Archive for May 7, 2007

Dokken - From Conception: Live 1981

Dokken – From Conception: Live 1981 (2007, Rhino)

  1. Paris
  2. Goin’ Down *
  3. In The Middle
  4. Young Girls
  5. Hit And Run *
  6. Night Rider
  7. GTR Solo
  8. Live To Rock
  9. Breakin’ The Chains
  10. Liar *

(*Previously unreleased)

Band Lineup:
Don Dokken – Lead Vocals, Guitar
George Lynch – Lead Guitar
Jeff Pilson – Bass
Mick Brown – Drums

Total Time – 48:40

Dokken official website

I have followed Dokken since BREAKING THE CHAINS back in ’83 and I am still a big fan today. I remember being at the local shop back in the day and hearing the title track, ‘Breaking The Chains’, over the store P.A., I was instantly hooked! So when the band releases an album, I usually rush to buy it.

FROM CONCEPTION – LIVE 1981 is obviously a live album taken from the Dokken archives. The liner notes, written by Don Dokken, mention how the tapes were found and restored to bring this recording to the masses. So what does the listener get? A live recording from a 1981 tour with a setlist containing most of the songs that would be the band’s debut, BREAKING THE CHAINS.

The key to this release is the inclusion of three songs that never made it to an official Dokken album: ‘Goin’ Down’, Hit And Run’, and ‘Liar’. The background on these songs is explained during the new interview with Don and Mick on the UNCHAIN THE NIGHT DVD. These songs evolved into other songs by taking bits and pieces and meshing them with some fresh ideas for future records. These unreleased tracks are pretty good, I’m surprised that they weren’t recorded “as is” back then.

As for the production, it’s as good as can be expected for resurrecting twenty-five years old tapes of a raw, young band playing live. It’s cleaned up and sounds decent but it still has a bootleg feel to it, albeit a professional and official bootleg. The band sounds tight and George Lynch really puts on a show with some blazing axework.

Bottom Line:
A live album from a band that was still in their growing stages. Three previously unreleased songs add a little mystery and variety to the set that leaned heavily on the debut album. In all fairness, at the time of the performance, that is all the material the band had. It’s a decent listen but not one that you may reach for over and over. Better to dust off BREAKING THE CHAINS instead.