Hunnypot Does...
Powered by CircleSquareLA


Written by 

I’ve been a Heavy Music fan for as long as I can remember, and since the late 70’s when any guitar-oriented music would play, I’d perk up immediately.  Today, decades later, I STILL anticipate the release of new material like I did when I was counting the days to get my hands on albums such as Shout at The Devil, Balls to the Wall, and PowerslaveDokken, of course, was one of those bands that anchored the L.A. scene back when it exploded, and when recently given a chance to listen to and review The Lost Songs: 1978-1981, I was elated.

The Lost Songs presented here are, for lack of a better phrase, truly unpolished gems.  We have nine studio tracks and two live tracks that reach way back in time (almost 40 years to be exact).  Each song is presented here in various states of production, which can jolt the unsuspecting at first.  For me, admittedly, it took me a while to get into it, but eventually, it succeeded in dusting off memories of not so much Dokken, but the scene in general, and where I was as a music fan at that time.  I remember trying to get a hold of demo tapes, and other unreleased music was quite the feat at the time.  Heavy Metal was indeed an underground entity, driven solely by word of mouth, and that “Demo” of unreleased music was like gold in those days. 

The first track on this album, “Step into the Light” is in my opinion “classic” Dokken.  A mid-tempo, melodic song steeped in hair-metal goodness and seemingly sums up the entire genre in one song. This one could easily have found a home on their debut effort, and it doesn’t stop here.  The raw and edgy “We’re Going Wrong” follows, which carries the same classic Dokken feel, but with more prominent guitars.  I can easily imagine popping in a cassette of this back in the day, feeling like I put one over on my friends having this in hand. The next two are early attempts at what feels like the obligatory ballads everyone had on their albums.  However, “Day after Day" (which has a remote Scorpions “Lady Starlight” feel), coupled with Dokken sounding a bit like an early Vince Neil, isn’t all that cringe-worthy yet interesting to say the least.  “Rainbows” follows and is another attempt to pull on the heartstrings, but to me, this one falls a tad short of hitting the ballad bull’s-eye.

“Felony,” “No Answer,” and “Back in the Streets” follow, and it’s here you can hear the band begin to develop into that Dokken formula we all know and love.  The version of “Felony,” which made it onto the debut record, surprisingly pales compared to the one presented here - very upbeat, raw, and fast.  Interestingly, the “Conception” live album broke the seal on the song “Hit and Run,” and here we’re treated to an early demo that’s still as upbeat and melodic as what they used to put out live. One of the fascinating things about albums like this is the decisions made about songs from conception to the final product.  

Here’s the scoop:  If you are expecting to hear these songs with the polish and punch of “Under Lock and Key,” it’s simply not going to happen.   Instead, we’re treated to a peek into the inner workings of a fledgling Hard Rock band, as they were, 40+ years ago.  It's important to remember that what you have here is the music of a hungry, raw band searching for themselves (not unlike those of us growing up at that time as well).  A hardcore Dokken fan from day one will go weak in the knees after taking The Lost Songs: 1978-1981, for a spin.  It's just what the Doctor ordered during these unprecedented times and most will enjoy this as a catalyst to remember our formidable years, when we were growing up right alongside bands like this.   Good times.

Be well, and keep washing your hands!


As always, rock on my friends!     Hunnypot Approved!     Overall Rating:  8.5 out of 10

Artist:  Dokken LP: The Lost Songs:  1978-1981,   Release Date: August 28th, 2020,   Label:  Silver Lining Music

John McAteer

Photojournalist - Orange County

Website: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  • Twitter