DOKKEN – Breakin’ The Chains [Original European Recording] *EXCLUSIVE*
Before the American debut LP ‘Breaking The Chains’ in 1983, DOKKEN originally released the disc on 1981 in Europe only on the French label Carrere Records, and titled “Breakin’ the Chains” (no ‘g’). This is the original European recording only available on vinyl LP. We have done our ‘own cleaning’ on this excellent rip, free of noises, so I doubt you’ll find a better sounding version out there.
Dokken made it big in the US scene with their second album, but the band already released a 1983 debut with Elektra Records titled ‘Breaking The Chains’ before, with moderate success / sales.
Don Dokken and the guys spent many years in the underground before the breakthrough, and among their activities, there was an early version of “Breakin’ the Chains” recorded and released in Europe.
Don started his career in the Seventies as part of many bands, even securing some gigs in Europe in the late ’70s when heavy metal was about to explode there.
A Dokken (still not operating under this name) line-up consisting of Don, guitarist Greg Leon, drummer Gary Holland (both from the band Suite 19 which also once featured Mötley Crüe’s Tommy Lee), and bassist Gary Link toured Germany in 1979 where they met an up-and-coming producer by the name of Michael Wagener, also the live sound engineer for Accept.
Wagener produced some demos for the band in Hamburg, but nothing happened – this recording finally appeared in 1989 under the title ‘Back in the Streets’, released by the German label Repertoire Records without the band’s consent.
In early 1981, Don Dokken returned to Germany trying to get a record deal with a new band in tow, guitarist George Lynch and drummer Mick Brown, who had been playing in a band called Xciter at the time, with future Ratt member Juan Croucier on bass.
After recording new demos with Wagener and with the help of Accept’s manager, Gaby Hauke, a deal was secured with French based label Carrere Records.
Recorded between July and September 1981 at Studio Stommeln with Wagener & Dieter Dierks (Scorpions) producing and Peter Baltes (Accept) on bass, “Breakin’ The Chains” was initially released under the name “Don Dokken” before it was changed to simply Dokken on subsequent pressings, and different artwork.
The latter was used for the US release two years later, however the logo blue background color was replaced with red.
A series of European shows followed in late ’81 and early ’82, bringing the band members closer. The Carrere edition of the album was released in Europe in mid-82, where it placed well on the charts of the British heavy metal magazine Kerrang! The album also reached the US as an import.
Promotional activities for the European release of “Breakin’ The Chains’ included a German TV appearance as ‘Dokken’, and some gigs in central Europe. While in Germany, Don would also demo songs with the Scorpions for their Blackout album as the band’s vocalist Klaus Meine was forced to undergo surgery on his vocal cords and his return was uncertain for a time. Dokken did eventually perform backing vocals on the album.
Meanwhile, Lynch, Brown and Croucier ended up working as studio musicians for German singer Udo Lindenberg on his 1982 album Keule, playing on four songs.
Though Europe had been good to them, Dokken decided to come home. Before signing with Elektra/Asylum, Don and George each found projects in the States. Don served as producer on several recording sessions, working with Great White and Black N’ Blue, and George considered and then rejected an offer from Ozzy Osbourne to fill Randy Rhoads’ spot after his death.
Dokken the band were now managed by Cliff Bernstein who got the band signed to Elektra Records for a stateside release of ‘Breaking The Chains’, re-mixed and partially re-recorded for the American market.
By the Summer of ’83, Dokken was working at Total Access Studios in Redondo Beach, CA to improve Breaking The Chains for U.S. release. With Michael Wagener co-producing, they recorded new instrumental tracks, improved upon vocal harmonies and generally tightened the album’s sound.
The lyrics of one song, formerly titled “We’re Illegal” were changed and the tune was re-titled “Live to Rock.” “Stick to Your Guns” was completely re-recorded, and the studio version of “Paris Is Burning” was replaced by the more fiery live rendition. The LP was also remastered digitally for maximum sound quality.
This 1981 original European version indeed contains some different titles of songs from the later US edition. “Paris Is Burning” is called “Paris” and is actually a studio version as opposed to the live recording in Berlin from December 1982.
The album also contained a song called “We’re Illegal”, which was later turned into “Live To Rock”.
This European version of Dokken’s “Breakin’ the Chains” is less polished and rawer that the 1983 American version. For many, Dokken never sounded better, from the guts, with the instruments coming out separately, especially the guitars.
Surprisingly, this original version never was reissued on CD, so this pretty fine LP rip (cleaned by a friend) is the best you cant get from this collectors item.
Only at 0dayrox
01 – Breakin’ The Chains
02 – Seven Thunders
03 – I Can’t See You
04 – In The Middle
05 – We’re Illegal
06 – Paris
07 – Stick To You Guns
08 – Young Girls
09 – Felony
10 – Nightrider
Don Dokken – Lead Vocals, Guitar
George Lynch – Lead Guitar
Juan & Tom Croucier, Peter Baltes – Bass
Mick Brown, Bobby Blotzer – Drums
Out of Print