The glam metal group known as Dokken first teamed up in 1978 when founder Don Dokken had to change his original band name, Airborn because a group known as Airborne had already signed a record deal. The starting lineup of Dokken when it recorded and released the first album featured frontman Don Dokken, George Lynch as lead guitarist, Mick Brown, as the drummer, and Juan Coucier on bass. Starting on tour, then the second album, Jeff Pilson replaced Juan Coucier. During the height of the band’s career, it was Don Dokken, George Lynch, Mick Brown, and Jeff Pilson at the core. The resume of recordings credited to Dokken includes eleven studio albums, nine compilation albums, six live albums, an extended play (EP), and thirty-six singles.
On April 15, 1997, (Shadowlife) saw Dokken make a shift from the heavy metal music genre they’re best known for into alternative rock. This change resulted in a loss of fans who felt disillusioned by the group’s decision to make the switch. Since the previous album saw a drop of interest in the heavy metal music industry by fans, Dokken’s decision to make its sixth album accommodate an entirely different genre not only alienated most of their fanbase but resulted in what even the music critics agreed was one of the worst albums the band ever recorded. It also wound up becoming the final album with lead guitarist, George Lynch.
10. Erase the State
(Erase the State) was Dokken’s seventh studio album and the final time Jeff Pilson would serve as the group’s bass player. While All Music only gave the album a two out of five-star rating, the Collector’s Guide to Heavy Metal gave it an eight out of ten ratings. It is also the one and only album to feature Reb Beach as the group’s guitarist, who replaced George Leach in Dokken’s lineup.
9. Hell to Pay
Dokken’s ninth studio album, (Hell to Pay), met with mixed reviews after it was released on July 13, 2004. It was the first to feature Jon Levin, who replaced European guitarist, John Norum. Levin continued with Dokken for the next two albums as the group’s lead guitarist. There were no hit singles released from the album but did show signs of improvement after its sixth and seventh albums as the overall reviews were slightly more favorable.
8. Broken Bones
The eleventh and final studio album recorded by Dokken was (Broken Bones). Its release date was September 21, 2012, and within the first week sold 2,600 copies within the US. It was the first of Dokken’s studio albums not to have Mick Brown’s vocal and drumming talent, despite the fact his name is still in the credits. This made the overall recording of the album considerably different than Dokken’s previous work.
7. Long Way Home
(Long Way Home) was Dokken’s eighth studio album, and was the first recording to feature Barry Sparks, who replaced Jeff Pilson as the group’s bass guitarist. John Norum replaced Reb Beach on lead guitar, but only for the recording of this album. Long Way Home has been among Dokken’s more successful albums as it had sold over 410,000 copies since its April 23, 2002 release date. It’s not enough to earn any RIAA certifications, but enough to observe Dokken could still bring forth quality fan-appealing music.
6. Lightning Strikes Again
Dokken’s tenth studio album, (Lightning Strikes Again) was released on May 13, 2008, and received favorable reviews from the music critics. Although there were no official singles released from the album, both the critics and the fans felt it was one of the best albums the group produced since the mid-1980s when Dokken was performing at its prime.
5. Breaking the Chains
Originally, (Breaking the Chains) was released through the French label, Carrere Records in 1981 and was popular enough to earn Dokken a solid European fan following. This debut album was then released in the US on September 19, 1983, with much of the remixed and rerecorded. From the album, its title track was the fourth of its singles to be released and the only one that earned chart success as it climbed to number thirty-two on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.
On May 23, 1995, (Dysfunctional) was released and charted at number forty-seven on the US Billboard 200 Albums chart. It was Dokken’s fifth studio album and became a certified gold seller according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Produced from the album was the hit single, (Too High to Fly), which became a number twenty-nine hit on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. While AllMusic didn’t give the album favorable reviews, Collector’s Guide to Heavy Metal gave it an eight out of ten ratings. The album came out at a time when the genre of heavy metal music waned in popularity and the album almost failed to earn gold certification by the RIAA, despite the fact it was one of Dokken’s better albums they had so far recorded.
3. Tooth and Nail
(Tooth and Nail) was Dokken’s second studio album, which was released on September 13, 1984. Since its release, it became certified platinum by the RIAA and it charted on the US Billboard 200 at number forty-nine. The first of three singles produced from the album was (Into the Fire), which charted as high as number twenty-one on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. (Just Got Lucky) was the second single, which peaked at number twenty-seven. (Alone Again) was the third single, which climbed as high as number twenty on the same chart, as well as number seventy-seven on the US Billboard Hot 100.
2. Under Lock and Key
November 9, 1985, saw (Under Lock and Key) as Dokken’s third studio album. On the US Billboard 200, it was ranked at number thirty-two on its album chart and since became an RIAA-certified platinum success. There were three singles released from the album, starting with (The Hunter), which peaked at number twenty-five on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. (In My Dreams) was the second hit, which climbed to number twenty-four on the same chart and at number seventy-seven on the US Billboard Hot 100. The third single was It’s Not Love, but it failed to realize any chart success.
1. Back for the Attack
Dokken’s fourth studio album, (Back for the Attack), was released on November 12, 1987, and had since become the group’s best-charting and the best-selling album of all time. It also became the group’s third and final certified platinum album, thanks in part to the three out of five singles from the album that became chart hits. (Dream Warriors) was the first of these singles, which charted at number twenty-two on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. (Burning Like a Flame) was the second hit single, which peaked at number twenty on the same chart, as well as at number seventy-two on the US Billboard Hot 100 and at number seventy-eight on the UK Singles Chart. The third single was (Prisoner), which charted at number thirty-seven on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. Back for the Attack was the only album from Dokken that appeared on more than one national album chart during its debut week. Of all the studio albums Dokken released, Back for the Attack was the highest-charted, best-selling album the group ever experienced as it was number eleven during its debut week on the US Billboard 200, number nineteen on Sweden’s Sverigetopplistan, number twenty-five on the albums chart belonging to the Swiss Hitparade, and at number ninety-six on the UK Official Albums Chart. It was the only studio album from the group that became internationally charted.