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

The Record Vault: Dokken – Back For The Attack

Released in November 1987 on Elektra Records. By January 1988, it was certified Gold and Platinum. Then again, everything released in 1987 was certified platinum in 1988.

And they had momentum.

The single “Dream Warriors” was released in February 1987 as the theme song for the horror film “A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors”. The single was still selling and video was still doing the MTV rounds when the album was released.

The title of the album comes from the song “Back for the Attack”, which was recorded during the sessions for “Under Lock and Key” in 1985 and released as the B-side to “Dream Warriors”.

Dokken is Don Dokken on vocals. George Lynch on guitars, Jeff Pilson on bass and Mick Brown on drums. And Jeff Pilson again has a hand in every song.


As soon as the opening notes are played I was hooked. The riffs in this song are aggressive and very thrash like.

How good are the pinch harmonics in the verse riff?

For the solo, Lynch did numerous takes however they ended up using his first take as it was the best and the most emotive. And if there was any question about his prowess, listen to this.

It’s basically one of the best metal songs ever made.


Melodic anthemic heavy rock at its best with a cheesy chorus about being a prisoner, chained by love.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

It’s one of my favorite cuts.

And check out the leads from Lynch in the Intro/Chorus and his normal solo break.


a strange mix of hard, heavy, melodic, and dark alike, and stands as one of the strongest cuts featured here as a result.


It’s very AC/DC-esque.


It’s bluesy and I like it.

Make sure you check out the lead break.


It’s known as the instrumental which showcases George Lynch, but it also showcases Jeff Pilson as a very capable bassist.

How heavy is the Intro/Main riff?


It’s got this Tom Petty vibe in the Intro/Chorus riff, before the normal power chord to flat 5 riff kicks in.


Musically they are trying to write their own “Summer Of 69” but…


One of my favorites.

I feel like “Turbo Lover” inspired the Intro and verses.

It’s just bass and drums, then the vocals and then the guitars crash in.

Listen to it cranked.


Another melodic rock classic, hidden deep in the album.

The Chorus riff is a great example of metal like riffing in a pop song setting.


Check out the rhythm and lead work on this one?

It’s basically what Lynch Mob would sound like in a few years time. Actually am I allowed to write that name these days.


Too many songs with similar themes like this. “Sleepless Nights”, “Up All Night”, you get the idea. Cliched yes, but Lynch does his best to shred all over it.


The movie company wanted us to write a song that they had already decided would be called “Dream Warriors” [for the 1987 film A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors]. So, it wasn’t like we came up with it. They said, “Can you write a song with the title ‘Dream Warriors’?”

And again, Jeff, Mick, and George wrote a version, and I wrote a version by myself. Mine was more uptempo, more of a rock song.

So, I wrote a version, they wrote a version. It’s kind of funny. They said, “We actually like your version better Don, but we’re going to use our part.” [Laughs] It was just ego – there was a lot of ego in my band in the ’80s.

Don Dokken – Songfacts

The Intro. How good is it?

The lead break is excellent and how good is the riff in the verse after it.

And of course, I purchased it on CD as well via the box set that mimicked the vinyls.

Finally, this Guitar World issue with Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee on the cover introduced the new Dokken album.

Check out Lifeson. So 80s and so not flattering.

And why not.. A photo of some of his iconic guitars.

10 thoughts on “The Record Vault: Dokken – Back For The Attack

  1. Bubba says:

    Very cool post. I was a big Dokken fan from ‘Breaking the Chains’ & then Tooth & Nail ripped my head off. I still have that Guitar World issue w/ 80s Geddy. Buddy of mine from high school here in Staten Island was the bass player w/ Lynch Mob, Anthony Espo. Saw Lynch Mob here in Bklyn at the Rock Capitol of Brooklyn – L’amours. Famous rock joint here in Bklyn…I liked this album better than Under Lock & Key. You recently wrote about that album. Over here “In my dreams” got some radio play back then though that is one of my least fave Dokken songs, the harmony vocals thing just did not grab me at all. Well take care, thx for the cool morning reading & flashback to 80s Dokken…

    • Hey Bubba. Thanks for reading. I enjoy the metal Dokken first and that makes me appreciate the other tracks a little bit more as it adds variety.

      I think the harmony vocals were gonna happen, because of how massive “Pyromania” was.

      Cool connection with Anthony Esposito and Lynch Mob.

  2. Stellar record and no filler in those tracks Pete. Prisoner is a great track. I still can’t believe how they pissed all that momentum away..

    • Q Prime would have backed em like how they did Metallica, Queensryche, Def Leppard during that period. I guess we will never know.

      The thing that I don’t understand is Twisted Sister disappeared in 87 without a whimper, but came back stronger in the 2000’s.

      But acts like Dokken and Ratt didn’t come back like that. Is it because they didn’t have those big MTV anthems, of us versus them. I always thought the lyrics in the majority of Dokken songs could have been better.
      Poison did have anthems with “Nothing But A Good Time” and “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” but they are happy to play opening act in the 2000s.

      • Well said Sir! If u have a anthem you have a second career. For the mainstream fan they know two TS songs yet as u said they came back stronger

  3. JimmyHaole says:

    Had they only known it was the peak of their collected fame maybe Dokken would have worked it out. I consider Up From the Ashes even minus George to be the follow up as was intended.

    • Maybe a double album, with Up From The Ashes and Wicked Sensation. I still spin both on a regular basis. Love those records.
      If Don Dokken didn’t get sued by Lynch, Pilson and Lynch for using the Dokken name, then “Up From The Ashes” would have been the next Dokken album.

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