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

The Record Vault: Dokken – Dysfunctional

In 1992, three years prior to the release of “Dysfunctional”, George Lynch was still appearing in the Guitar mags I purchased like Guitar World, Guitar One and Guitar School.

But in 1995, he was nowhere to be seen. The album came out and there was nothing.

That’s how quickly the mags replaced Mr Scary with the dudes from Counting Crows, Smashing Pumpkins, Korn, Dave Matthews Band, Oasis, Rage Against The Machine and others.

I have a motto in life. To take care of what brings in my bread and butter. Anything else that I would want to do after, will be a spin-off from that.

And it looks like the guys in Dokken had a similar motto. Let’s focus on what brings in our bread and butter first.

But before we get to the album, you need to understand these guys.

The “Dysfunctional” album was pretty much written before George Lynch joined the project. Even George Lynch stated the same in an interview on the Guitar International website.

“Most of this record, “Dysfunctional”, was finished by the time I got there. In fact, everything but the guitar parts were pretty much done.

Everybody in management and in the band kept feeding me these horror stories of who they would get to replace me if I didn’t come back – you can guess the names.

Well, when I listened to the tracks, I could tell that Jeff [Pilson, bass] and Don [Dokken, vocals] had written a lot of the songs with me in mind. I mean, there were parts in certain songs that I had done on other Dokken records – and even Lynch Mob records- years ago.”

However Don Dokken has said that the album is written solely by him;

“Dysfunctional was a great album. I mean they (Lynch and Pilson) had nothing to do with that album. I wrote that album by myself. There wasn’t a George, Jeff, Mick effort. They joined Dokken at the last minute. And I basically wrote it, produced it.”

Don Dokken further described his experience in the following way;

“I felt guilty for bringing George back into the band for “Dysfunctional” & the money & the big record deal & I was just miserable & he was miserable, he made all of us miserable, it was just a very un-happy band”

In a separate interview on the Legendary Rock Interview website, Don Dokken further added the following;

I remember when we got back together in 95, we were in Japan and I thought we were older, wiser and could get on with our careers but the same old shit was happening, he was playing behind his amps and just screwing around and the band was just not playing good in general.

I asked George flat-out “What can I do to make you happy? What is the problem that you just can’t seem to get on board no matter how well things are going?” and I will never forget it, he just looked at me and pointed his hand up to our backdrop, this 30 foot backdrop that said “Dokken” and he said, “That’s the problem””.

This is the way George Lynch described the “Dysfunctional” reunion;

“There is a huge market for the band, mostly overseas, and since things collapsed over at Elektra, I needed to keep my options open if I still want to have my solo career. That was one of the things that brought me back into the band. It was kind of like, ‘You do this deal with Dokken for two records, and you can still go out and do solo records at the same time.’ In fact, I was told that I’d be in a better position to do solo stuff. John Kalodner [Columbia’s A&R chief] is passionate about Dokken, but he also told me that he wants us on Columbia. That aspect of the relationship makes me pretty happy.”

Dokken in 1995 was not an arena act.

Whether they wanted to be together or not, it didn’t matter to me as they delivered a great rock album worthy of being called a classic Dokken record.

Inside Looking Out

There was no escaping the influence of the Metallica self titled album, Soundgarden and “A Vulgar Display Of Power” from Pantera.

Those grooves became the norm. And when they got merged with the riff from Mr Scary, well that’s “Inside Looking Out” in a nutshell.

Hole In My Head

It sounds exotic, almost 70s like with a verse riff that Zakk would use for Ozzy.

Check out the lead breaks from Lynch.

The Maze

It’s like ELO merged with The Beatles.

Too High To Fly

It’s like a blues jam session and someone decided to press record.

Then when it starts to build from the 38 second mark, it’s desk breaking, head banging time.

And how good are the verses?

The bass and drums play, while Don sings and Lynch comes in when Don stops. Brilliant.

It reminds me of “Lost Behind A Wall” which then reminds me of “Turbo Lover”.

Nothing Left To Say

This is a great song. A hit. Better than acoustic songs like “More Than Words” or “To Be With You”.

The acoustic guitar solo is not long enough.

Shadows Of Life

What a riff and drum groove to start the song?

