80s

[The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] CINDERELLA – Night Songs

cinderella-night-songs-2

NIGHT SONGS

Released: August 2, 1986
Genre: Hard Rock/Glam Metal
Duration: 36:05
Label: Mercury
Producer(s): Andy Johns
Certified: 3xPlatinum (RIAA)
Singles: “Shake Me”, “Nobody’s Fool”, “Somebody Save Me”

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OVERVIEW

I’m putting this record under the category of “The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s”, because as subjective as it may sound, this album has no weak, boring or spiritless song. I don’t think Cinderella could’ve made a better debut album!  “Night Songs” was often criticized for being too generic and quite indistinguishable among the endless sea of hair metal bands, releasing pretty similar music, all cooked by following the well-established recipe for success in the late 80s. I can never agree with this statement because Cinderella were everything BUT your ordinary glam rock band. Unfortunately, their image was what often confused people, though I always say that their talent goes above and beyond the big hair, tight leather pants and leopard shirts. We also have to consider their secret weapon – Tom Keifer. Unfortunately, when we talk about male rock vocalists he is often forgotten, despite possessing one of the most unique high-pitched voices. On top of that, he was/is a brilliant songwriter – each and every song on “Night Songs” is written by him! Such a talent!

“Night Songs” offers an excellent selection of blues-oriented explosive metal riffs of guitarist Jeff LaBar, flavored by the scratchy fierce voice of Tom Keifer, all cloaked under dark, mysterious and quite intriguing character of the record. Their first single “Shake Me”, despite not making it on the charts, rocks pretty hard; sexy, suggestive, catchy and uplifting, the song is one of their ultimate classics. The power-ballad “Nobody’s Fool” is the song that actually got me into their music years ago. One of the most intense and beautifully written power-ballads of the era though I’m not sure I can put it under the same category as the numerous other silly little love ballads of the 80s – it’s too special and so much better! “Nobody’s Fool” is just a different kind of monster, though I definitely hear some AC/DC and Def Leppard influence. “Nothin for Nothin”, “Hell on Wheels” and “In From the Outside” – all infectious rockers, with not so much lyrical depth but still leaving quite the aftertaste! The title track “Night Songs” is a bit darker and gloomier, though quite rhythmic and obsessive. The third single “Somebody Save Me” has quite the memorable MV with their benefactors Bon Jovi appearing at the end. The song itself is one of the finest moments of the record with the most memorable lyrics, telling us about the failed American dream.

To sum up, don’t get turned off by how Cinderella look because believe me, there’s so much more to them than their image!! Cinderella are no Poison or Warrant – their music comes from deeper places. “Night Songs” has a special aura, fuelled with actual music competence in addition to the obvious blues base – all that makes things so much more interesting. After just one listen you will understand what’s the difference between Cinderella and all the other spandex-wearing boys of the era. It’s such a shame that this album and the band never actually got the recognition they deserved. But I’m here to remind you and get to you – listen to this gorgeous explosion of riffs full of live and vocals out of this world!

Tracklist:

“Night Songs” – 4:12
“Shake Me” – 3:44
“Nobody’s Fool” – 4:49
“Nothin’ for Nothin'” – 3:33
“Once Around the Ride” – 3:22
“Hell on Wheels” – 2:49
“Somebody Save Me” – 3:16
“In from the Outside” – 4:07
“Push, Push” – 2:52
“Back Home Again” – 3:30

Shake Me

Nobody’s Fool (#13, 1986)

Somebody Save Me (#66, 1986)

Nothin For Nothin


References:
“Night Songs” Official Wikipedia Webpage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_Songs_(Cinderella_album)
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

2 replies »

  1. I loved reading this review as it expressed much of how I feel about this album. I have listened to it for the first time in my life this year, and that is what got me searching for reviews, which led me to this one. I have always hated hard rock and glam “metal” (or “hair metal” as some call it). Growing up in the underground between the metal and goth subcultures, and enjoying tunes from bands such as Rosetta Stone, The Sisters of Mercy, Faith and the Muse, Fields of the Nephilim, Paralysed Age, 1349, Galloglass, Decadence, Theatre of Tragedy, and Thyrfing, it’s not a surprise that anything from the glam/hard/classic/shock/mainstream rock categories never appealed to me other than Vixen, Rammstein, the visual theatricality of Kiss, and some of the older albums by Marilyn Manson. In fact, I dislike hard rock so much that I have enjoyed songs from Alison Moyet, Celine Dion, Sarah Brightman, and Cher way more than any of the senseless songs I’ve heard by Motley Crue, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, AC/DC, and bands of that sort. Yet, somehow—just somehow—I really liked this album. Obviously, it is a hard rock/glam metal album, and Cinderella share a strong resemblance with bands like Twisted Sister and Motley Crue. But, as written in this review, there is, indeed, something different about this debut album as well as the finesse of the band. But, I can’t seem to point it out. Even my friend (a long-time metalhead who enjoys bands such as Evergrey, Suidakra, Swallow the Sun, The Sins of Thy Beloved, and Omnium Gatherum) who knows my taste very well was quite surprised that I took a liking to this album. And, the fact that Cinderella were not as successful as their competitors in their genre drew me to the album even more. Its groovy lyrics as well as its riffs, particularly on the tracks “Nobody’s Fool” and “Somebody Save Me”, make this album a very enjoyable listen. Being someone from the underground, it shocks me very much that I like listening to this album. It’s a mystery that I hope to figure out someday. My guess is that it’s got more depth, emotions, effort, and ingenuity than any glam metal album I’ve ever heard. And, I am also speculating that maybe that is part of the reason the band didn’t become as successful, even after they changed their tune on their following albums: it’s got a superior feel that the mainstream audience was never ready for. And, I don’t seem to notice any gimmicks where the band is trying too hard to look “tougher” than they actually are. No pentagrams, no political statements, they just seem confident being a glam rock band that’s there to offer the beauty of their talent. Whatever the mystery of this album is, Night Songs made its way as an odd duck into my collection this year.

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