Breaking the Chains (album)

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Breaking the Chains
Dokken - 1981 - Breakin' the Chains (original).jpg
First edition cover art
Studio album by
Released1981 (Europe)
September 18, 1983 (US)
RecordedDierks Studios, Cologne, Germany
GenreHeavy metal, hard rock
Length35:01 (1981 version)
36:24 (1983 version)
LabelCarrere (1981)
Elektra (1983)
ProducerMichael Wagener, Dokken
Dokken chronology
Back in the Streets
Breaking the Chains
Tooth and Nail
Singles from Breaking the Chains
  1. "I Can't See You" / "Breaking the Chains"
    Released: 1981 (Europe only)
  2. "Young Girls" / "Paris"
    Released: 1981 (Europe only)
  3. "We're Illegal" / "Paris"
    Released: 1982 (Europe only)
  4. "Breaking the Chains" / "Felony"
    Released: 1983
Alternative cover
1983 reissue
1983 reissue
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2.5/5 stars[1]
The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal7/10[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 remixed, partially re-recorded, renamed and released in the US in 1983 by Elektra Records and reached number 136 on the Billboard 200 chart.[4] The album was considered a flop by the label, which had the intention to drop the band. However, Dokken management convinced Elektra 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.[6]

Track listing[edit]

1981 Breakin' The Chains (Carrere Records)[edit]

All tracks are written by Don Dokken and George Lynch, except where noted.

Side one
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
7."Stick to Your Guns"3:25
8."Young Girls"3:14
10."Nightrider" (Dokken, Lynch, Brown)3:14
Total length:35:01

1983 Breaking The Chains (Elektra Records)[edit]

Side one
1."Breaking the Chains"3:43
2."In the Middle"3:43
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
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:36:24


Band members[edit]

1981 Breakin' The Chains (Carrere Records)[edit]

1983 Breaking The Chains (Elektra Records)[edit]

Additional Musicians[edit]



On the original Breakin' The Chains Carrere version, released as Don Dokken, several song titles are misspelled on the back cover. Namely "I Can't See You" ("I Can See You"), "Stick To Your Guns" ("Still To Your Guns"), and "Young Girls" ("Young Girl"). On the French Carrere vinyl release, the songs are spelled correctly, but Lynch's name is misspelled as “Georges Lynch”.


  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 Archived from the original on February 12, 2009. Retrieved February 7, 2009.
  6. ^ "GEORGE LYNCH And DON DOKKEN Trade Barbs On DOKKEN's Breaking The Chains Debut; Audio Interviews Streaming". Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles. 5 January 2005. Retrieved 2015-06-29.