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I picked up this CD as a money saver after listening to my brother’s copy of “Tooth and Nail” and deciding that I needed to have “Into the Fire” and “Just Got Lucky” as part of my collection of metal classics. Suffice to say, this is pretty much the best you can get in terms of Dokken compilations, although there is a rather gross flaw on this album that might merit fans of the early Dokken music to want to pay a load of money to import the 1994 compilation from Japan.
You’ve pretty much got the best songs from the four albums of consequence that Dokken released in the 80s, in addition to the rather famous and musically powerful ballad that appeared as a bonus track on the 1988 live concert on CD “Walk Away”, and a classic track from Don Dokken’s solo release dubbed “Mirror Mirror”. Highlight tracks that will surely please fans of melodic metal and shred solos include “Dream Warriors”, “In My Dreams”, “Tooth and Nail” and the amazing guitar driven instrumental “Mr. Scary”.
As stated before, we have one rather unfortunately blight that thankfully occurs at the end of the album and thus can be avoided simply by stopping the CD at the close of “Mirror Mirror”, the meandering blues/hard rock song “Too High to Fly”. Katherine Turman, who wrote the descriptions of each song on the CD jacket and did a very good job, completely gets it wrong with here description on this song along with the piece of garbage album that it came from “Dysfunctional”. I’m sorry, but there is only one riff on here during the verses that remotely resembles what Dokken was, and even that part is destroyed by the muddy guitar tone and the flat sounding drums. The bass is way too loud, and Dokken’s vocals are clear and strong, but the various analogies that he has penned are a bit nonsensical. “The Gold has turned to water”? I’m sorry, the two just aren’t connected, rethink your rhyme scheme next time Don. And did I mention that this song was the first time that I didn’t like George Lynch’s lead playing? We get a couple trills and some low end noodling at the beginning and end, but nothing that is in any way memorable or praise-worthy.
In conclusion, this is a good compilation to have if you want all of the hits off the various Dokken releases and want to save about $35 or so on buying 4 CD’s. But to those of you out there who love the old Dokken and are not familiar with what took place on their albums in the mid-90s, don’t listen to track 16, spare yourself the pain.