Dokken is an American metal band which was formed in 1978. The group became one of the classic metal bands from that era, joining contemporaries like Ratt, Judas Priest, Quiet Riot and Def Leppard. Dokken's music consists of traditional metal characterized by extravagant use of lead guitars and soaring melodic vocals backed by a heavy thumping bass. Although their image was somewhat "glam," their music was traditionally heavy with technical expertise.
Dokken was comprised of founder Don Dokken on vocals, George Lynch on lead guitars, Jeff Pilson on bass, and Mick Brown on drums. Currently the band consists of Don Dokken on vocals, Jon Levin on guitar, Barry Sparks on bass, and Mick Brown on drums.
Their early albums like Tooth and Nail, Under Lock and Key, Back for the Attack and Beast from the East were highly successful, but after that, intra-band rifts and spats ensured that the band would eventually break up. Don Dokken went on to a successful solo career, while George Lynch formed the Lynch Mob and recorded several albums. Jeff Pilson, too, released his acclaimed War and Peace album. The band released a few albums in the late 90s and then Long Way Home in 2000, which met with some success due to attention from fans starved for traditional heavy metal. Recently, Dokken has released their latest album, Hell to Pay, which has gotten rave reviews in metal circles.
Dokken was born in the late 1970s when guitarist George Lynch and drummer Mick Brown from the group Xciter teamed up with Don Dokken on vocals and Peter Baltes as a temporary bassist to record Back in the Streets with Carerre Records. Lynch replaced earlier Dokken guitarist Greg Leon who was also a replacement for Randy Rhodes in Quiet Riot.
In 1978 Juan Croucier replaced Peter Baltes as another temporary bassist; that same year the band released the singles "Hard Rock Woman," and "Paris is Burning." In 1981 the band released the album Breaking the Chains in Europe, which was re-mastered and re-released by Elektra Records in the US on September 18, 1983. While the band was very popular in Europe by then, they had not yet made the charts in the US.
Juan Croucier left Dokken in 1982 to join the band Ratt and was replaced by Jeff Pilson who became their first official bassist. Dokken's breakout year was 1984 in the US with the release of the album Tooth and Nail on September 13th. The album contained several hit songs: "Just Got Lucky" (Number 27) and Dokken's first Number One hits "Alone Again" and "Into The Fire". The album sold over one million copies in the US alone and peaked at Number Thirteen. On November 9, 1985 the album Under Lock and Key was released. It also sold over a million copies with hits like "In My Dreams" (Number 24), "The Hunter" (Number 25) and "It's Not Love."
Following a successful tour with the Scorpions, Dokken returned to the studio in December 1986 to record Dream Warriors. A song for the movie A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. The song was released as a single (Dream Warriors / Back For The Attack) on February 10, 1987. They took nearly half a year off before returning to the studio to record the album Back for the Attack. The album was released on November 27, 1987. it spawned the hits "Burning Like A Flame" (Number 20) and "Heaven Sent" became the band's most popular release, reaching Number Eight on U.S. charts. It included a remixed version of the single "Dream Warriors" (Number 22), The accompanying music video, which featured band members interacting with the film's characters, was the band's most popular video. Back for the Attack became Dokken's third record to reach platinum status. Sculptor Steve Fiorilla's customized writhing skeleton guitar was the highlight of another Dokken video.
Recordings from their tour in Japan led to November 16, 1988's release of Beast from the East just before the band broke up due to creative differences between Don and George. During this hiatus, Lynch and Brown formed Lynch Mob and recorded two albums. Wicked Sensation (1990) and Lynch Mob (1992). Don Dokken also recorded a solo album, Up From The Ashes (1990). Jeff Pilson fronted the band, War and Peace, while George Lynch also released a solo album. Lynch's first solo effort, Sacred Groove, reunited him with Don Dokken for the writing of the track "We Don't Own This World". However at the last moment, Don was unable to attend the studio session and was replaced by Matthew and Gunnar Nelson. The band reunited in 1993, but didn't release an album until Dysfunctional in 1995 with Columbia Records. One Live Night (a live acoustical album) was released in 1996 by CMC, along with Shadowlife in 1997.
In 1998 Lynch left the band and was replaced by Reb Beach of the band Winger. They released Erase the Slate in 1999 and Live from the Sun in 2000. In 2001, Beach was replaced by John Norum (formerly with the band Europe), and Jeff Pilson was replaced by Barry Sparks on bass. Long Way Home was released in 2002. That year, they were also featured in the Rock Never Stops Tour.
In 2004 John Norum was replaced by Jon Levin (who formerly played guitar on Doro's Force Majeure), and they released the album Hell to Pay.
Singer Don Dokken says he set out to prove something with Dokkenís tenth studio album, Lightning Strikes Again
. Taking its title from a track on the bandís platinum 1985 classic Under Lock & Key
, the new songs bring the groupís sound full circle. "Itís time that a band from our era did something special and proved that our brand of music is still valid," he says. "Our goal was to create an album that was our best since our heyday."Dokken
returns to the bandís roots for its Rhino debut, Lightning Strikes Again
. Mixed by Wyn Davis (Dio
, Great White
), the album features Don Dokken (vocals), Mick Brown (drums), Jon Levin (guitar), and Barry Sparks (bass). Lightning Strikes Again
contains twelve tracks, including the breakout songs, "Standing On The Outside", "Oasis", and "Heart To Stone". The album captures the signature mix of barbed-wire riffs and razor-sharp melodies that made Dokken
one of the most dominant creative and commercial forces in the world of melodic hard rock.
Broken Bones (2012), Dokkenís eleventh studio album, is a true return to their classic sound, following the path that Dokken took with their last release 2007ís highly successful, Lightning Strikes Again.
Dokken is going back to the roots of their sound and with a monster production, unearthing the hot riffs and soaring melodies that built the bandís success. Broken Bones rocks hard but still has incredible melodies, which is exactly what Dokken fans have been waiting for!
DOKKEN is now Don Dokken (vocals), Mick Brown (drums), Jon Levin (guitar) and Sean McNabb (bass). The album was mixed by Bob St. John (Extreme, Zappa).