The Cinderella Discography: Hair Metal Heroes

Updated on March 18, 2020
FatFreddysCat profile image

I've been an obsessed hard rock/heavy metal fan and collector since the early 1980s. If it's got a good guitar riff and attitude, I'm in.

Cinderella's four studio albums: Night Songs (1986), Long Cold Winter (1988), Heartbreak Station (1990), Still Climbing (1994)
Cinderella's four studio albums: Night Songs (1986), Long Cold Winter (1988), Heartbreak Station (1990), Still Climbing (1994) | Source

"She Said Shake Me...ALLLL Night!"

Hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Cinderella was one of the most successful "hair metal" bands of the late 1980s. Initially dismissed for their pouty-lipped good looks, Cinderella eventually earned respect for their high level of musicianship, which outshone many of their hair-metal contemporaries.

Cinderella sold seven million albums in the U.S. between 1986 and 1991, scored a half-dozen top-40 singles (including "Shake Me," "Nobody's Fool," and the tear-jerker ballad "Don't Know What You've Got (Till It's Gone)") and shared concert stages with top-tier '80s rock bands like Bon Jovi, the Scorpions, Judas Priest, and Poison. It's been more than 25 years since their last studio album, but Cinderella's music is still a familiar presence on retro-rock radio to this day.

The Infamous "Pat's Chili Dogs" commercial (1983)

Hot Dogs and Humble Beginnings

Prior to forming Cinderella in 1983.Guitarist/vocalist Tom Keifer and bassist Eric Brittingham had played together in a local Philly-area metal act called Saints in Hell. Guitarist Jeff LaBar and drummer Fred Coury came into the picture after Cinderella's original guitarist and drummer left to form the rival glam-metal act Britny Fox.

Like all young bands, Cinderella spent a few hard years struggling to make a name for themselves (search YouTube for the vintage Philly-area TV commercial featuring the then-unknown band singing the praises of "Pat's Dogs," a local hot dog joint!). Eventually they caught the attention of local hero Jon Bon Jovi, who championed the band to execs at his Mercury/Polygram label and convinced them to sign Cinderella to a deal. Thanks to the Bon Jovi connection and heavy MTV rotation for their high-gloss music videos, Cinderella were soon on their way to multi-platinum status.

"Shake Me"

"Night Songs" (1986)

I tried to resist the lure of Night Songs back in 1986. I was a loud 'n' proud sixteen year old metal head who listened to Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth & all things thrashy and obnoxious -- therefore, Cinderella was the kind of band I was supposed to hate. They represented everything uncool about hard rock! They dressed funny, their big song was a ballad, and worst of all, they were buddies with (shudder) Bon Jovi, who of course was THE ENEMY of all things metal... but dammit, every time I heard "Shake Me," "Nobody's Fool" or "Somebody Save Me," they'd be stuck in my head for days afterward. Eventually I broke down and bought a copy of the album. Metal credibility be damned, a good song is a good song!!

Looking back, Cinderella was really nothing to write home about on Night Songs - the album is pretty basic four-on-the-floor Aerosmith/AC/DC style boogie rock, topped off by some of the dumbest lyrics ever written ("I need a shot of gas-o-leeeeeeeeeen... I'm hittin' one six-teeeeeeeeen! I git so hot ah see STEAM!"), but even the most jaded listener had to admit, they knew how to write catchy hooks. Night Songs went triple platinum in the U.S. so obviously I wasn't the only headbanger who was able to look past the spandex and Aqua Net.

"Gypsy Road"

"Long Cold Winter" (1988)

For their sophomore album, Cinderella set out to expand their sound and prove that they were more than just another pop-metal act. Long Cold Winter brought more classic rock and blues into the mix, creating a much more mature sounding album than the debut. From the one-two punch of opener "Bad Seamstress Blues/Fallin' Apart At the Seams" to the catchy "Gypsy Road" and the massive hit ballad "Don't Know What You've Got (Till It's Gone)," Long Cold Winter still sounds great today. Check out Keifer channeling his inner Janis Joplin on the whiskey-soaked title track!!

