on Dokken's first break in "da biz" came when Dieter Dierks recruited him to play backup vocals on the Scorpion's Blackout release in 1982 and was then given the left-over studio time to create his own demos; these demos subsequently got him a deal with 'Carrere Records'. He enlisted George Lynch (guitar), Mick Brown (drums) and Juan Croucier (who soon after left to start Ratt and replaced with Jeff Pilson). The fusion of Hard Rock, atmospherics, and melody summarized much of their work. This was enough for 'Elektra' to sign them in 1982.
Shortly after joining their new label they remixed and re-released their debut 'Carrere' recording, Breaking The Chains, which made it into the US Billboard Charts, albeit on the lower end.
Although never truly a 'glam' band they were often considered as such and that mistake by the audience helped their career by allowing them to ride that wave during the 1980s. Dokken was given an extensive recording budget under 'Elektra' and managed to complete the Tooth And Nail (1984), Under Lock And Key (1985) and Back For The Attack (1987) releases. These records obtained a 64, 32 and 13 US chart positions respectively, with Under Lock And Key selling massively.
Soon after, however, Dokken and Lynch had an argument which led to the band splitting, with Lynch going off to form Lynch Mob in 1988. A live double album, Beast From The East (1988), followed and served to sum up their career nicely. Back In The Streets (1989), Dokken's solo recording from before the band was founded, was re-released; he originally withdrew it from the market during his stint with the Scorpions.
Don Dokken went to 'Geffen' and got a solo deal to continue his career, with Up From The Ashes (1990) coming shortly after under his full name Don Dokken and featuring his team of minions under the names John Norum (ex-Europe; guitar), Billy White (ex-Watchtower; guitar), Peter Baltes (ex-Accept; bass) and Mikkey Dee (ex-King Diamond; drums). The album made it to top 50. Dokken (the band) reformed again in 1995 with the classic line-up of Pilson, Brown, Lynch and Dokken and released the Dysfunctional album shortly after, obtaining a US 47 with Shadowlife (1997) and Erase The Slate (1999) following, both albums failing to chart significantly for their newly acquired heavy metal band 'retirement' label 'C.M.C.' Reb Beach (ex-Lynch Mob) would take over a guitar spot.
Dokken released another live album, Live from the Sun (2000) before the departure of Beach. Beach wanted to work on other projects and could no longer commit to Dokken long term. He would be replaced by John Norum, who was between projects and able to participate in the band's touring schedule. Jeff Pilson (bass) soo also left the band; replaced by Barry Sparks.
This line-up released Long Way Home (2002), but Norum suffered a hand injury during the 2002 spring tour of Europe and had to be replaced by ex-Dark Lord guitarist Alex De Rosso.
After the tour, De Rosso lost his visa and had to return to Italy, at which point Don Dokken then called Jon Levin (ex-Doro's Force Majeure, and also had previously met with the band and played a single show in 1998, to stand in.
Dokken released Hell to Pay in 2004; seen by critics as a modern approach to the band's style.
From Conception: Live 1981 (2007; live), would then arrive as a previously unreleased live recording from the band's early years discovered in the band's vault.
Dokken then released their first studio album in four years titled Lightning Strikes Again (2008), an album that was met with increased commercial success and became the band's highest-charting album in 13 years, debuting at 133 in the US; the album was a return to the band's signature sound of the classic Dokken formula.
During the summer of 2008, the band toured with Sebastian Bach and Poison. Sparks and Brown were not part of the summer 2008 touring line-up, as Brown signed on to play with Ted Nugent for the summer before Dokken was offered the slot on the Poison tour, making him unable to tour. Sparks, for his part, was in Asia performing with a stadium act and was unable to tour until he was able to get a visa for his wife. Chris McCarvill from House of Lords played bass. Jeff Martin of Racer X and Badlands played drums for the 2008 tour until he was fired by Don Dokken. Chris McCarvill's House of Lords bandmate B.J. Zampa filled in as drummer for the remainder of the tour.
In May 2010 George Lynch and Don Dokken appeared together as guests on Season 5, Episode 7 of the television show That Metal Show. In the episode they claimed that the main cause of their rift was a publicity stunt that they both eventually started to believe. It was later announced that a reunion between the two would not be happening, perhaps the real matter had not been resolved except for one-off Japan show in 2016 with Don Dokken and George Lynch as well as current members Mick Brown and Jeff Pilson.
2012 would see the release of Broken Bones.
Chris McCarvill would return in 2015 since being away from 2008.