When you take a look back to 1986, you can see over the course of four Cinderella albums that main songwriter/guitarist and lead vocalist Tom Keifer delivered some top-notch material which at times over the years people focused more on the image on the debut album “Night Songs” than the songs that make us this classic record.
When I began my journey back in 2017 to start acquiring vinyl whether it was new (thanks to my daughters on buying me reissues) or used(my deal) I never saw any CInderella in the used bins.
I kept my eye on Discogs of course but by the time you add in the cost of shipping and the fact that the album is used etc I could buy it new (on 180 gram) from Amazon at the same price.
That’s what I did with” Night Songs” and the followup “Long Cold Winter”. Bought em both, a little pricey but enough was enough!
Back in 86, I purchased “Night Songs” on cassette. Never got around to purchasing it on CD funny enough so I think 34 years later it’s time for an upgrade don’t you think?
Tom Keifer wrote all the 10 tracks that make up “Night Songs”. The title track opens the album and what a fantastic song. A sludgy like pace which features some brilliant slide guitar and this song is I think is one of Keifer’s best-written tracks. It dictates whats to follow.
I need a shot of gasoline
I hittin’ one sixteen
I get so hot I see steam
Forget the day, cause were gonna scream
Howl into the light, singin’
Makes the day right
Raise your glass, take a bite
My first glimpse of Cinderella came shortly after the album was released. We used to get 3 American TV channels at the time from Detroit and one of them was a hard rock tv show shown either Friday or Saturday nights and would feature videos and interviews of the bands coming through Detroit.
One of those bands featured was Cinderella with the debut single “Shake Me”. The video I guess you could say impacted me as Keifer had that Steve Tyler swagger down pat in that video. A great fun time video with a great guitar solo and a catchy chorus.
Keifer knew and still does know the fine art of crafting rock tracks. “Once Around The Ride” and “Back Home Again” are stellar tracks both rip n roar at a solid clip with tempo changes and some fantastic playing.
Speaking of which before Tom solidified the touring lineup of Cinderella which of course features Jeff Labar, Eric Brittingham, and Fred Coury. Some other players added their flair to the mix on Night Songs that being Barry Bennedaeta( who handles the lead guitar on three tracks) and Jody Cortez (who does all the drums on Night Songs).
Make no mistake though Mercury Records got behind this band as did fellow label mate Jon Bon Jovi (Jon sings backing vocals on two songs those being “Nuthin For Nuthin” and “In From The Outside”). As well as Andy Johns(Zep) was brought in to dial in the sonics.
The key to breaking Night Songs was the road and back in 86 when you secured the opening slot on the biggest arena tour of the year that being Bon Jovi who were selling mega copies of “Slippery When Wet” it’s a win-win.
The winner in this was, of course, Cinderella who secured that opening slot playing in front of sold-out audiences night after night ad in doing so Jon and Richie Sambora appear in the “Nobody’s Fool” video which reached #13 on the Billboard Singles Chart as well as Night Songs got up to #3 on the album side of Billboard.
I always found it amusing that Night Songs gets lumped in the whole Hair Metal debate. Sure perhaps in some spots but overall the cover is more Hair Metal looking than the sounds inside. I often wondered if the front and back cover was just all black or green. What would people have said then?
When it comes to this record I tell people you need to listen with your ears don’t let the album cover dictate the end result.
Sure you could say that JBJ had helped make no mistake though as Tom Keifer was on a mission back then and had the talent himself to be successful.
“Night Songs” proves that.
“Long Cold Winter”