Formed in 1982 by Tom Keifer and Eric Brittingham, Cinderella was one of the biggest rock and metal bands of the 80s. After several line-up changes, the group solidified its members with Jeff Labar and Fred Coury. The band’s debut album “Night Songs” was an instant hit with comparisons made to Aerosmith and AC/DC. Cinderella released four critically acclaimed studio albums, Night Songs (1986), Long Cold Winter (1988), Heartbreak Station (1990), and Still Climbing (1994). The good news is that all of the Cinderella albums were good, but of course there are certain things that make one album a little better than the other, so this is our attempt to rank them.
For more on recent developments with Cinderella, check out our “Where Are They Now?” article. article here: Cinderella… Where are they now?
#4 Always Climb (1994)
Cinderella released the album “Still Climbing” in 1994 with well-known journeyman drummer Kenny Aronoff taking over from Fred Coury. An internal conflict within the group was also brewing. Surprisingly, “Still Climbing”, which by default is our worst album on the Cinderella list, wasn’t really bad at all. The album leans a little more in the direction of the “Night Songs” album, mixing bluesy-rock with a fairly infectious glam metal sound. By this point, the glam metal scene had all but disappeared from the mainstream rock charts and Cinderella was no exception. Cinderella went on hiatus in 1995. The band would reform and perform live for several years before eventually disbanding altogether. In recent years, singer Tom Keifer has had a decent run as a solo artist. Bassist Eric Brittingham has played in many bands, including Brett Michaels’ solo band. Fred Coury has his own studio and is very successful in production. Jeff Labar released a solo album “one for The Road” in 2014 but sadly passed away in 2021 aged 58.
#3 Heartbreak Station (1990)
Cinderella’s album Heartbreak Station saw the band go even further in the direction of the blues musically. The band also incorporated horns, a dobro and a mouth harp which sometimes lead to a more country/rock sound. Fred Coury left Cinderella after the end of this album. Heartbreak Station would only achieve platinum status without major radio success. Tom Keifer would lose his voice due to vocal cord paresis in 1991. Keifer underwent multiple surgeries to repair a vocal cyst and hemorrhage. It was unclear at the time if he would ever be able to sing properly again.
#2 Long Cold Winter (1988)
Cinderella kept their glam look on their second album, but musically they began a shift towards a more blues-rock sound, including more slide guitar. However, the band hit hard with the power ballad “Don’t Know What You Got (‘Til It’s Gone)” reaching No. 10 on the US rock charts. The Long Cold Winter album also achieved triple platinum sales status primarily due to “Don’t Know What You Got (‘Til It’s Gone)”. Musically, songs like “Fire And Ice”, “If You Don’t Like It”, “Second Wind” and “Gypsy Road” were closer to the sound of their debut album. “Long Cold Winter” is a solid album that is just a bit weaker than “Night Songs”.
#1 Night Songs (1986)
Cinderella’s debut album “Night Songs” might very well be one of the best hard rock/heavy metal albums of the 1980s. Tom Keifer’s AC/DC vocals and a glam metal image that epitomized the hard rock scene of the 80s. An instant hit single with “Shake Me” and the rock ballad “Nobody’s Fool” gave Cinderella a huge boost. inch and propelled them to the forefront of magazine covers, MTV rotation and radio airplay. The band was aided by guidance from none other than 80s rock icon Jon Bon Jovi. Night Songs went triple platinum in sales, cementing the band’s dominant presence in the glam metal scene. So if you only listen to one Cinderella album, make sure it’s “Night Songs”