Breaking the Chains (album)

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Breaking the Chains
First edition cover art
Studio album by Dokken
Released 1981 (Europe)
September 18, 1983 (U.S.)
Recorded Dierks Studios, Cologne, Germany
Genre Heavy metal, hard rock
Length 35:01 (1981 version)
36:24 (1983 re-recorded version)
Label Carrere (1981)
Elektra (1983)
Producer Michael Wagener, Dokken
Dokken chronology
Back in the Streets
Breaking the Chains
Tooth and Nail
Alternative cover
1983 reissue
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars[1]
Martin Popoff 7/10 stars[2]

Breaking the Chains is the debut studio album by heavy metal band Dokken.

The album was originally released in 1981 in Europe as Breakin' the Chains on the French label Carrere Records.[3] This version contains some different mixes and 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".

The album was renamed and released in the U.S. in 1983. It reached number 136 on the Billboard 200.[4] The album was considered a flop by the Elektra label, which had the intention to drop the band. However, Dokken management convinced the label that they could make a more successful album, which materialized in Tooth and Nail in September 1984. Breaking the Chains title track was named the 62nd greatest hard rock song by VH1.[5] It is featured on the radio station "V-ROCK" in the 2006 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.

In a discussion with George Lynch on January 26, 2011, he mentioned the existence of 500 copies of the Carrere Records Breakin' the Chains version printed with the Don Dokken moniker, instead of Dokken. This version also featured different album cover art. Lynch also mentioned that the bassist that actually played on the album was Peter Baltes (Accept).[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

1981 version[edit]

All songs written and composed by Don Dokken and George Lynch, except where noted. 

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Breaking the Chains"   3:43
2. "Seven Thunders" (Dokken, Lynch, Mick Brown) 3:56
3. "I Can't See You" (Dokken, Juan Croucier) 3:12
4. "In the Middle"   3:44
5. "We're Illegal" (Dokken, Lynch, Croucier) 3:39
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "Paris"   3:46
7. "Stick to Your Guns"   3:25
8. "Young Girls"   3:14
9. "Felony"   3:25
10. "Nightrider" (Dokken, Lynch, Brown) 3:14
Total length:

1983 version[edit]

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Breaking the Chains"   3:43
2. "In the Middle"   3:43
3. "Felony"   3:08
4. "I Can't See You" (Dokken, Juan Croucier) 3:12
5. "Live to Rock (Rock to Live)" (Dokken, Lynch, Croucier) 3:39
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "Nightrider" (Dokken, Lynch, Mick Brown) 3:13
7. "Seven Thunders" (Dokken, Lynch, Brown) 3:55
8. "Young Girls"   3:14
9. "Stick to Your Guns"   3:25
10. "Paris Is Burning" (live in Berlin, December 1982) 5:07
Total length:


Band members[edit]


  • Michael Wagener - producer, engineer, mixing
  • Wyn Davis - mixing
  • Joe Gastwirt - mastering


  1. ^ Gomes, Z. "Dokken - Breaking the Chains review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2015-01-30. 
  2. ^ Popoff, Martin (November 1, 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. ISBN 978-1-894959-31-5. 
  3. ^ "Dokken - Breakin' The Chains". Discogs. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  4. ^ "Breaking the Chains Billboard Albums". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2015-01-30. 
  5. ^ "Vh1 Top 100 Hard Rock Songs". Spreadit Retrieved February 7, 2009.