Monday, February 5, 2018

"Alone Again" by Dokken

Song#:  2307
Date:  05/04/1985
Debut:  86
Peak:  64
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Heavy Metal

Pop Bits:  L.A. musician Don Dokken started his first band in the mid 70s and as the decade began to close, he got an offer to record an album in Germany for the Carrere label. Under the band name of Dokken, Breakin' the Chains would be released in Germany in 1981 to little fanfare. The band headed back to the States with members going their separate ways. Dokken pounded the pavement trying to get a label interested in the album. Over a year later, someone finally bit. Elektra decided to take a chance and Dokken reassembled the band. A revised edition of Breaking the Chains made its US debut in '83. The title track was a minor #32 entry at Rock and the album sold poorly. The label intended to drop the band, but Dokken's management convinced Elektra to give them a second chance. The label did and a year later the band issued Tooth and Nail. At first, the album was a slow seller, but it held on as two singles floated near the Top 20 mark at Rock. Then it finally took off when this third single got enough attention to reach #20 at Rock and cross over to the Pop chart for nearly three months. With the success of the song along with their videos in rotation at MTV, the album finally went gold. Over time it would continue to sell and eventually go platinum.

ReduxReview:  While a few rockin' tunes from heavy/hair/glam metal bands had made some headway on the Pop chart by this point, it was big ballads like this that allowed some bands to break through. The ballads were a bit more palatable than heavier rock tunes for Pop radio and that gave harder rockin' bands a chance to gain a wider audience. This is one that certainly helped Dokken. Their normally crunchy metal sound is kept in check here and enhanced by an acoustic-style opening. It's not loud or brash and that certainly helps when trying to sell the song at Pop. It's a quality ballad that did about as well as it could at Pop. It's not among the most memorable of heavy 80s rock ballads, but it was good enough to help establish the band.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  While in Germany, Don Dokken had become friends with members of the popular metal band The Scorpions. As the band was prepping to record their eighth album, Blackout, their lead singer Klaus Meine developed vocal nodes and had to have surgery done. While Meine was recovering, the band moved forward with demos of the new songs and asked Dokken to come in and handle the vocals. After Meine regained his voice, he returned and was able to complete the album with the band. Dokken's lead vocals were gone, but some of his backing vocals remained on the final product. Blackout would end up being the album that broke the band in the US. It would be a platinum seller.


No comments:

Post a Comment