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Under Lock & Key

4.6 out of 5 stars 109 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Sure, they may have been the kings of heavy metal Cheez Whiz, but unlike many image-conscious '80s rockers, Dokken wrote genuinely appealing songs. Frontman Don Dokken's voice carried better than most belters, and George Lynch was a ferociously gifted guitarist who could tug at the heartstrings as easily as he could burn down the bedroom. Under Lock and Key, which wasn't as combustive as Dokken's first two albums Breaking the Chains and Tooth and Nail, seemed like an effort by the band to attract a larger following. It worked. Candy metal softballs like "It's Not Love," "Unchain the Night," and "In My Dreams" were heavy enough to keep the guys rockin', but sensitive enough to attract the chicks. And isn't that what '80s metal was all about? --Jon Wiederhorn
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002H3E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #320,740 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
After the Melodic Metal debut album, Breaking The Chains, and the much heavier follow up, Tooth And Nail, Dokken found a middle ground on Under Lock And Key. Under Lock And Key features several of Dokken's best songs, including "In My Dreams," "It's Not Love," "Unchain The Night," and "The Hunter." ULAK also features the rip roaring "Lightning Strikes Again," one of their best "fast and heavy" songs, and "Slippin' Away," the follow up to "Alone Again" from Tooth And Nail. "Slippin' Away" is actually almost as good as "Alone Again." The production on ULAK is excellent, with a GREAT guitar tone and a great mix. For a combination of power and melody with some great hooks you can't find anything better than Under Lock And Key. As good? Maybe. But not better. -(And if you like this one, check out Alice Cooper's Hey Stoopid CD, KISS' Asylum CD, and Ratt's Dancing Undercover CD.)
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Format: Audio CD
This is one of the best hard rock albums of the 1980's...period. Cover to cover this is Dokken's best album. Unchain the Night starts it out and it never lets up. In My Dreams and It's Not Love will always be classics. The Hunter and Jaded Heart are mid tempo gems, the latter of which is a haunting ballad. Even the couple of slow moments on this album come with such a kick!The production on this album is phenominal. No collection is complete without this one. Definitely in my top 10 hard rock albums ever.
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Format: Audio CD
I can remember when this first came out and, thinking about the lukewarm reception it got back then, am disappointed that Dokken never got the respect they so deserved (while watching "hair bands" such as Whitesnake and Poison, among many others, headline at stadiums, with their videos in constant rotation on MTV - back when it actually played music videos all day long and not for an hour or two a day).

This is definitely Dokken's best album, a rarity in that one can just push play and enjoy it from beginning to end.

Even as a pre-teen, I had an intense crush on Don Dokken (those eyes!) but I also appreciated his voice (and here's yet another vote for the way he wailed on "Slippin' Away"). It's true that not many male vocalists in the 80's could match him.

This is a great introduction to the music of Dokken - and a good primer for other 80's metal bands.
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Format: Audio CD
This isn't as heavy as there album Tooth And Nail but it's almost as good and just as popular. The heavier Lightning Strikes, Til the Livin End, It's Not Love and Unchain the Night are and the more melodic In My Dreans, Will The Sun Rise and The Hunter are excellent too. The 2 ballads Jaded Heart and Slipping Away are excellent power ballads too. The whole band here performs just as well as they did on Tooth And Nail. If you like melodic rock, hair metal, classic rock, metal or good music in general than get this.
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Format: Audio CD
Under Lock and Key(1985). Dokken's third studio album.
Dokken started out in 1983 with their first album, Breaking The Chains, which although raw, it showed a stunning display of musicianship between Don Dokken's vocal delivery and legendary guitarist George Lynch's killer riffing. It continued on with the harder edged sophomore effort, Tooth And Nail(1984). This album delved into the more metallic side of Dokken's abilities due to their blazing title track which can be comparable to the faster songs of Judas Priest. It also housed their first major hit, 'Alone Again' which was unintentionably responsible for coining the decade's popular phrase "monster ballad".
By 1985, Dokken had reached popular status and was labeled as one of the forerunners of glam metal. They shed some of the hard metallic qualities that dominated TaN, and even though they softened their sound a bit for ULaK, the songwriting remained a strong point for them, and hasn't been this great since this album. It takes on a dark melodic overtone throughout the whole disc. The production is actually nice and polished here and every instrument from the wailing guitars to the echoing hammer-pound drums can be heard clearly. While there are certainly more ballads here, there are no "filler" songs to be found. This album succeeds on all levels due to the fact that when the songs intend to be soft and melodic, they do exactly that, and same thing with the faster and heavier tracks. ULaK is accessible enough that anybody who is new to the band should start here before checking out the other albums. Here's the lowdown:
1) Unchain The Night- Great start to the album with its keyboard backed intro and transition into a melodic rocker.
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
THE BAND: George Lynch (guitars), Don Dokken (vocals), Jeff Pilson (bass), Mick Brown (drums).

THE DISC: (1985) 10 songs clocking in at 42.5 minutes. Included with the disc is a 6-page booklet with song lyrics, 1 black & white band picture, and thank you's. Recorded at Amigo Studios, North Hollywood, CA. Label - Elektra.

COMMENTS: "Under Lock & Key" is Dokken at their peak. 10 great songs, cool lyrics, trademark Lynch shredding, unsurpassed Don Dokken vocals. Typical album cover from the mid 80's 'Hair' era - leather and spandex pants, colorful blue/purple/red shirts and blazors, big hair and a gallon of make-up. "In My Dreams", "The Hunter", "It's Not Love" are all great songs - and each made it to their "Very Best Of Dokken" album released in 1999. "Unchain The Night" is another gem and a great album opener. 3 of the 4 songs mentioned here also made it their "One Night Live" (1996) album as well. There are some amazing deep album cuts ("Slipping Away", "Jaded Heart", "Will The Sun Rise") that never got old. Don is harmonizing at his absolute best. Lynch blisters on guitar (as always). Pilson & Brown are steady and by know means should they be outshined by the 2 leaders of this band (both went onto to be wonderful session players with other well-known rock bands). Even though Dokken was classified as one of those metal hair bands of the 1980's, I think they were much more. Wizard guitar talent, vocally trained, great song writing, craft and appealing melodies - Dokken possessed all the traits. Some will argue "Tooth And Nail" (1987) may be their best disc, but for song for song if I had to choose one - "Under Lock And Key" is it. Wondering if Dokken's (early) catalog will get the deluxe digital remastered treatment somewhere in the future... regardless - Great disc.
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