The Lost Songs: 1978-1981 by Dokken

Dokken fans are in for a treat as some of the very earliest studio recordings are finally going to see the light of day.

Don Dokken is finally releasing The Lost Songs from the Dokken vault. Hopefully, if all goes right, they will be released just in time for the Dokken-Lynch Mob fall tour. This eleven-song retrospective features plenty of interesting songs from a band looking for their own sound. The influences are easy to hear on this collection. This album features many so-cal musicians that the casual fan might not even know worked with Don, such as Juan Croucier bass (Ratt), Greg Leon (guitar), BJ Zampa (drums) and current Dokken guitarist John Levin, just to name a few. Strangely enough, long-time Dokken bassist Jeff Pilson does not appear on any of these early sessions.                                                              

While getting lost in the album you can almost sense the struggle of an up-and-coming band, in the rat race of rock and roll trying to touch and feel its way to their own unique direction and sound. For the die-hard Dokken fan, these songs are long overdue. The opening track “Step Into The Light” is a classic Dokken rock and roll recipe that could very well have found a spot on 1983’s Breaking the Chains album. This track is unmistakably Dokken with heavily driven guitar along with that classic Dokken hooking chorus.

Some of these songs, like “We’re Going Wrong” and “Back In The Streets,” really have a bootleg raw feel, with minimal production. This is about as raw sounding as you are going to get out of a polished production band like Dokken. These few selections really let you hear the foundation of the song. No smoke and mirrors here. For the George Lynch fan, “Rainbows” and “No Answer” feature the outstanding in your face guitar shredding that only “Mr. Scary” could give you. While listening to these two songs, you can really sense the direction that this band is going in. Don’s powerhouse vocals and George’s smoking guitar mastery would end up being quite the winning combination

There are a few tracks that really show the influence of the classic sound of the rock bands of the late 70s. “Liar” has quite the sound and feel of perhaps an early Budgie-styled song, as many of the rock bands did at that time.

What collection wouldn’t be complete without the slow rock ballad. You will find it on track three, “Day After Day.” Classical guitar playing along with Don’s heartfelt vocals drive the song home. If you are a long-time fan or new to Dokken’s musical journey and wondered where this band came from, you owe it to yourself to give this album a listen or better yet, add it to your Dokken collection. 

The Lost Songs: 1978-1981 is set for release on August 28.

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