I have several funny memories attached to this album. I was a teenager with no car when LCW was released in 1988, so I had to walk several miles to the nearest record store in order to buy a copy. It was a brutally hot day and I remember trudging home with my prize in hand, trying not to pass out from heat stroke, and thinking that the band had a lot of balls releasing an album called "Long Cold Winter" in the summertime.

I also got to see Cinderella live during their tour for this album, as the opening act for heavy metal heroes Judas Priest - which was a pretty odd combination. Needless to say, the leather-n-studs Judas Priest crowd wanted nothing to do with the glam-to-the-max quartet and they heckled Cinderella pretty mercilessly from the moment they stepped onstage. To their credit, they soldiered on despite the abuse and delivered a great set. The album went triple platinum, successfully avoiding the dreaded "sophomore slump."

"Shelter Me"

"Heartbreak Station" (1990)

Cinderella's third album is also the most hotly debated among fans. On Heartbreak Station, Keifer and company dropped almost all of the hard-rock trappings that had been their trademark thus far in favor of a sound that owed more to the Rolling Stones and Small Faces than Aerosmith or AC/DC. In short, Cinderella became a Classic Rock band trapped in a hair band's body.

Unfortunately, by the time Heartbreak Station was released the overcrowded hair metal scene was rapidly approaching critical mass. Despite great reviews and such quality cuts as the rockin' single "Shelter Me" and the cinematic power ballad title track, the album sold less than its two multi-platinum predecessors, racking up around one million in sales. Drummer Fred Coury left the band at the end of the Heartbreak Station tour, but Cinderella's troubles were only beginning.

When this album was current, I wrote a rabid fan boy review of it for my college newspaper that makes me cringe when I read it today. I closed the article by saying, and I quote, "With Heartbreak Station Cinderella are poised to kick off a whole new decade of blues-based hard rock supremacy right alongside the Black Crowes. Get in on the ground floor now!" -- yeah, I sure called that one, didn't I? Little did I know at the time that a band named Nirvana was about to change everything.

"Bad Attitude Shuffle"

"Still Climbing" (1994)

The odds were stacked against the band's fourth (and to this day, final) studio album, the ironically-titled Still Climbing, from the get-go. The album's writing and production were delayed by the death of Tom Keifer's mother, and the frontman also underwent surgery to correct persistent voice problems, which required a lengthy recovery period. By the time Still Climbing was finally released in 1994, four years had passed since Cinderella's last album (which is an eternity in the music business) and the musical landscape had changed drastically while they were away. Their big haired, old-school blues rock couldn't possibly have been more out of fashion during the grunge-crazed, anti-image 1990s, therefore the album sank like a rock. Still Climbing barely cracked the lower portion of the Billboard Top 200 before it disappeared into oblivion.

...which is a shame, because Still Climbing is a great disc, combining the grit and attitude of Night Songs with the added maturity of Long Cold Winter and the world weariness of a band that had spent years on the road. The album is loaded with great tracks like "Talk Is Cheap," "Still Climbing," and the heartfelt "Hard to Find the Words" (dedicated to Keifer's mother), but unfortunately no one was listening. Due to the chilly reception from record buyers, the band was dropped from Mercury/Polygram and Cinderella went on hiatus for several years.

Rocked, Wired & Bluesed: The Greatest Hits
Rocked, Wired & Bluesed: The Greatest Hits
New to Cinderella? This best-of album would make a nice starting point. All the essential stuff is on it.

The Aftermath...

Cinderella resurfaced in 1997 to promote the release of the Once Upon A... greatest hits album. Thanks to a resurgence in interest in '80s "hair metal" acts, they also landed a new recording contract with producer John Kalodner's Portrait Records label. Portrait's artist stable at the time also included a reactivated Ratt and Great White, but the label dropped Cinderella before any new material could be released. Throughout the 2000's they were regulars on '80s themed summer concert tour packages, performing alongside hard rock contemporaries like Poison, Ratt, Quiet Riot, and Firehouse.

