Under Lock and Key

Under Lock and Key

Though it at first seems like just another portrait of a teased-hair rock band, the iconic cover image of Under Lock and Key actually says a lot about Dokken’s position among the hordes of hair metal acts competing for dominance in 1985. Like every metal band of the era, Dokken is shown with exquisitely gelled hairdos, posing among billows of fiery smoke, but they are also wearing brightly colored blazers. It’s a juxtaposition of hard rock tradition and pop fashion, which is precisely what’s represented in “Unchain the Night,” “In My Dreams” and “It’s Not Love.” The band kept abreast of the public’s taste for power ballads, but at their core Dokken was much more of a straight-ahead rock band than many of their hair metal contemporaries. Whether it was the rock-solid riffage of “Unchain the Night” or the pummeling assault of “Till the Livin’ End,” the band was always at its best when they were constructing slamming riffs.

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