Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Record Vault: Dokken – Breaking The Chains

I didn’t get this album in 1983. I got it much later.

Dokken was introduced to me in 1986 via a dubbed VHS copy of their “Unchain the Night” video and it was a great introduction.

“Into the Fire”, “Alone Again” and “Just Got Lucky” from the “Tooth and Nail” album appeared.

“Breaking the Chains” appeared.

“The Hunter”, “In My Dreams” and “It’s Not Love” from the “Under Lock and Key” also appeared.

I was an instant fan.

At the same time, I started to buy various Guitar magazines and George Lynch was appearing.

Also in 86, a badly dubbed copy of “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” came my way and in that video, the filmmakers interviewed people before a Dokken and Judas Priest concert.

Then “Dream Warriors” came out via the “Nightmare on Elm Street 3” movie and suddenly Dokken was on my radar of bands I needed to purchase.

So my first actual purchase was the “Back For The Attack” album.

An accumulation of events via word of mouth and pirated video tapes led me to Dokken fandom.

I purchased the LP first via a used record and book store.

Breaking The Chains

Written by Lynch and Dokken.

The riff is excellent and far removed from the L.A sound that was happening at the time. But what I remember most about this song is the tacky camera angles on the chain like strings on Lynch’s guitar in the film clip, plus Don’s terrible lyrics.

“Breaking The Chains” had the title for another teen angst anthem however Don delivered very confused lyrics loosely based on heartbreak.

How can you take these lines seriously!!

Got this letter
Came today
From my baby
Who left me yesterday
Said she loves me
She’ll come back
She wants to try

But it was the 80’s and it was cool to be this tacky once upon a time.

In The Middle

Written by Lynch and Dokken.

This is more in the vein of the L.A sound. The groove of the song would feature prominently when RATT did “Lay It Down”.

In the middle
Of love

I dig the music, the vocal melodies, but not the choice of words.


Written by Lynch and Dokken.

Check out the swingy lead break.

Live To Rock (Rock To Live)

Another speed metal song. This one is written by Lynch, Croucier and Dokken.

Run out of breath
And I feel I’m moving too slow
Backwards and forwards
I don’t know which way I should go

You know the feeling. You worked hard all week and you spent so much time away from loved ones and things that you like. You get paid and nothings really paid off. Outstanding bills still remain and to top it off, your car broke down. And you ask yourself the question, “Did you live up to your promise?”

Live to rock
Rock to live
It’s all you got when
You’re down on the skids
Live to rock
Rock to live
One way or another
Survive until the end

When we purchased an album, we stayed up all night listening to it. Even though it had one good song on it. Our view was, if we gave our money, we had to get a return on our investment because we knew we didn’t have any more funds to purchase new music for at least another fortnight (if we were lucky), so we had to listen to it.

Feeling it flow through my veins
Rock will never get old

Damn right. It’s always been there in the undertow. And in some era’s it’s the raging river.


Musically it’s excellent, but the lyrics are stupid.

In the car, slam the door, turn the key and I’ll be free
On that highway tonight

See what I mean.

Paris Is Burning

The original studio version didn’t cut it, so a “live version” was used instead. Live is not really live, as all of the tracks get re-recorded in a studio, along with the vocals. So after some doodling by Lynch that made me want to go back in time and unplug his guitar cable, good ol’ Mick Brown blasts the song off.

I don’t get the lyrics but I love the music and the vocal melodies. I just wished they used better words for the melodies.

The first two lines in the opening verse deal with getting out of his town, sort of like “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place” and then the verse finishes off with two lines about a woman who became so hard and cold. Check it out for yourself.

This town I’m in can’t take no more
Decadence and sin
You were my woman
Why’d you have to be so hard and cold

And then we are into a Chorus that again doesn’t make sense or have any logical flow.

Paris is burning
Want to see it from afar
Paris is burning
Want to get to where you are

But that was the 80’s and it was allowed.

And there are two versions available. A 1981 version with a different bass player to the 83 version and the Elektra 1983 version.

And according to Lynch, 500 copies of exist that has Don Dokken as the band name.

Then sometime in the 2000s circa 2009, I purchased the CD via a box set.

It’s a carbon copy of the vinyl album.

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