One of the albums that I have been on the hunt for a very long time is Dokken’s 1985 all time classic hard rock delight “Under Lock And Key”.
Sure there are copies out in the wild so to speak but very pricey. My pal Probie was vinyl hunting the other day and scored me a copy that ended up in a local pawn shop.
I was pretty psyched to get my hands on this release as Dokken was one of those 80s acts that had a ton of inner band drama yet they somehow pulled it together and put out four stellar studio and one double live album that still hold up realyl well in the year 2022.
How about those threads the Dokken boys are wearing on the cover?
I’m not going to get into the whole Don Dokken and George Lynch pissy pants drama they had between them yet they somehow took that pettiness between them and made it work and along with Jeff Pilson and Mick Brown put out not one single dud of an album in 80’s!
This record out of the Dokken albums has more sonic gloss than the first couple of releases (“Breaking The Chains” and “Tooth And Nail”) and the production by Neil Kernon and Micheal Wagner added a little more texture which for intent and purposes works on this one.
The first three tracks that open the album “Unchain The Night”, “The Hunter” and “In My Dreams” are bonafide Dokken classics. “The Hunter” especially as Curious George lays down a fantastic solo as the groove and swing of this tune is wicked.
“It’s Not Love” was another biggie from this record which got a bunch of play on MuchMusic here in Canada.
With Dokken they knew how to toe the line quote, unquote in regards to the Power Ballad as “Alone Again” from 84’s “Tooth And Nail” put them in the public eye for good.
“Slippin Away” is a good tune but not “Alone Again” great. Still though you knew that with these guys they liked to dabble on that side of the fence at least once on their albums and as an 18 year old back in ’85 I was ok with that.
The rest of this release is chocked full of rockers as in “Lightening Strikes Again” and “Til The Livin End” which has Lynch, Pilson and Brown flexing there musical muscle.
I have to add that the track “Don’t Lie To Me” is one those sleeper Dokken tracks that no one talks about yet they should as it fuses that sound of hard/melodic rock in one track brilliantly..
After all these years its great to get this one on vinyl and I have Probie to thank for that as I’m one record away from completing my Dokken vinyl collection which comes down to that “Breaking The Chains” release which is the only one I need to get.
More vinyl digging will be coming up or should it be The Hunter scouring for vinyl?
dEke’s Vinyl Score: 8.5/10