Don 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 47 with Shadowlife (1997) and Erase The Slate (1999) following, both albums failing to chart significantly for their newly acquired Heavy Metal retire label C.M.C.' Reb Beach (ex-Lynch Mob) would take over a guitar spot.