Cinderella are a bluesy metal band from Philadelphia, PA that are often lumped into the hair bands of the eighties due to their glam look, especially on their first album. Their music however is a combination of the Rolling Stones, Nazareth and Aerosmith all wrapped together with Tom Keifer's unique falsetto vocals.
Cinderella - Ancient Pieces (CDR/demos)
"Ancient Pieces" is suppose to be pre-Night Songs demos that boast the guitar playing of Michael Kelly Smith (Britny Fox) before Jeff LaBar joined Cinderella. The sound quality varies throughout the CD, but overall the entire CD isn't bad considering it's a bootleg of old demos. It's actually quite listenable. There are a ton of killer unreleased songs on this disc, including a few that really could and should have been recorded properly and released. Unfortunately I have no other information on the sources of these recordings. I'd be interested in an additional information anyone has.
Cinderella - Night Songs (Mercury) 1986
1. "Night Songs"
OK, their look was a bit much on this debut, looking like a cross between Aerosmith, Bon Jovi and a drag queen but who really cares! The music was good and that is what mattered. Cinderella were Philly homeboys who had put in their dues playing the clubs for some time. Every song on this album had a gigantic hook that just pulled you into the song. At least half of the songs on this disc were getting major rotation on radio and MTV at the time. Tom Keifer's vocals were cool; they were rough yet somehow he retained a sense of melody, borrowing heavily from Aerosmith's Steven Tyler. Cinderella's debut came out at the right time, when this type of pomp-metal was at its height and the album sold well because of it. A guest appearance by Jon Bon Jovi on background vocals probably didn't hurt either as he was the flavor of the month. And for those who care, make-up & hair by Emily Pember.
Cinderella - Long Cold Winter (Mercury) 1988
"Long Cold Winter" is much bluesier, with more Aerosmith/Rolling Stones influences, than the pomp, sleaxy metal of "Night Songs." I guess this blues based rock was more of what the band was into as it would be a reoccurring theme in every one of their records. Still, a good disc with some great chops. "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)" and the excellent, lower-key "Coming Home," are what made the album the band's most successful. However, the effective combination of musical and lyrical hooks and tough heavy rock & roll on songs like "Gypsy Road" and "Fallin' Apart at the Seams" prevent the album from being a boring vehicle for a couple hits. "Long Cold Winter" is a good, heavy, blues-based rock and roll album.
Compact discs were kind of new when this came out but I found this disc for $5 and it was one of the first CDs I ever purchased. I had this disc autographed by Eric Brittingham and Fred Coury at their show with Dokken, Slaughter, and Poison in August 2000. I won tickets and VIP passes on a radio contest for successfully answering the question, "Who is Dana Strum?" Anyhow, the two of them were nice guys and very cordial. Tom Keifer and Jeff LaBar were no where in site. Had 'em sign my "Still Climbing" CD as well. In case anyone cares, Mark Slaughter was also very cool and spent a good deal of time talking with fans and signing autographs. Dokken were a bit pompous, except for drummer Wild Mick Brown who was handing out business cards to everybody with his web site on it. Don Dokken and all of Poison didn't even show their faces in the VIP tent. Kip Winger made a surprise appearance as well and took some photos with some people. Oh, and in case anyone doesn't know, Dana Strum is the bassist for Slaughter and the former bassist for the Vinnie Vincent Invasion. Now you know.
Cinderella - Heartbreak Station (Mercury) 1990
1. "More Things Change"
For some reason I waited forever to purchase this one. I had heard so many bad things about it when it was first released that I just assumed it sucked! Well, suck it does not.
Cinderella are not heavy metal anymore, nor can they be pigeonholed as a hair metal band. Rather, they are more of a heavy blues-based rock band and they do it well. Several songs, such as "One for Rock and Roll" and "Dead Man's Road", have a Southern Rock/Blackfoot vibe to them. Tom Keifer's raspy howl works so well with this type of groovy hard rock. He has those high charismatic, high-pitched, shrieky, love 'em or hate 'em type of voices..
A couple years after it's initial release I finally purchased a used copy for $4.99 and took it home to discover that it skipped on all three of my CD players. I took it back and darn if that store didn't stick that same used copy back on the racks to sell. (The nerve!) Finally made a trade over the internet for the copy I now own. Looking back over the past few years that I have owned it, this disc gets more play than the other three combined. I find the music and vocal melodies to be absolutely infectious from beginning to end.
Cinderella - Live Train to Heartbreak Station (Mercury/Japan) 1991
1. "More Things Chance"
This Japanese only EP is part of the Little Rock show that was later released by the band and sold at their shows. Nice packaging, as seems to be the case with all Japanese releases. Picked up this disc, obi and all, on eBay for $7 as the seller had the disc (mis)labeled as 'Live at the Key Club,' a disc that is much easier to find. "Live Train" normally sells for around $20-$25.
