“Long Cold Winter” hit the streets in May 1988 and holds the distinction of being the second-ever purchase of a newly released disc that I bought released straight onto CD, (Iron Maiden with “7th of a 7th Son” was the first in April/88).
Record Companies were starting to release the band’s new music on disc at the same time as vinyl/cassette tapes. For many of us, that got into the CD craze that year it was a win-win.
Tom Keifer put his nose to the grindstone and came up with another sure-fire winner in the form of Long Cold Winter.
The public thought so too as Long Cold Winter was the second straight album from Cinderella to go triple platinum as did the debut Night Songs did two years earlier.
Tom crafted a more serious style of hard rock in the tracks that make up the album starting with opener with “Bad Seamstress Blues” which has the sound of Tom on electric steel and you can hear the crackle of static on the vinyl as if it’s from the 1930s. Then within 30 seconds the thud of the bass drum kicks in and we’re off and running with “Fallin Apart At The Seams”.
LCW was 10 tracks deep with four of them singles( “Coming Home”, “The Last Mile”, “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” and “Gypsy Road”) of which I liked em all!
As great as the singles where it’s the non-singles where LCW really goes up that extra notch. “Second Wind” which ends Side 1 is a great rocker of a track and I swear to god that Keifer inner channels some Aerosmith as the last minute or two of Second Wind sounds really like the end of “Back In The Saddle”, That could just be me but it’s so friggin good you don’t want Keifer and crew to fade out.
One thing that also set Cinderella apart from the million other bands that came out at around the 1986 mark is they had chops. These cats could play. Keifer, we know all his talent but helping the cause was Jeff Labar(guitar), Eric Brittingham(bass) and Fred Coury.^
So if you want proof in playing. Side 2 starts with the title track (Long Cold Winter) which has the band playing some CinderBlues. The thing is they pull it off and it’s a great tune. Blues mashed up with a dash of a slower tempo.
If you think Side 2 would do downhill think again as “If You Don’t Like It” with some duper cranked up Bass drives the track. “Fire And Ice” has a sleaze rock like vibe, especially during its chorus. “Take Me Back” which is the last track on LCW just may be my favorite tune and how many tunes can you say that about at the end the album. “Take Me Back” gets you right at the start with the drums and cowbell. The chorus though is the money shot so catchy with the guitars slip n sliding along the sonic highway.
Even the cover is slick. I liked how they went with the winter like white vibe no image just the logo swirled in pink in which my daughter Lauren thought was pretty cool. I flipped over the cover of the four Cinderdudes dressed in black standing in the snow and showed her the picture. Lauren quipped to me that she liked the cover better(lol). I said I liked that back cover as no bands were doing back covers in the snow back then!
Kiefer though kicked it up a notch in the lyrical department on this album. While “Night Songs” featured those catchy late-night romp tracks like “Push, Push”, and “Shake Me” (which did their job mind you) Tom though took the songs that make up LCW and gave it a different spin. In other words, Cinderella went serious but in doing so pulled it off at a time when many others were still riding the wave of cheesy like tunes.^^
I’ve been on the vinyl hunt for the first two Cinderella albums as I already mentioned in the Night Songs review from a few days ago. Can’t believe LCW is 32 years old! Can’t believe I finally got it on vinyl 32 years later!
Simply put get this album or stream it. Just crank it!
^-LCW and Night Songs Fred Coury did not drum on. I believe Night Songs was already finished when Fred joined and I think the late Andy Johns who produced the first two Cinderella albums decided to use Denny Carmassi and the late great Cozy Powell behind the kit on Long Cold Winter instead of Fred. By album three which was Heartbreak Station, it was all Fred on drums.
^^-I bought into the cheese at times in 88 and 89. D’Molls which was atrocious soaked me out a bunch of dough back then and there are few others but I’m not giving out names!