Great Metal Albums of 1986: Cinderella- Night Songs


While Queensryche supported Bon Jovi on their UK tour, in the US, Bon Jovi were supported by Philadelphia metal outfit, Cinderella, whose debut album, “Night Songs,” was getting attention. However, I was already in the UK by the time they came around so I missed them that time but would get to see them a year later. Although I wasn’t phased about missing Bon Jovi, I would have liked to see Cinderella in their home setting. I remember from a year earlier, listening to Philadelphia radio stations, (those were the only ones who played decent music), and hearing ads for Cinderella playing clubs around the Philly area. So, like it was for The Hooters a year earlier, it was great to see a local band make good, especially a metal band.

My immediate reaction to Cinderella, compliments of the video for the album’s first single, “Shake Me,” which got considerable amount of play on the MTV Metal Half Hour, was that some made scientist took DNA from Motley Crue and fused it with DNA from AC/DC and Cinderella was the result of that experiment. To me, they looked like Motley Crue and sounded like AC/DC. On the other hand, that’s not really a bad combination.

Further exploration of “Night Songs,” it is mainly the first three tracks, two of them singles and the title track, where my belief of the AC/DC influence is obviously apparent. That is not to say that it’s not there on other songs, but track four gets my vote for hidden gem. “Nothin’ for Nothin,'” is a straightforward pure metal tune. Even the succeeding track, “Once Around the Ride,” is a very powerful track with some great guitar solos. It is also a hidden gem but not quite as shiny as its predecessor.

“Hell on Wheels” is the reason why AC/DC will never have to record a speed metal song as it sounds exactly what they would sound like if they did. It is fast paced song with Tom Keifer’s vocals sounding slightly similar to Johnson or Scott but it’s well done. The third single, “Somebody Save Me,” is the least AC/DC sounding of the three singles released from the album, though that influence isn’t totally absent from the song. The video has a quite amusing ending with a cameo from Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora.

If there ever was an argument for not judging an album from its singles, it’s “Night Songs.” While those singles are good, especially “Shake Me,” I think the other songs are so much better. Maybe it was because they were not under any pressure to make these songs sound commercial, that Cinderella can simply be themselves and just rock out. One great example is “In From the Outside” and “Push Push” has a dynamite intro. It is those songs which make this album great.

Track Listing:

  1. Night Songs
  2. Shake Me
  3. Nobody’s Fool
  4. Nothin’ for Nothin’
  5. Once Around the Ride
  6. Hell On Wheels
  7. Somebody Save Me
  8. In From the Outside
  9. Push Push
  10. Back Home Again



Tom Keifer- guitar, lead vocals, piano

Jeff LaBar- guitar, vocals

Eric Brittingham- bass, vocals

Fred Coury- drums (Fred did not play on the album but joined the band soon after it was recorded)

Additional Musicians:

Jody Courtez- drums

Barry Bennedetta- lead guitar on “Back Home Again,” “Nothin’ for Nothin'” and “Push Push”

Jeff Paris- keyboards

Ton Mills- backing vocals

Jon Bon Jovi- backing vocals on “Nothin’ for Nothin'” and “In From the Outside”

Bill Mattson- backing vocals on “Shake Me”

With the success of the debut “Night Songs” album, Cinderella’s fame would eventually reach the shores of Great Britain. It gave me the opportunity to boast about a band from my local area making it big.

Next post: Celtic Frost- Tragic Serenades

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11 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1986: Cinderella- Night Songs”

  1. Great debut. When Keifer rolled into town a few years back Tom opened his set with Once Around The Ride which was a great move as well as playing Shake Me about 4 songs in as well.
    Great show.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Out of all the ’80s “hair bands” I enjoy Cinderella the most. I had a greatest hits CD but gave it up during the Napser era.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great debut. I worked back to this though. I got into them on the 2md album and then got this after seeing them on the Moscow Peace Festival thing. They were great at that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice write up.

    My mates and I once decided this LP was the ultimate rock album. I think it still sounds great today. Funnily enough I was thinking about reviewing this one soon too, you may have just pushed me into it.

    Liked by 1 person

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