Saturday, June 14, 2014

Artist Spotlight: Cinderella

Cinderella (the 80's hard rock band, not the Disney character/movie) had the unfortunate luck to come along just at the right time to become hugely successful.

That statement will confuse most people, but hear me out. Cinderella's debut album Night Songs came out in 1986  at the height of the hair metal explosion. And they played it up, initially. Just look at the album cover to the right.

They had the look, the hair (including bassist Eric Brittingham's perfect blonde waterfall 'do), the synchronized guitar spins, and the attitude. MTV ready and willing. But they also had the chops, especially lead vocalist/lead guitarist/bandleader Tom Keifer. And the songs. Cinderella was much more akin to AC/DC than Poison.

Cinderella was lumped in with the hair bands. And that was fair. Check out this video. They played the part.

What wasn't fair is that Cinderella and a handful of other quality bands from that era were swept under the rug with everything associated with Hair Metal. I've heard the story where Keifer was shopping new songs to labels and upon hearing the songs, the execs were intrigued. When they found out who it was, they dismissed it.

Had Night Songs come out 10 years earlier, or maybe even five, then the career narrative would have been different. Cinderella is much bluesier and much more diverse than the pigeon hole in which they've been relegated. Fortunately for us, Tom Keifer is still creating music and Cinderella is still performing.

"Shelter Me" is much more representative of what Cinderella was all about. Excuse the bad video and Little Richard cameo.


  1. Cinderella was (or still is) a good band...Nice post!

    1. Good to hear from you Anthony. Thanks for reading.

  2. I actually like hair metal and I'm not afraid to admit it. I'm a sucker for a good melody and hair metal definitely delivers. Would I defend it as a high point in music history? Uh, no. AND I didn't live through it, I started listening to Poison, Crue, Bon Jovi, etc. in my early 20's--when it wasn't EVERYWHERE.

    I haven't listened to much Cinderella, but I like these songs. Tom Keifer's stuff he's working on now is getting a lot of positive buzz in the rock/metal circles I follow.

    1. Thanks Carrie. And I lived it. I'm also not afraid to admit that I like it. The good stuff anyway. Sure there was plenty of bad, but there was also a ton of good stuff. My problem is that it all gets dismissed, with the notable exceptions of Bon Jovie, Motley, and Leppard.

      That's why I try to highlight some of the bands like Cinderella and Y&T that really made kickass music and weren't all about the look.