Dokken: ‘Beast From The East’

Released on November 16, 1988 (Elektra Records); reissued in June 2017 (Rock Candy Records)

Dokken’s first ‘live’ album Beast From The East also marked the demise of the band. By the time the record was released in 1988, frontman Don Dokken, guitarist George Lynch, drummer Mick Brown and bassist Jeff Pilson had gone their separate ways. Dokken had released their most successful album to date with Back For The Attack the year before. Prior to that, the band had been featured prominently on A Nightmare On Elm Street, the [then] latest sequel when they landed the title track “Dream Warriors” compete with a Freddy Krueger cameo in the music video. Dokken were managed by Q Prime — who were considered then (and now) to be the premiere rock and metal management agency — who were instrumental in booking the band on the U.S. Monsters Of Rock tour, where they were bookended by up and coming rockers Kingdom Come, Metallica, Scorpions and headliners Van HalenDokken then hopped on the Aerosmith tour who had caught their second wind behind Permanent Vacation.

Dokken’s infighting would not allow the band to persevere. The band members were offered a lucrative amount of money to release a live album, which was recorded on their tour of Japan where Dokken were huge. Who wasn’t? The Elektra Records pressing issued in the U.S. was a single disc version which excluded “Standing In The Shadows,” “Sleepless Nights,” and “Turn On The Action” — all of which are throwaways. However, the completest wants to have the album as intended and now you can.

The Japanese pressing Beast From The East was issued in its entirety; probably because they were huge in Japan but probably because a ‘live’ double disc would cost fans more dough and by that point live records were a thing of the past. Rock Candy Records has digitally remastered Beast From The East and has reissued it in double disc glory. You get all the hits on Beast —  “Tooth And Nail,” “Into The Fire,” “It’s Not Love,” “Just Got Lucky,” “Breaking The Chains,” “Alone Again,” and “In My Dreams.” Let’s not forget the inclusion of George Lynch’s blistering instrumental “Mr. Scary” where he had the opportunity to showcase his chops. “Just another ‘hair band’ guitarist?” Hardly.

As with all of the Rock Candy Records reissues, they have new liners. This disc features commentary from bassist Jeff Pilson who openly admits that there was some ‘sweetening’ on Beast From The East, which isn’t surprising but having caught Dokken on the Back For The Attack tour, they sounded just like what I heard when I bought Beast in ‘88. I still enjoy “Walk Away” — the studio cut that closes the album. It sounds like a dysfunctional band that’s breaking up and they did, but maybe it was that dysfunction that sparked the chemistry that spawned their string of great studio records in the ’80s. This live record? Well, even with the studio trickery, it’s a ‘beast.’

Track List for Disc 1:
01. Unchain The Night”
02. Tooth And Nail
03. Standing In The Shadows
04. Sleepless Nights
05. Dream Warriors
06. Kiss Of Death
07. When Heaven Comes Down
08. Into the Fire
09. Mr. Scary

Track List for Disc 2:
10. Heaven Sent
11. It’s Not Love
12. Alone Again
13. Just Got Lucky
14. Breaking The Chains
15. In My Dreams
16. Turn On The Action
17. Walk Away [studio recording]

Band Members:
Don Dokken – lead vocals
George Lynch – guitars
Jeff Pilson – bass, backing vocals, keyboards
Mick Brown – drums, backing vocals

Produced by Dokken and Angelo Arcuri
Recorded April 20–30, 1988 in Tokyo, Japan

Band Websites:
Official Website

Reviewed by Ruben Mosqueda for Sleaze Roxx, July 2017

Dokken‘s “Walk Away” video:

Dokken – Walk Away (Official Music Video)

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