REVIEW: Dokken – Back For the Attack (1987)

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DOKKEN – Back For the Attack (1987)

Dokken have never surpassed Back For The Attack, although they certainly have tried hard. This album is the pinnacle of Dokken. (No laughing!) No ballads! “Heaven Sent” is as close as we get. 13 songs, one being a George Lynch instrumental (pure smoke!), this album is packed full of great tunes and performances.  Think about that — 13 songs, in 1987.  That was overachieving, big time.  Overkill!

One could argue that you only need one Dokken album proper, and I would argue that it’s Back For The Attack.  Never had the band been so heavy or focused. Turns out they were falling apart at the seams, but at the time they were “Burning Like A Flame” up the charts indeed.

It’s a heavy regal hard rock sound, with oodles of smokin’ Furious George guitar as only he can play it.  Not to be outdone are Jeff Pilson on bass and backing vocals (the vocals being a critical component of early Dokken) and “Wild” Mick Brown destroying his kit, cymbal by cymbal!

Highlights:
The heavy angry groove of “Kiss Of Death”, Don at his screaming (!) best
“Burning Like A Flame”, the melodic but not-wimpy single
“Mr. Scary”, George’s ferocious solo piece
and of course the hit single “Dream Warriors” which everybody knows.

Even the cover art is the classiest thing this band has done, and totally representative of the music inside.

5/5 stars! ( I only wish the track “Back For the Attack” was included! Get it on the “Dream Warriors” single instead.)

Side One

  1. “Kiss of Death”
  2. “Prisoner”
  3. “Night by Night”
  4. “Standing in the Shadows”
  5. “Heaven Sent”
  6. “Mr. Scary”

Side Two

  1. “So Many Tears”
  2. “Burning Like a Flame”
  3. “Lost Behind the Wall”
  4. “Stop Fighting Love”
  5. “Cry of the Gypsy”
  6. “Sleepless Night”
  7. “Dream Warriors”

15 comments

        1. They have probably played with Skid Row before in the last two decades, but to me Skid Row were on another level of success and charisma from Dokken. It all comes down to frontmen. Never thought Don Dokken was that awe-inspiring.

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  1. Actually if Dokken thru The Hunter on here it would be the ultimate Dokken album as far as I’m concerned that is. I remember buying this at the time on disc back in early 88 and the plug being over 60 minutes Rockin With Dokken…hahahahahaha….whoever came up with that slogan was probably working at Geffen collecting a 6 figure paycheque !
    This is a great album….there peak and when I wanna listen to them,this is the one I choose!

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    1. The Hunter, yes! That was one of the first Dokken tracks that really blew me away. That and the one where they’re playing on the back of a flatbed truck. It’s Not Love.

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  2. Thanks for posting this. I only own “The Best Of Dokken,” which I didn’t get until a few years ago since I wasn’t much of a hair metal fan during that era and I eventually wanted to check out the cream of the crop. I will eventually revisit the Best Of for my “Compilation Or Catalog?” series, and now I’ll know in advance that there’s at least one individual album I’ll probably need to check out. I read that Dokken has recently reunited (without Lynch), but Don has a damaged vocal chord and lost an entire octave in his vocal range. That can’t be good.

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    1. Yes, my fellow reviewer and sometimes guest Tommy Morais told me that Don’s voice has really, really changed. I’ve bought nothing from Dokken in a decade or so. The new Dokken, I wouldn’t call it a reunion. Jeff Pilson, Mick Brown, and George Lynch are not involved. They are however involved in a new band called T&N…Tooth & Nail. Get it?

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      1. Yes, absolutely! I’m really starting to rate Lynch as an absolute guitar champion… shame people forget how good the guitar solos were in this sort of music but never forget the cheesy videos or backstage debauchery.

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  3. “I only wish the track “Back For the Attack” was included! Get it on the “Dream Warriors” single instead.”

    Welp, there is a 2015 cd remaster with it, if your curious. Doubt you need it, but anyone else need to have it. Back for the Attack without Back for the Attack is not complete.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think, it’s a UK remaster. The label, Rock Candy, has rereleased a bunch of obscure 80’s metal albums.

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