This album shows you the earliest spark of a great band. George Lynch shows signs of the guitar virtuoso he would become, but for now the guitar playing is still somewhat pedestrian. Dokken’s trademark harmonies are all present here, however he sounds very different here than on following albums.
The songs are all of familiar style and topic to Dokken fans, love, lose of it, falling in it, etc…Except for “Stick To Your Guns”, has a more positive, stand up for yourself message to it, it’s got to be my least favorite track musically, but still sends a decent message. Another track I could do without would be “Young Girls”. “Seven Thunders” has Don’s beautiful melodies ringing in your ear long after it’s over. Anyone who knows Dokken knows the title track and “Paris is Burning”, no explanation needed there. “In The Middle” is great, has the same type of Don melody as in “Seven Thunders”, another great tune. “I Can’t See You” picks up the pace, its fast and somewhat heavy.
I have to take a moment to talk about “Felony”. An awesome song, but you should know that there are at least 2 versions of this song out there. One of them is on BACK IN THE STREETS, an EP of basically demos from 1979, which includes “Felony”. However this one is MUCH different than what’s heard on BTC. For one, I can’t be sure it actually is George Lynch on guitar, and even more so, the vocals. It’s Don, but it sounds barely like him, like maybe he sang it in his bedroom at 14 years old. And the chorus sounds like it’s sung by some guy who’s straining his voice, I guess it’s Don but it’s just REALLY different. I much prefer what I hear on BTC. It has the same tempo and feel as the bootleg version but with a much better sound and a great solo from Lynch. A true highlight of this album.
Fans of Dokken should already own this, but if you don’t have it and are thinking of doing so, in one word, do so! It’s a good example of a great band at their roots. 6/10