In the late 80s, Cinderella had triple-platinum hits in the US with debut album Night Songs (1986) and follow-up Long Cold Winter (1988).
Night Songs was released a year after the Philadelphia group were discovered by Jon Bon Jovi and showcased a band whose sound embraced both the trashy glam-metal of LA bands Mötley Crüe and Ratt, but also a more thoughtful bluesy sound.
They were major stars of the hair metal scene with their girly clothes, thumping hard rock songs like Gypsy Road, and a supreme power ballad in Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone).
But frontman Tom Keifer had bigger dreams.
On Heartbreak Station (1990) he tried to reposition Cinderella as a classic rock band in the tradition of Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones. It even had Zep bassist John Paul Jones as arranger on the title track, one of the album’s best songs.
But Cinderella were not The Black Crowes. Their ‘rootsy’ vibe sounded hokey. And on the simplest level, the album just didn’t kick ass.
Heartbreak Station sold a million, but Cinderella had overreached. The fairytale was over.
Vocals, guitar, keyboards, saxophone, harmonica
Albie “Al” Barker