The early nineties weren’t kind to Tommy Keifer and crew! 1990s Heartbreak Station didn’t sell as much as the debut (Night Songs) and followup(Long Cold Winter) as well there tour supporting Heartbreak Station had a few issues as well.
Myself,Oinks and Andre had tickets too catch the Cinderella/David Lee Roth co headline tour with Extreme opening in Alpine Valley in Wisconsin in July of 1991 when the whole tour was scrapped due to lack of tickets being sold! SAY WHAAAAAAA…….
Just like that Cinderalla fell from the musical map. You can’t even blame Cobain/Seattle/ Grunge whatever the music shift change was as Heartbreak Station burned to the ground before that Nevermind business stuff happened.
I read that Tom Keifer was having some serious vocal problems and that the Docs shut him down! Just like that Cinderella was kaput until…
1994 Cinderella put out the insanely excellent Still Climbing record and no one gave a fuck except for the hardcore bunch of fans or would that be handful of fans left! I have no problem saying I was and still am a fan!
Cinderella on all 4 of there studio albums did not duplicate there sound from album to album….
Night Songs..I reviewed it here…https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2015/08/14/sonic-waves-cinderellanight-songs/
Long Cold Winter- they tell there drummer Fred Coury to stay home and The late great Cozy Powell slams the skins on the album which has a bigger more shift in hard blues rock sound and of course some biggie tunes that you know like Gypsy Road and that ballad tune…..ha!
Heartbreak Station-was a fantastic record. The title track is a epic piece of music and shit man it’s a ballad but Keifer spins it so it’s not a I Saw Red debacle that Warrant issued but of course Warrant had more success with there single…silly public! Heartbreak Station has tons of slide guitar,horns, cool percussion and Fred does all the drums!
Which now brings us to …
Still Climbing…Which just drops out of nowhere in November of 94 and I think I may have seen like two adds for Still Climbing one I think in M.E.A.T Magazine and the other in my brothers Guitar World Magazine ..that’s it ..no Vids (I know of and even you tube I’m looking for anything posted so it might just be story time today Folks!)
Tom Keifer,Jeff Labar,Eric Brittingham and hired drum guy Kenny Aranoff(John Cougar) put out what I consider the best ever unknown hard rock record that if your hunting around in shops and come across Still Climbing pick up the damn thing……
BAD ATTITUDE SHUFFLE-scruffy old school phonogram scratchy needle scuzzing across vinyl starts this song off and before it there’s Tommy and his voice and man it still sounds like Tommy! Bad Attitude Shuffle just flat out rocks after that. Double bass smoking drums and a real hard rock polished produced record(not overdone) just gets your attention from the get go! Labar and Keifers guitar playing are top notch and they never got the credit they deserved as they could play! Bad Attitude Shuffle goes off the rails or should i say Tom does as he hails a bunch of F bombs at the end of the song! Street cred 101 and you will get your ass kicked if you mess with Toms scarf collection!
ALL COMES DOWN-kinda of a Aerosmithy bluesy late 80s vibe complete with horns and this is driving rock! Actually these songs would have fit and in some cases would have improved Aeros Get A Grip album! Yeah kids I said that! Tommy sez ‘ when the shit hits the fan Ya gotta stick to the fight!” Agreed! Great solo from the Cinderdudes!
TALK IS CHEAP-the crash of All Comes Down ends with guitar buzzing and Ken on drums and Eric on bass hold,down the bottom end! Another great rock track with a added dose of Aero included in the prechorus! This song crunches hard blues rock with some real nice percussive flair and that’s the thing with Keifer he did it all in this band wrote all the tunes man those other cats were lucky man or they claim to fame would have been “would you like fries with that?!” More great solos! Shit man this album cooks full steam ahead Captian Keifer!
HARD TO FIND THE WORDS- almost a slow Stones kinda of blues ballad with almost a bit of a country rock flair! Tommy sings in a straight ahead rock voice and when the chorus fires up he goes into his patented Kiefer screech! Think the song Heartbreak Station! Lots of slide guitar and the drums keep the song moving! Basically think a mash up of the Stones and Skynryd for this one!
BLOOD FROM A STONE- nice trippy Hammond b3 start and some serious wah pedal kick Blood From A Stone and its a straight ahead rock track!
STILL CLIMBING- Kenny does some cool snare drum rolls and Keifer and Crew join the fray for the title track! It’s a slow builder of a track and shifts gears the Hammond B3 is a perfect mix with the slide guitar action going on.
FREEWHEELIN- Cinderella does some speed and this is a throwback to the debut! Straight ahead 4 on the floor rock stomper! Nuthin gets in Tommys way! Double bass drums,loud guitars cymbals crashing yeah CinderRock is fine in 1994! Too bad many didn’t take notice!
THROUGH THE RAIN-think Don’t Know What You Got Til It’s Gone and you have Through The Rain. Piano drives this song. I always respected Keifers deal at writing ballads. Perhaps as he did it out of the gate on Night Songs with Nobody’s Fool and he has a knack for doing it. Sure he’s playing the game but in doing so he didn’t make it so obvious! Thanks Thomas!
EASY COME EASY GO- Tyler and Pery would have killed to have had written this track themselves! I will declare right here folks this is one of my all time fav Cinderella tracks! It’s Big !Bombastic! It Cranks! It Has Class! Ha ok,ok! Seriously though this is a absolute end of the album Gem! It sneaks sleaze and cool all over the place! Big power riffs and a hook so catchy it just grabs you and makes Ya scream for more! Ha! This is a Arena Rock Junkie delight! The song in the verses sounds like a page right out of Aeroville! The chorus when Kiefer belts “Easy Commmmes……Easy Goooooooooes! The music underneath his voice is the Shit! Snap happy piano honkytonk mixed with hard rock guitars drums and cowbell! I’m tripping on a musical Ecstasy here folks….God this is gonna get ugly!
THE ROADS STILL LONG-think Coming Home from Long Cold Winter. It’s a mid tempo kinda tune! Not bad really and give these guys credit they stuck to there formula even in GrungeMania! That’s saying something!
HOT AND BOTHERED- hey man before Fred Coury bolted he stuck around and recorded this tune which was on the Wayne Worlds soundtrack! Hot And Bothered is a straight ahead rocker! Listen to the video!
IN CONCLUSION-Cinderella stepped up huge when the chips were down and delivered a straight ahead rock record at a time when no one gave a Crap about 80s rock! Even Nikki Sixx changed the course of The Crue and we all know what happened there! (Motley Corabi great album,no one cared must have been the year 1994!) Scoff all you like but Tommy got his voice back ramped up his songwriting, gave the other guys in Cinderella (Lebar and Brittingham) some employment and by golly I will say this may just be my fav output of theres……