This live album was released by the band and only sold at their shows for a whopping $18. Well, being the Cinderella fan I am and after seeing them perform an outstanding set, I had to have this disc. The sound quality is excellent and the performance is tight. The one big downfall to this disc is that there are no liner notes-at all, so I have no clue where this was recorded at, although from the track listing I can assume that it was recorded during the "Heartbreak Station" tour and at one point on the disc I think I heard Tom Keifer say, "I can't hear ya Little Rock." So I am going to assume it was recorded in Arkansas. Regardless, it's Cinderella live. What more needs to be said? Catchy album title, don't you think?
Cinderella - Still Climbing (Mercury) 1994
A meatier, darker, heavier album than Heartbreak Station, yet Cinderella were still retaining the heavy Aerosmith/Rolling Stones influenced bluesy, hard rock sound. The band was going through some hard times. Their previous album failed to match the debut and sophomore releases. Singer Tom Kiefer's mom had died and he was also dealing with having throat surgery. However, sometimes what comes out of hard times is quite good. After all, what are the blues without hard times? This is most certainly the case with Cinderella's "Still Climbing".
The opening tracks is a big, 'ol middle finger in the air. "Talk is Cheap" and "All Comes Down" both have a much angrier feel than anything the band had recorded previously. However, Cinderella still retained their signature sound. "Hard to Find the Words" is a song that was obviously written to Tom's departed mom. "Freewheelin'" is a song from the pre-Night Songs days of the band. This song had only previously been recorded for demos. This song is upbeat rocker complete with some slide guitar solos. "Through the Rain" is an emotional ballad. "Easy Come Easy Go" could have easily have been recorded for Long Cold Winter. The album finishes off with the classic "Hot & Bothered" from the Wayne's World soundtrack. As far as I know this song wasn't re-recorded, but is featured here with the same mix as was on the soundtrack. Since this song was recorded years before the rest of the tracks, it has a slightly different approach than the rest of the album.
Even though this album blows doors off most of what the radio and MTV were playing at the time, both ignored Cinderella, dismissing them as a hair band hanging onto a long dead trend. The album failed to do much on the charts and Cinderella split for a short time, frustrated by a scene that mislabeled them. Funny thing is, it was bands like Cinderella that made MTV so big in the 80's. Now MTV wouldn't even give them the time of day. Comes in a cool purple jewel case.
Cinderella - Once Upon a... (Mercury) 1997
1. Shake Me (3:42)
Once Upon a is a great career retrospective of Cinderalla and includes two non-album tracks; "War Stories", "Through the Rain" and the Janis Joplin cover "Move Over." "Move Over"' was originally released on the Stairway to Heaven/Highway to Hell Make a Difference Foundation album in 1989. "Through the Rain" is a ballad that was on some movie soundtrack.
Cinderella - Live at the Key Club (Dead Line) 1998
The liner notes state, "No overdubs to fix the rubs. . . no tricks or studio jive. . . the good and the bad, gave it all we had. . . 100% f***'n live!" That about says it all, now doesn't it. Cinderella are a great live band, and this disc is a tribute to that fact.
Cinderella - Extended Versions (BMG) 2006
1. "Night Songs"
These Extended Versions budget-line CDs are always a gamble. Most times they are simply a scheme of re-packaging previously released material on the unaware consumer (see other Extended Versions of Deep Purple, Yes, Thin Lizzy, Ted Nugent, Lynyrd Skynyrd, etc.) However, much like the Molly Hatchet 'Extended Versions', this BMG Special Products offering is NOT the same old scheme. I avoided this CD at first figuring it was just an edited version of Cinderella's 'Live at the Key Club' CD from 1999. However, unlike other 'Extended Versions' that simply state "Recorded Live" below the track listing, this one actually states "Recorded Live at Mohegan Sun: Uncasville, Connecticut on July 21, 2005". Being a huge Cinderella fan, I was glad to have something new even if it is the same old songs played live once again.
The songs were recorded during the successful Rock Never Stops 2005 Summer Tour. I had read a number of comments on line about the quality of Tom's vocals on this tour. Having seen the band several times myself, I can testify to the fact that he has always sounded great. However, it is apparent by this CD that Tom's voice was a little tired here and there. Despite this, the overall recording is quite good and very enjoyable. The slightly rough vocals are just part of the experience. After all, it's rock and roll, not opera! The bizarre scream in the middle of "Nobody's Fool" caught me off guard the first time I heard it although it was obviously part of the show. Ten songs in all, clocks in at fifty two minutes total. It's also priced right! I payed a whopping $5.88 at Wal-Mart of all places. Now if we could just get Cinderella to release some NEW material.