Dokken: The Prequel
Most people rummage around in their garage and find boxes of broken tech, toys and generally junk they should have tossed out years earlier. Not Don Dokken: he rummaged around in the garage and found a box of tapes from Dokken's early years. The Lost Songs: 1978-1981 are a selection of fully-formed tracks, mostly recorded in SoCal before Don went to Germany and began working with producer Michael Wagener, in a collaboration that would lead to the band selling 10 million albums.
Heavily influenced by The Scorpions and Van Halen, these early tracks show Dokken trying to carve out their own identity, but they also show Don's superb writing talent. "Step Into the Light" opens the album with a well-honed Dokken sound, that is clearly the springboard for their debut album in terms of style, even though it may not be as forceful sonically. "Day After Day", is a semi-acoustic track with spine-tingling harmonies and shows Don's abilities to deliver powerful rock vocals and incredibly subtle ballads.
"Rainbows" demonstrates the band are channelling and taking control of their sound, while "Felony" has raw tones influenced by early NWOBHM. Live track "Prisoner" is an example of a nascent Dokken combining all of their raw talents and preparing to take the next leap forward.
Hard-core fans will notice that 6 of the album's tracks also feature on the bootleg (and subsequently released) Back in the Streets EP, taken from the band's 1979 tour of Germany.
Even though some of the songs won't be new to the fans, it feels right that they are officially included in a compilation of Dokken's early work.
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