This is classic Dokken, but down tuned and heavy and how good are those backing vocals in the Chorus.

Long Way Home

It’s the Mr Scary riff again.

Check out the lead break from Lynch.

But my favorite section is that bridge section after the Chrous. It’s very Queensryche like.

And that head banging riff from 3.55. Tool would build a career on riffs like this.

Sweet Chains

It’s like the “Dream Warriors” intro merged with “Tangled In The Web”.

Lesser Of Two Evils

What’s this.

Lynch channeling EVH.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What Price

It’s hard to describe this one. So I skip it.

From The Beginning

A great cover from ELP.

After 56 minutes, I pressed play again.

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The Record Vault: Dokken – Beast From The East

“The thing I will never understand about the management and that tour and the band was that in their insane thinking, the management called a meeting before the tour started and informed the band that Don was gonna be breaking the band up and trying to just hire us as musicians on the band.

Or else, if that didn’t work, we didn’t agree to that, he was just gonna leave, keep the name and kick us out. Before the tour started — literally days before it started.”

George Lynch

The band was unraveling. I was happy to be out there on that stadium tour, but I was totally depressed. I was just miserable. To see your guitar player on stage in front of 100,000 people walk behind his amplifier in the middle of the solo and snort coke, I mean, fuck, man. It drove me crazy. So, that just broke us up. That’s the way it goes. Shit happens.

Don Dokken at Songfacts

Somewhere in between, the truth is there.

And drugs or no drugs, this album known as the “Beast From The East” captures a band at the peak of their creativity and mastery of their instruments in 1988.

Unchain The Night

It was a weird choice to open with, especially when the album they were promoting, opened with “Kiss Of Death”.

But.

It was perfect.

After the taped (I think) Intro plays, the band kicks in and all hell is breaking loose. And my speakers are rumbling, because the guitar tone from Lynch is excellent.

Don is sounding good. And I’ve heard the vocals got juiced up later on by Michael Wagener, but hey it still sounds live and I’m all in.

And I still go nuts for the Chorus after the solo. Then there is another solo from Lynch and the Chorus comes back in again.

Tooth And Nail

They play it even faster and I didn’t think it was possible to chuck in fills during the verses at that speed, but Lynch delivers while Pilson and Brown keep it grounded and rocking.

Dream Warriors

The clean tone in the verses. Check it out.

Kiss Of Death

It’s faster than the studio and I like it.

And the solo break. I can listen to it all day long and play air guitar to it.

When Heaven Comes Down

I didn’t expect this to resonate as good as it did.

How heavy does that Intro/Chorus riff sound?

And I still go nuts over the mood they set, with the guitar riff and drum build up just before the solo.

Into The Fire

The clean tone sections sound wicked because Lynch puts bends and legato into his arpeggios.

And I like how the outro is loaded with guitar leads.

Mr Scary

Pilson and Brown need a special mention here for holding down the fort. Great playing. And of course, Lynch excels, coked up or not.

Heaven Sent

I love the bluesy swagger of this one.

The way it starts off with the crowd participation and just high hats, then the clean tone riff and then the beat.

It sounds great on the album and great live especially the improvised lead break. It’s fast and furious and scary.

It’s Not Love

They jam it, they get the crowd to sing along with em and I’m singing along with em as well.

Alone Again

I like how the little Intro flows, it throws a curve ball. Your thinking, is it “Alone Again” or not.

And then it begins.

By the end of it, everyone is singing “alone again without you”.

Just Got Lucky

It sounds full of energy.

Breaking The Chains

I’ve always liked the main riff and there’s no way you can’t enjoy it live.

In My Dreams

It’s powerful live. A great closer.

And I like how they jam out the ending.

Walk Away

The final studio cut.

A fitting title to signal the end of the 80s Dokken era. As the outro played, I didn’t want it to fade out.

By the end of it, the “Beast From The East” (the album, not the recent European snow storm) cemented itself as one of my top 5 live releases behind “Live After Death” and “Tribute”.

And of course, I got in on vinyl first. Then on CD. And then again on CD as part of a box set.

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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.

KISS OF DEATH

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.

PRISONER

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.

NIGHT BY NIGHT

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

STANDING IN THE SHADOWS

It’s very AC/DC-esque.

