic Rock of ‘The Hunter’, ‘It’s Not Love’ and ‘Jaded Heart’, as well as the ballad ‘Slippin’ Away’, but it would be the Poppy crossover single ‘In My Dreams’ that would become the biggest hit with its a cappella intro, saccharine melodies and the fluid Lynch at his most melodic. ‘Under Lock And Key’ would take them to the next level and go on to be regarded as a milestone, not just for Dokken, but of the entire 1980s Hard Rock scene.

All three of these albums are well worth owning, but the second and third are essential listening for anyone interested in the genre, they were all in desperate need of a re-master and Rock Candy have done that with their usual care and attention.

Phil Ashcroft

Share this on the web.

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


Member Login


<<  November 2019  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
      1  2  3
  4  5  6  7  8  910

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 1 day, 3 hours ago
  • l.thijs : Hi Fireworks Magazine. I made a purchase on 10 nov and I paid by Paypall. I bought the #85 fireworks mag download for GBP3,50. But I didn,t receive anything. Please can you find out what's going on?
  • kazooba : I have digital versions of every issue from 27 thru 88, any way I can get issues 1 - 26 with cd's digitally?
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: The links are in the Fireworks menu. Have you tried scrolling down? Maybe your screen size is too small...
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; there are only links up to Fireworks 86. Which is kinda strange because i already downloaded CD 87 but i'm looking for the link to CD 88...Chris
  • Rocktopia Te : @Johns Band: Can you please contact us here: «email»
  • Johns Band : Fireworks Magazine 88 did not arrive by post. paid by PayPal. Any Suggestion.
  • Berny : @bpomper: Can you pls. contact the Rocktopia team here: «email»
  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions
  • Berny : @bpomper: A reply was sent yesterday, We recommend checking your spam/junk mail to see if our message was filtered there. The magazine was already sent to your shipping address. Please let me know if you do not receive it within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!
  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
  • Rocktopia Te : @bpomper: For security reasons, we removed your previous message. Please do not post your private e - mail address. Many thanks for your understanding.
  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
  • bpomper : hello i purchased fireworks #88 through paypal on9/23 and have not recieved an email from rocktopia. purchase is for a hard copy of the mag. should i have cd download instructions.when should i expect it
  • Berny : @Johns Band: I've just sent you an e - mail. Best regards, B.
  • Johns Band : I have ordered FM Live video and £1.99 taken from my PayPal account. How do I download video. Something gone wrong at processing with Fireworks. The links to report it do not work.
  • Berny : @kevinw01: Have you received the mail containing the donwload instructions? It seems as if you are downloading the bonus CDs from the "Fireworks" menu, those are meant for our readers in the USA and Canada whose copies do not come with the CD. I will send you a mail now. Thanks, B.
  • kevinw01 : I have ordered several issues of Fireworks but when I press the download button I only get a copy of the MP3 but not the PDF files. I have an iPad. Am I doing something wrong? Kevin
  • Berny : @ARONITY: Thanks for your order. As stated in the item's description, it can take up to three hours for your purchase to be processed. You should have received a mail containing the download instructions by now. Thanks for your patience!
  • ARONTY : Hi, Just ordered #88 pdf, Paypal show the payment, but no d/l link, please help..
  • Berny : @John: Pls. check your mail, this should have been sorted by now. Apologies for the delay!
  • johnmason : Hi. I paid for #88 and it doesn't show up in the licenses/Downloads and I never received any email telling me how to download it.
  • Rocktopia Te : Fireworks Magazine #88 is out now!
  • SeaDog57 : Thanks Berny got it
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: Not sure why the password disappeared, but it's back. Pls. download your copy from the usual place (i.e. Fireworks - > Bonus CD 87 on the TOP menu). Have fun! :)
  • SeaDog57 : Berny looking for the link and password to Issue 87 free music
  • Berny : @yvesrock: Apologies for the troubles. I've just sent you an email.
  • yvesrock : Hi,I ordered the 11th june the new Fireworks' magazine (issue 87) and I didn't receive it. Can you see if you sent it ? Best wishes Yves
  • yvesrock : Hi,

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us


This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site