I am a longtime Dokken fan, and I was heartbroken when they disbanded in 1988-9 when Don and George just could not work out a reconciliation.
When this was first released, I admit I wondered how Don would do as a solo artist. This is quite a band assembled here – guitarist John Norum from Europe (careful observers will note that John Norum teamed up with Don Dokken again on the Dokken CD LONG WAY HOME), bassist Peter Baltes from Accept, drummer Mikkey Dee (a stint with King Diamond) and a great guitarist named Billy White. LOADS of talent here. This release totally exceeded my expectations – an all-around great release with no “fillers”.
This CD kicks off with Crash ‘N’ Burn – one of my favorite songs of all time. A fast-paced song with a fantastic guitar solo. I’d rate this one a 10 – Don’s vocals are great, and Dee / Baltes make for a fine rhythm section.
I love Don’s vocals on 1000 Miles Away and When Love Finds a Fool. The latter features a sad-sounding acoutstic intro, and these songs touch upon the familiar Dokken-esque theme of being wronged by the ol’ femme-fatale. Almost like “Alone Again” from TOOTH AND NAIL. Don Dokken can sing and croon with the best of rock’s vocalists. “Stay” and “Down In Flames” are lyrically similar to the femme-fatale but those songs are more pop-metal than power ballads – cool stuff.
“Give It Up” is a song similar in theme to “Will The Sun Rise” from UNDER LOCK AND KEY. Kind of the same anti-war lyrics in each track. “Mirror Mirror” was a single released from this – that mid-tempo rocker is probably the most commercial friendly song from this recording.
I LOVE Peter Baltes’ bass playing on “Forever” and “When Love Finds a Fool”. And the song “The Hunger” is just an all-out rocker (as is Crash N Burn) with some great drumming exhibited. I think Ken Mary is actually the drumer for that last track – listen to his work on CD’s released by Gregg Guiffria’s band HOUSE OF LORDS – that is some excellent skin-bashing too.
This release stands up to probably EVERYTHING Dokken recorded. For only $7, just buy it new. It’s got something for everyone and is one of my favorites.