Say what? A CD Review!!? Say it Ain’t So!
So as 1989 rolled into 1990 Don Dokken by than had bid adieu to his old Dokken bandmates and formed a new version of Dokken.
The only problem was that the old partnership Don had with George Lynch/Mick Brown and Jeff Pilson sued Don from using his own last name on any forthcoming release.
No more Rockin With Dokken instead, it would be Rockin With Don Dokken.
Kind of a different ring to it.
In hindsight, this hurt on what any momentum could be built upon which is truly a fantastic Dokkenish record. It came up a little short in the Gold Record department but if the album was called Dokken It would have shot past Gold status!
We all know the silly pissy pants shenanigans that went on with Lynch and Don(throughout the 80s) and they finally put a fork in there working relationship as they each got there own record deals as George formed Lynch Mob while Don formed the Don Dokken Band.
At the time I thought if anything maybe I’ll get two good bands moving forward. For a time it was looking that way, ok maybe for a year tops! lol
Don decided to do a pretty smart thing and that was to get two guitarists for his new project. John Norum ex of Europe and Billy White (from Texas) formed a very good guitar duo as there would be no comparisons to Lynch.
Peter Baltes on Bass came from Accept who was basically done at that point and Drummer Mikkey Dee who had played with HMO Fan Favourite King Diamond.
Together they released what I would think you could say is more of a Dokken album that Don would be more in line with than some of the actual Dokken albums that came out between 1983-87.
By that, I mean more melodic rock.
If you followed any of that Dokken drama between George and Don. It was supposedly George who didn’t want Alone Again the big power ballad to be on 84’s Tooth And Nail record. Out of the 10 songs on Tooth And Nail George had a hand on 9 tracks and guess what song doesn’t have George with a songwriting credit?
Yep, you guessed it.
Alone Again which basically saved Tooth And Nail in sales and pushed the album to Gold as it was sliding down the charts.
I’m sure Don reminded George of that on a daily basis.
So when listening to Up From The Ashes it does have a little more of a melodic slant on the tunes. Tracks like When Love Finds A Fool, Mirror Mirror, and Stay feature that kind of vibe that Don wanted more in Dokken but in turn never got his way and now he could get his way.
Having said that Don let the others contribute as White had 6 co-writes as well as Norum was in on a few as well.
Make no mistake though as these cats could lift off at a moment’s notice in the rock spectrum as in Crash and Burn, Down In Flames, The Hunger, and one of my favs 1000 Miles Away which features those big Accept like backing vocals in the chorus.
I have to add back then Don had a great melodic rock voice and when you mixed his voice with the hard rock guitars a pretty damn cool sound emerged.
Check out a couple of Bootleg vids from early 91 below…
If you watched the clip you can see this being a new band at the time they were a well-oiled machine as these guys were pros.
Up From The Ashes is a strong Dokken record or should I say Don Dokken record. It truly is a shame this band was iced by the time Grunge came along. One album and done.
Lynch Mob released the decent enough Wicked Sensation but by album two George changed singers and I couldn’t be bothered.
Back in January 1991, I had tickets along with Tbone, Rugg, and Oinks to see Poison in Winnipeg with openers Warrant.
As it turns out Warrant was kicked off the Poison tour about a week before the Winnipeg show and the two-party guys that were running the bus trip out to the show(Guy and Daryl) told us that it would be no Warrant but Dokken.
I was thrilled.
A few groans could be heard (from the ladies on the bus) as the Down Boys would not be the openers but I was totally ok with it.
Nothing personal Warrant..
Don had this band with him that night and they whipped out a tight 40 minute 8 song set that featured 4 Dokken songs( The Hunter-Alone Again-Into The Fire- In My Dream) and 4 tunes from Up The Ashes. (Give It Up-Mirror Mirror-Stay-Down In Flames)
Don Dokken Band wiped Poison off the floor that January night in the Peg.