Up From The Ashes – Don Dokken

I really do just like some classic cock-rock. And this I think is classic cock-rock. I don’t know anything about the history of Dokken and Don Dokken, it’s mid to late 80s stuff and all information about rock bands came from magazines in those days. I didn’t really care for that stuff. Does it matter who leaves what band and who fought whom? I guess it’s a bit like a soap opera if you are really into that stuff but I don’t think I was really bothered by it. When Izzy left G ‘n’ R it was more a understanding of “yes that makes sense” than OMG G ‘n’R are breaking up. Bruce left Iron Maiden and I wasn’t fussed and so on.

Sometimes I wonder why people give up on a thing that clearly makes them plenty of money. If I had an acting job that meant loads of money but it was shit TV then part of me would want to keep doing that job. However, the motivation of money is much higher in my personal priorities having grown up with not much of it and as an adult choosing a career where the financial rewards aren’t great [even diminished under the tories]. Ah, now I see my motivation – I chose a career path that I find fascinating and fun and the lack of money is just a side product which I cope with – hence other people choosing to leave their success and seek fulfilment. Good on them.

I don’t think Dokken were ever megastars with the ability to retire whenever they want. One of their songs was used for a film soundtrack and that’s about the limit of their fame and fortune. Their favourite album of mine was recorded in Japan and as a previous headteacher of mine said to me once regarding his own music success in Japan – they buy any old shit over there. So as I write this the songs are playing and they are broadly speaking very well constructed rock songs with reasonable riffs and verses that are a little too ballad for my tastes now. I don’t really like songs which slow down. The verse should be upbeat and then the chorus should be even more so. It’s an 80s thing to have ballad shit in songs and keep repeating it. I don’t think I’ve ever really liked it.

Some song highlights are:

  • When Some Nights – I like the guitar and bass combo in this one. It’s the fist song with some life in the album.
  • Give It Up – good bass sound. Good quality sing along song.
  • Down In Flames – interesting opening with mechanical voice.
  • The Hunger – opening drums – amazing, riff – amazing. Balled verse – shit.

Comms #1991, so here are some things from that year:

  • I was working at Raytheon/Cossors and almost considered joining the air force if the Gulf War became “bad” whatever that means.
  • I started university and met some great people.
  • Dissolution of the Soviet Union.
  • The Moby Prince sinks killing 140 people.

Tooth And Nail – Dokken

My relationship with Dokken has mostly been down to an album I bought when I was about seventeen, it’s called Beast From The East. I also had the album Back For The Attack in my collection for ages. This particular album is a much later addition to the collection and bought because I really liked the dynamic shift from the live album to the studio version when I got Back For The Attack. I am not sure I’ve played this one in its entirety. It’s on now and the opening song is a short sketch to get us to the title song. After that it’s a mixture of songs that appear on the live album and songs that don’t. It’s classic cock-rock. I do like it. I don’t think there are any particular surprises here, you know, songs that make you go WTF? It’s a solid album.

This is communication 1946 and I’m hoping I might be able to find more “interesting” stuff in the Wikipedia entries than just death and destruction. Mind you, I get to chose what I write within and I think I’ve been focussing on human rights and natural disasters!

  • Project Diana is successful.
  • The republicans filibuster a bill for equal rights for workers.
  • Women vote for the first time in Japan and Italy.
  • The Philippines is granted independence from the USA.
  • A fire at a hotel in Atlanta kills 199.

Sleepless Night

Every now and then over the last nine years or so, since I’ve had an iPhone I’ve been trying to find the audio of a song called “Sleepless Night” by Dokken. It had to be the live version from the album “Beast From The East”. I’ve reviewed this album elsewhere on this site and you can read that here. It looks like I wrote that review in 2013! So, this morning, I once again did a search for the audio of the song Sleepless Night (live from Beast From The East).

I found a version! This song wasn’t on the CD release version of the album when I bought that and so all I had was the record version and the tape I had made of it. I found the song on YouTube and I have no idea if it is there legally or not but now at least I can listen to it while it remains on that site. I’ll just have to figure out how to find a decent CD copy of the song for quality ripping purposes.

You can listen here for now if you want, until it gets taken from YouTube. Listen for the pause just after the solo and then wonder at the screech as George Lynch re-enters the main riff. I love that bit.

Beast From The East – Dokken

Mark Hodges persuaded me to buy this album shortly after my sixteenth or seventeenth birthday. I had some record vouchers and wanted new vinyl. I’d only been into decent music for a short while and so it was important to make the correct choices.

This is a gatefold live album recorded in Japan. The cover illustration is a picture of a whole back tattoo. I really like the sound of a four piece band when the guitar does a solo. I like hearing the rhythm section keep the beat going while the guitarist just goes off on one. The sound of this album is perfect.

When I bought this on CD it didn’t come with my favourite song, “Sleepless Nights” and I’m a bit annoyed about that. For the last twenty five years the middle section of that song has stuck in my brain. George Lynch’s guitar makes an awesome screeching sound and it has sent shivers down my spine since around 1988.

My highlights on this album are:

  • Unchain The Night
  • Kiss Of Death
  • Mr Scary
  • It’s Not Love

Mr O would say this is an album of pure cockrock and he wouldn’t be wrong. The 1980s produced some great sounding bands and I’ve spent quite a bit of time and money buying proper versions of the albums friends had taped for me.

Back For The Attack – Dokken

I bought this on music cassette from the Our Price in Harlow, the one by the bus station as there used to be two of these stores in Harlow. At the time I was working for a company called Cossors Electronics which then became part of Raytheon Marine. The company made monopulse secondary surveilence radar equipment and other military stuff. Mr Cossor was one of the pioneers of cathode ray tubes! [Harlow is the home of fibre optics] I used to either cycle in to work or take the bus. This explains why I would have been near the bus station in Harlow. I would regularly by albums on tape because I could then listen to them on my rather excellent Aiwa walkman [because you care about these things it was an AIWA HS-PX410, there’s a page on these lovely machines here].

Now, I’d had the Dokken album Beast From The East for a couple of years and so I knew I liked their music. The Beast album was a live album recorded in Japan and full of classics. When I first put Back For The Attack into my walkman I was blown away by the guitar sound George Lynch had created for the opening “Kiss of Death”. It was loud, heavy and just really powerful. Don Dokken’s vocals smooth this out to produce a wonderfully mellow rock sound. Many of the songs do have a ballad feel to them but they are still great. My favourites are:

  • Kiss of Death
  • Heaven Sent
  • Mr Scary
  • Sleepless Nights

“Mr Scary” is a brilliant instrumental. It has a great main riff with a perfect introduction and build up of the main tune. The double bass drum fits perfectly and the bass playing is good. I really like it as a song and it’s one of those that pops into my head quite regularly.

“Sleepless Nights” includes the brilliant moment of the live album where Lynch makes an excellent sound with his guitar. For a few years I couldn’t tell what he was doing but after hearing this studio version I have concluded that he was playing two or three notes at the same time. In this recording he plays a sustain high note and starts the main riff below that, the live screech is him emulating this. It’s my favourite Dokken moment but on a different album.

Also on this album is the song Dream Warriors which was written for one of the Nightmare on Elm Street films. I don’t know which as I’ve never seen any of them [I could Google it but why?].

News just in:

@CornishPom: @iparish Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. A return to form after the disappointing NOES 2: Freddy’s Revenge.