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Dokken: Unchain the Night (DVD)

Rhino Records is now finally releasing the 1986 "home video" from Dokken, a fun hour to spend with the classic line-up, that features all their videos from the glory years, and backstage footage from their tours of Europe and the US from 1986. While Dokken were very popular during the same time period as other bands like Motley Crue, Poison, Ratt, etc., these guys always had a heavier sound and came across as more musical than many of their "hair metal" peers. On this video, which for the most part is fairly grainy, almost like a home movie (which might be a turn-off for some), you get to see the personal side of the members-Mick Brown, the wild and crazy drummer; George Lynch-the aloof yet virtuoso guitar player; Jeff Pillson-the professional and intelligent bass player; and Don Dokken-the reserved and private frontman. All their major videos are here thanks to Rhino's adding their late 80's works like "Walk Away", Heaven Sent", "Dream Warriors", and "Burning Like a Flame", and while typical of the cheeseball videos churned out by hard rock and metal bands of the time, they are fun to watch nontheless, especially "Breaking the Chains" and "In My Dreams". Some of the backstage stuff here is priceless, especially Lynch and Pillson goofing around in a hotel room with recording equipment, doing a spoof on an inflatible guitar commercial.

There is a bonus interview with Don Dokken and Mick Brown, the only two original members still in the band, taped from late 2006, as they look back at 1986 and the making of the video, as well as the current state of the band and the music industry. It's a pretty candid and fun interview, as the two are sipping drinks and obviously catching a buzz while doing so, with Brown especially an animated interview who loves to tell stories about their past good times and wild antics. Despite the somewhat shoddy quality of the video as a whole (even the interview is shot with way too much light), Unchain the Night is a very fun watch and will allow you to go back in time 21 years and experience what made 80's metal so much fun, with one of its most underrated bands.

Song Listing
1) Into the Fire
2) Just Got Lucky
3) Breaking the Chains
4) Alone Again
5) The Hunter
6) In My Dreams
7) It's Not Love
8) Walk Away-bonus
9) Dream Warriors-bonus
10) Heaven Sent-bonus
11) Burning Like a Flame-bonus
12) Interview with Don Dokken & Mick Brown, December 2006

Added: May 6th 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Dokken Website
Hits: 3134
Language: english

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Dokken: Unchain the Night (DVD)
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-05-06 08:48:06
My Score:

In 1985 the home video for eighties Hard Rock sensation Dokken entitled Unchain The Night was unleashed on the Metal fans of the world. The VHS Tape (anyone remember those?) included eight of the bands videos from their hit singles of the time and also featured very candid footage of the group on tour, onstage and just having fun in the towns and hotels that they would visit. Historically the group was touring in support of their second platinum album Under Lock And Key. The "Old School" fan that I am remembers these videos very fondly and not only from the tape which I owned and is still buried somewhere, but from when they first aired on both MTV and also the U68 "Power Hour". The memories come flooding back to me as I watched this DVD and I had to laugh aloud at the fact that I recalled these videos as being so "cool" at the time while realizing just how cheesy they actually were. I was young, but so was the format of music video and its super powered grip was not yet at full strength. Dokken as a band was a guilty pleasure for many Hard Rock and Metal fans as while they had the suave crooning singer in Don, there was also blistering guitar from George Lynch as well as pounding drums from "Wild" Mick Brown. The level of appeal the band had was able to snare fans of the melodic and the heavy as well. The younger listeners will find these videos campier than anything else as Dokken breaks chains during the song of the same name and rides through the streets of Hollywood on a flatbed truck for "It's Not Love". One again I could experience the relationship tear-jerker "Alone Again" on a crystal clear screen thanks to the wonders of DVD and enjoy "Just Got Lucky", my own introduction to the band by my recollection. The entire original VHS is presented in the way it was released but with the DVD you can opt out of the commentary segments and just watch the songs. It's actually fun to watch the band segments as they walk the streets with huge camcorders in their hands at a time when this was a rare occurrence. Now everyone with a cell phone can film video as they walk around it seems. You also get to see how much fun the band had together during their glory days.

The fun doesn't end here on the DVD as they also feature four other videos from the bands career that were done after the original VHS had been released. My favorite of these would have to be the "Dream Warriors" which is the track that the band recorded for the chapter in the "Nightmare On Elm Street" movie that bore the same title. There is also a recent interview with Don Dokken and Mick Brown from 12/2006 as they are the sole remaining original members and still are actively touring. It would have been nice to hear some comments from Lynch or Pilson on the bands legacy and continued interest in the ever-changing scene of Hard Rock and Metal but alas we don't get that. Kudos to Rhino Entertainment for bringing this stuff back to the public eye, and kudos to Dokken for issuing it as well. More bands from this period need to issue their old videos and concerts for those who wish to relive their younger days. There is no booklet included with any sort of extra art or commentary but lately it seems that DVD's like this are holding back in that area. Check this out just the same, it is a lot of good old eighties Hard Rock fun.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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