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Dokken – Breaking the Chains
Damn I have a lot of favourite Dokken songs, pretty hard to choose a favourite album by these guys too. Anyway, this single here contains yet another ‘favourite’ Dokken track of mine – ‘Breaking the Chains’ is an early on the scene melodic number which is a good example of the type of song that would go onto influence the style of later melodic rock/metal acts such as Leatherwolf.
The title track on this one is a thoroughly enjoyable track, which is well-written and performed brilliantly by Don himself. I really enjoy the melodic riffage in the first verse, which although simpler, and with less of the production typical of later Dokken releases, still drives at the same sound. Having said that though, I think it’s safe to say that this track can be separated from the true classic ‘Dokken sound’ (albums like Under Lock and Key, Tooth and Nail). The chorus is a typically marvellous, soft and melodic affair with the finishing lyric “Now I’m breaking the chains!” giving some emotional punch to the track. George Lynch has already found his ‘classic form’ however with the guitar lead in this one being typical of the two aforementioned albums.
The B-side ‘Felony’ is not one of my favourite Dokken tracks, but is a strong one In general terms. It seems the band might not have been able to decide which cut to put on the B-side, or perhaps didn’t want to put their two finest together on this, for fear of losing sales on the next full-length? Anyway, I’m a big fan of the sentiment of this particular number, and sex-symbol Don Dokken seems to have a proclivity for young ladies in this period, or at-least for writing songs about ‘em – something for which I have not abhor-ration, but the complete opposite. The lyrics in the first verse are innocent and great, given the subject matter, and Lynch carves out some rather interesting guitar licks.
Overall, a decent single – yet in this early period Dokken had not developed the consistency and majesty typical of their sound in the late 80’s, while ‘Breaking the Chains’ is a fairly strong number, its somewhat less-developed than other great singles from the band. The sentiment is driving and the sound incredibly emotive, yet it’s not ‘quite there’. ‘Felony’ is good-average, with enjoyable subject matter, traditional of rock n roll. Not their best single, but good.