HEAVEN SENT

It’s bluesy and I like it.

Make sure you check out the lead break.

MR. SCARY

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?

SO MANY TEARS

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

BURNING LIKE A FLAME

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

LOST BEHIND A WALL

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.

STOP FIGHTING LOVE

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.

CRY OF THE GYPSY

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.

SLEEPLESS NIGHTS

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.

DREAM WARRIORS

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.
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The Record Vault: Dokken – Under Lock And Key

Album number three, released in 1985. “In My Dreams” had MTV circulation, and it pushed the album to a Platinum certification in the U.S.

Neil Kernon and Michael Wagener are on hand to produce, engineer and mix. Don Dokken had a certain fondness to work with Wagener on his vocals. He met Wagener when he did a club tour of Germany in 1979.

Don then got a deal with Carrere Records in 1981 with the songs that Lynch and Dokken wrote and he did the Don Dokken “Breaking The Chains” album.

Fun fact, it was Gaby Hauke Hoffmann aka Deaffy who did the lyrics for those Accept records who got Don the record deal. There was another bass player who didn’t work out and Peter Baltes from Accept took over.

George Lynch and Mick Brown came over to Germany and did their bits and the album was re-released. It did good business in Germany and Cliff Burnstein from Q Prime picked the album up on import and liked it.

Burnstein then signed Don to a management deal. After a small tour in Germany with Juan Croucier on bass, they came back to the U.S. Lynch left the band and Croucier joined Ratt. It was just Don and Mick.

Don signed a deal with Elektra and Warren DeMartini was in the band for a short period before Lynch decided to come back in.

“Tooth And Nail” came out and the guys went back to their day jobs. But the album blew up. It started selling, “Alone Again” was in the charts and the label decided to put the band into the studio again.

According to Don, he wrote 80% of the songs for “Under Lock And Key” but got dipped on the credits as the band wanted the credits to state “all songs written by Dokken”. Lynch and Pilson also wrote a lot of music and A&R exec, Tom Zutaut had the most dangerous job in the world. To pick the songs to go on the record.

It was a time of excess. The album cost $150K to make and they then spent $250K on video clips.

Unchain The Night

The guitar intro immediately had my attention.

And Don was lost in the middle, running around in circles and unable to touch someone who had a knife in their heart.

Confused. Me too. Even the title confused me as I couldn’t understand how someone could chain something that isn’t an object.

But I didn’t care.

The music was excellent and the Lynch lead.

Wow. Its fast and shredalicious, but it’s got feel and emotion and melody.

And the outro, when the intro riff comes in, the power chords crash down around you and Lynch gets a chance to wail again. He’s playing for the song, its restrained and beautiful. Then the singing is back in and I don’t want to song to end. And they didn’t fade it out. They ended it like how they would end it live.

So I picked the needle up and replayed the song.

The Hunter

Lynch brought in the music and he wanted it to be his instrumental on the album. Don thought otherwise and he took the jam session home with him and wrote the lyrics. The instrumental then became “The Hunter”.

Don wrote a memorable hook for the Chorus and how good is the guitar lead from Lynch?

In My Dreams

According to Don, he wrote most of the riffs and lyrics for this song. With the opening vocal hook, this song was going to crossover into the mainstream. MTV loved it, played it and it pushed the album.

And for all its commercialism, you cannot take away the power of the metal lead break.

Slippin’ Away

After the first three songs, this was a letdown. The shining light here is Lynch’s “Journey – Neal Schon” like solo break.

Lightning Strikes Again

But they made up for the small slip previously.

This is my favourite song on the album and along with “Kiss Of Death” some of the most heaviest riffs committed to tape.

From the interviews I have read, this song is a collaboration.

The intro riff is part of the “One Riff To Rule Em All”. Just think “Power And The Glory” from Saxon and “2 Minutes To Midnight” from Iron Maiden.

And if you think the riff sounds similar to another Dokken song, it does. Check out “Unchain The Night”.

And also check out Lynch’s call and response lead break.

It’s Not Love

Don refers to this song as “their” song.

It’s got the Lynch like power chord to devils tritone kind of riff. The intro riff always gets me thinking of the “Warriors” movie.

