‘Back For The Attack’
1987 release from Elektra Records. 2009 remastered edition from Warner Music Japan.
Don Dokken – Vocals. George Lynch – Guitars. Jeff Pilson – Bass, backing vocals. Mick Brown – Drums, backing vocals.
Artist location: Los Angeles, California, USA.
5 out of 5 stars rating.
Reviewed by David.
- Kiss Of Death.
- Night By Night.
- Standing In The Shadows.
- Heaven Sent.
- Mr. Scary.
- So Many Tears.
- Burning Like A Flame.
- Lost Behind The Wall.
- Stop Fighting Love.
- Cry Of The Gypsy.
- Sleepless Night.
- Dream Warriors.
- Back For The Attack (Remastered Edition bonus track).
The fourth album from Dokken may not contain my favorite song from the band (that would be ‘It’s Not Love‘ from their 1985 record, ‘Under Lock And Key‘) but it is easily their strongest record as a whole in my opinion and contains some of the absolute best music of the band’s career and is one of my favorite hair band albums of all time.
Believe it or not this sensational piece of hair metal is thirty years old this year, so with the anniversary of the release upon us in this new year and the fact that this is one of my top records of all time I thought that, despite it being anything close to an unknown or little known record, I would sit down and give this little beauty a review.
Now this is my favorite record from the band by a long shot, and they are one of my all-time favorite bands as well. It is also the best-selling album from Dokken, but many will argue that their previous record, the aforementioned ‘Under Lock And Key‘, was the high point of the band’s career, or their second album ‘Tooth And Nail‘ was, and both are indeed absolutely spectacular albums. But whatever the case may be for you personally, pretty much everyone will agree that this album was the last truly great record we got from these guys.
Sure, 1995’s ‘Dysfunctional‘ was pretty darn good and the last two albums, 2008’s ‘Lightning Strikes Again‘ and 2012’s ‘Broken Bones‘, were both decent enough, but they never again reached the pure strength and power that they had with the three records from 1984 to 1987. And then they went through that period of sub-par releases that started with the completely atrocious ‘Shadowlife‘ from 1997, highly considered (and rightly so) their worst album ever.
But this record saw them at the height of their career. Don was sounding as great as ever vocally, and he was incredible. You know, people tend to complain about how his voice has not held up with age, and granted he certainly does not sound remotely the same these days, but a friend and I saw them just a few short years ago and I have to say that after reading all of the negativity about his voice I was shocked at how good he still sounded. Sure, he couldn’t hit any of the high notes anymore, or get anywhere close to them in fact, but he sounded pretty darn good on the rest, considering. Anyway, back on point, at one time this man had an absolutely tremendous voice that was hard to rival as is evidenced here, and this album saw him at his peak vocally and he sounds utterly superb on the entire record.
George Lynch is one of my favorite guitarists out there. The man is just an amazing player. I had the privilege of seeing him with Lynch Mob a few years ago and I was just entranced watching the guy play. It still stands as one of my favorite concerts simply for the chance of getting to watch him play no more then 20 feet away from me.
As usual, Lynch sounds just incredible on the album. Guitar solos galore are on every inch of this record and the combination of his playing, Don’s vocals and some truly outstanding songs, make this one ridiculously awesome album.
Filling out the line-up are current Foreigner bassist Jeff Pilson and ‘Wild’ Mick Brown, both of whom do an outstanding job on the record providing bass and drums duties as well as backing vocals. For those of you who may not know, Pilson is actually quite an accomplished vocalist himself and has fronted several projects himself including Lynch/Pilson, War & Peace and T&N.
All in all just one hell of an incredible line-up of some extremely talented artists that are complemented by some truly amazing songs on a perfect record that boasted of seven singles upon it’s release and has stood the test of time as being one of the best albums to come out of the hair metal genre in my opinion.
Starting the record off is one of the strongest rock songs the guys have ever released with the utterly awesome ‘Kiss Of Death‘. What a fantastic vocal delivery from Don on this one, and some great guitar work from Lynch. One of my favorite songs from the band.
‘Prisoner‘ is just a kick ass tune that is very easy to see why it was chosen as a single from this record. Definitely another highlight from this amazing album.
‘Night By Night‘ and ‘Standing In The Shadows‘ are both terrific rockers that continue on with the same strength as the first two tracks and keep us rocking out without letting up one bit before heading into another single from the record with the excellent ‘Heaven Sent‘.
Next up is the definitive George Lynch solo, ‘Mr Scary‘, a song that is still a staple in every Lynch live show. The guy can just flat out play. Great instrumental track.
Next up is one of my favorites from the album,’So Many Tears‘. Just a fantastic song. Great guitar work from Lynch and another excellent performance from Don. Another single from the album as well.
‘Burning Like A Flame‘, Lost Behind The Wall‘ and ‘Stop Fighting Love‘ are three more terrific rockers, the first two of which were released as singles.
‘Cry Of The Gypsy‘ is another of my favorites from the album, and another of my favorites from the band period. Awesome song.
If there was a such thing as a weakest track on an album of absolute perfection then ‘Sleepless Night‘ would be it for me. And even as the “weakest” track, it is still one cool, rocking tune with some great work from Lynch.
‘Dream Warriors‘ is probably the most well known track from this album and was another of the singles released from it, and rightly so as it is very commercial sounding. Terrific song of course, a classic.
The title track was not originally a part of the album and was available only as a B-side, but in 2009 when the album was remastered and re-released then the song was added on at the end and it is definitely worth getting the remastered album for because this is one awesome song and is actually one of the best rockers the band has done. Awesome guitar work, awesome vocals and just an all around fantastic song.
This is an album that is not to be missed, if you somehow have missed it up to this point. If you are a fan of Dokken, Lynch or of hair metal at all then you should have this gem in your collection. One hell of an outstanding classic record that alone stands as proof of just why the 1980’s had the best music there is.
Highest of recommendations.
‘Kiss Of Death’.
‘Heaven Sent’. ‘
‘So Many Tears’.
‘Cry Of The Gypsy’.
‘Back For The Attack’.