Cinderella fans remain hopeful that the band might reunite one more time for a new album or tour, but until that happens Tom Keifer has released two solo albums that should satisfy their jones for bluesy, honest rock n' roll, The Way Life Goes (2013) and Rise (2019). .

Cinderella's name and back catalog has maintained a regular presence on store shelves thanks to a large number of greatest hits collections and live discs, so finding their music should be a fairly easy task for anyone who wants to go down memory lane or experience them for the first time. Happy hunting.

© 2014 Keith Abt


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • FatFreddysCat profile imageAUTHOR

      Keith Abt 

      4 years ago from The Garden State

      Hi kethdredd - Cinderella's music also holds up very well all these years later, which is not something you can say about stuff like Tigertailz!! Haha. Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I think you hit the nail on the head, Cinderella (and tons of other bands, eg Tangier) were hard rock bands that someone applied liberal doses of hairspray to and tatted up for MTV. Cinderella (despite the pictures showing otherwise) were never a hair metal band in my mind. Tigertailz were hair metal. Cinderella are just great bluesy hard rock.

    • FatFreddysCat profile imageAUTHOR

      Keith Abt 

      5 years ago from The Garden State

      Thanks! I hope you check the band out and like what you hear!

    • tiagodamiao profile image

      Tiago Damião 

      5 years ago from Torres Novas

      Cinderella looks cool! I was born in the 90's so I am more for the Alternative Rock or Hard Rock and metal. But Cinderella belongs to the Great History of Rock! Like Doors, Rolling Stone, AC/DC and others.

      Great hub. Voted :D

    • Thief12 profile image

      Carlo Giovannetti 

      5 years ago from Puerto Rico

      I like Cinderella. They're not necessarily the "first" band I go to when I want to listen "hair metal", but they're on my radar. They are a fun band and I like a lot of their songs.

    • FatFreddysCat profile imageAUTHOR

      Keith Abt 

      5 years ago from The Garden State

      Cool, bethperry, glad you enjoyed. My vote would be for "Long Cold Winter" but all four of their albums are worth having.

    • bethperry profile image

      Beth Perry 

      5 years ago from Tennesee

      Great article; I love Cinderella! I always felt they were snubbed by a record industry that was riding the rap bandwagon. I voted for Heartbreak Station, but it was a hard call!

      Voted up and thanks for posting.

    • FatFreddysCat profile imageAUTHOR

      Keith Abt 

      5 years ago from The Garden State

      Hi Kaili -- yep, it's been a long time since their heyday... arrrgh, now I feel old too :)

    • Kaili Bisson profile image

      Kaili Bisson 

      5 years ago from Canada

      Hey Freddy, thank you so much for the stroll down memory lane. Night Songs, definitely. Gawd, I just did the math...1986...agh!

    • FatFreddysCat profile imageAUTHOR

      Keith Abt 

      5 years ago from The Garden State

      You're welcome tirelesstraveler!

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 

      5 years ago from California

      Interesting. I like Cinderella even though I just learned about them. I always say I missed the 80's my husband was in school and I was having babies. Thanks for the education.

    • FatFreddysCat profile imageAUTHOR

      Keith Abt 

      5 years ago from The Garden State

      Hi Heidi...yep, "Nobody's Fool" is a good one, goofy video 'n' all. Thanx for stopping by, glad you enjoyed!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      5 years ago from Chicago Area

      One of the cool hair bands! The song that sticks in my head is Nobody's Fool. The video for it is kinda goofy with the clock hats those gals were wearing. :) Thanks for the memories!

    • FatFreddysCat profile imageAUTHOR

      Keith Abt 

      5 years ago from The Garden State

      Thanx G... I have only heard a few tracks off if Tom's solo album but it sounds cool, hope you get to see his show!!

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      GH Price 

      5 years ago from North Florida

      I still love Cinderella. Their song Night Songs was kind of my introduction to doom-y, slow metal and I was hooked.

      Tom Keifer is going to be playing in my town in September and I really want to go. :)

      As always, great Hub. Even after all this time I still love the way you write. :)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)