And those street gang like vocals in the Chorus.

Jaded Heart

How good are the verses?

The acoustic riff, the vocal melody, everything.

Don’t Lie To Me

As soon as I heard this song, I thought of “Rock You Like A Hurricane”.

Will The Sun Rise

It’s like “The Hunter”. More mellow and subdued, about liberty, fighting to be free and how one mistake, could make it all go to hell.

Til The Livin End

It retains the metal edge of “Tooth And Nail” and “Turn On The Action”. If anything it’s a speed metal track. And I like how it finishes, like a live track. There’s no fade out.

P.S.
Pilson likes this album, but in a recent interview he said that “Tooth And Nail” is his favourite.

P.S.S
I also like this album a lot that I have it purchased it on three occasions.

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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.

Felony

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.

Nightrider

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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The Record Vault: Dokken – Back In The Streets

“Back in the Streets” is a bootleg released in 1989 by a German label who had apparently stolen the demos from Don Dokken back in the day.

Well that demo must have been found because these recordings also ended up on “The Lost Tapes”.

While the songs are written by Don and George Lynch, only Don plays on this album along with drummer Gary Holland at far left, and guitarist Greg Leon second from the left, both former members of the band “Suite 19”. At far right is bassist Gary Link.

But the band members mentioned on the back gives the buyer an impression that George Lynch, Mick Brown and Juan Croucier are actually playing on it.

But there not.

In the bottom writings there is a line which states; “Reminder to Don Dokken for not returning Thomas’ vintage 100 W 4 x 12 Marshall Cab”.

Maybe this is why the EP bootleg was released, as a F.U to Don Dokken?

Even though the band, Dokken had broken up at this point, people were still interested in their music and like me, purchased this as soon as it hit the streets.

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Sacred Groove

“Sacred Groove” from George Lynch came out in 1993. It is a solid album, combining instrumentals, with hard rock songs and different singers.

The best instrumental track by far on the album is “Tierra Del Fuego”. A six minute tour de force in Flamenco Hard Rock music.

Then you the D-tuned instrumental, “Love Power from the Mama Head”, which has all the trademarks riffs and licks that George Lynch is known for.

And, a nice little Western sounding number in “I Will Remember”.

The best vocal track is “We Don’t Own The World”, that has vocals by Matthew and Gunnar Nelson. Prior to hearing this track, I really had no idea who the Nelson brothers where, however after hearing the track, I sought them out and I came across their excellent “After The Rain” album.

“Flesh And Blood” has Ray Gillen on vocals. This is a rare gem as Ray was to pass away that same year.

Glenn Hughes involvement with George Lynch goes back to the Lynch Mob days, when he recorded scratch vocals on the second album, so that new singer Robert Mason could follow. On Lynch’s first proper solo outing, he sings on two songs, “Not Necessary Evil” and “Cry Of The Brave”.

“The Beast” Part 1 and Part 2 has Mandy Lion on vocals. Can’t say I am a fan. Would have been better to not include these two songs and the opening track.

This was his final album commitment to Elektra Records and a return to Dokken was in the works.

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Tangled In The Web

The Elektra “Lynch Mob” albums capture a guitarist at the peak of his powers and with a passion to prove that he can make it on his own. And George Lynch didn’t fail with these albums at all.  

As good as the Max Norman produced “Wicked Sensation” is and as good as Lynch’s Dokken work is, Lynch finally broke away from all the baggage in 1992 with “Tangled In The Web” released during a time when Nirvana and Pearl Jam started to make waves on the chart and hard rock music and bands started to have less of an impact than they would have had if they released these kinds of songs a few years before. But Lynch released and competed with these guys.

If you don’t find the bluesy and swingy lightly distorted guitar intro with the brass instruments addictive, you are either too elitist to allow horns or too wound up. Keith Olsen, also co-wrote and produced the track, so credit needs to be given.

If you leave me lonely
And you take away the things that I love

We fear loneliness. The older we get, the less we want to play the game of love. And when relationships go bad, people pick sides which makes you question their motives in the first place.

And it still sounds fresh today as it did back then.

If you see me coming’
Better run and find a place to hide

I wonder what kind of coming they meant. Is it the ‘I’m coming over” or the “here I come all over you”.

“Tangled In The Web” was in the charts, competing with Black Crowes, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Tom Cochrane and Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

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All I Want

After “Wicked Sensation”, I wasn’t particularly fond of “River Of Love” and “Sweet Sister Mercy” but when”All I Want” blasted out of the speakers, I was sold.

The 12/8 groove and the G minor key was enough for me to stop what I was doing and pick up the damn guitar and try to figure the fucker out.

George Lynch was a different songwriter and guitar player compared to his Dokken days.

Out the door went the generic power chord structures and in came inversions (like playing a D chord with the F# as the root note instead of the D), diads (two note chords), more open chords with the high B and E strings ringing throughout and arpeggios.

The lyrics about being alone with your baby and showing her some loving that brings Oni to his knees doesn’t do the music justice. Hence the reason why it’s forgotten.

In the solo section, Lynch comes to play.

Working in the key of D minor now, he’s performing several different degrees of bends from half bends to full bends to one and half bends to two full bends. And he’s accurate and precise.

And before the solo transitions to the key of E minor, you hear this bouncing pick technique.

In the key of E minor, Lynch is referencing open strings, octaves and even more bends before reverting back to the original G minor key for some Mixolydian and Pentatonic madness.

And that is the beauty of his playing. While the rhythm section lays down a G minor bed of music, Lynch in his solo switches between a major key scale (Mixolydian) and a minor key scale (Pentatonic Minor).

Overall he keeps it bluesy and although it’s fast, it’s still emotive.

Check it out.

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Wicked Sensation

“Great songs, great chemistry and a great vocalist are much more important than state of the art guitar playing. I hate to say it, but it’s true. The song must always come first, the guitar work is secondary”.

George Lynch said the above in the Hal Leonard guitar transcription book of the “Wicked Sensation” album from Lynch Mob.

George Lynch was huge in my guitar learning days and to be honest, he is still huge even to this day.

I devour each release and man he has made a lot of them since 2005. He is one of the hardest working musicians around on par with Myles Kennedy and Marc Tremonti. Apart from making music, he makes his own hand made guitars, does clinics and produces bands.

One thing that stood out on the “Wicked Sensation” album is Lynch’s rhythm work. It surpasses all of his previous efforts from a guitar point of view.

In between Dokken and Lynch Mob, Lynch was taking lessons at GIT and you can tell, as his use of different chord voicings is on the trigger. Another thing that also stands out is less distortion. Too much distortion can hide sloppy playing and on this album, Lynch has dialed back the distortion knob from a 10 to about 6.

Wicked Sensation

It starts the album in typical Lynch fashion with a riff influenced by his Dokken days. It’s a galloping, sleazy and groovy C#m riff with a descending note pattern on the D string, which is perfect for Oni Logan to lay down his vocal melody.

In the Pre-Chorus, Lynch arpeggiates a Bsus4, then a Asus2 chord, leaving the open B and E strings shimmering in the vein of Alex Lifeson from Rush, before moving to a F#m groove.

And Oni Logan is singing about moving in and out and oh, how it feels so good.

The Chorus riff is an amalgamation of the intro riff for three bars and a F#m octave pattern for the fouth bar. And how sleazy is the foot stomping riff at the end when Oni is singing “gotta give in, gotta put it out”.

In the solo there is this tapping section which goes from 2.51 to 2.55. It’s only four fucking seconds but it’s those four seconds that showed me that Lynch had transcended the 80s and moved into some serious Maestro territory.

I’ll try to explain it the best I can.

On the high E string, Lynch taps the 14th fret, then the 15th fret and pulls off to the 14th fret and then pulls off to the 12th fret and 9th fret. Lynch repeats this legato lick and moves it up a step chromatically a few times before he descends. He hardly uses the pick here and it’s all his left hand doing the work.

It’s fast, but man it’s got melody and feeling. Play that solo section slower and you will understand what I mean. It’s like a classical masterpiece.

To show that he has transcended his Dokken days, after the solo section, there is this Jazzy and funky style breakdown which feels super loose but still played with such precision.

The song then morphs back into the Chorus with a plethora of Lynch fills to round it out.

Up and down and in and out in deed.

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