Cinderella: Heartbreak Station-1990.

Cinderella was an American glam metal band formed in 1982 in the suburbs of PhiladelphiaPennsylvania. The band emerged in the mid-1980s with a series of multi-platinum studio albums and hit singles whose music videos received heavy MTV rotation and popularity. Cinderella initially had a heavy metal and glam metal sound throughout the late 1980s before shifting into a more blues rock-based sound during the early to mid 1990s.[1][2]

By the mid-1990s, the band’s notoriety declined severely due to personal setbacks, break-ups, and changes in the American music industry. After a brief hiatus, Cinderella reunited in 1996 and continued to perform live,[3] but never released any studio material after their 1994 album Still Climbing. The band has sold 15 million records worldwide, according to band member Tom Keifer’s official website. After participating in the 2014 “Monsters of Rock Cruise”, Cinderella again became inactive. In November 2017, Keifer stated that the band had no plans to reform in the future.[4]

Early days (1982–1985)

Cinderella was formed in 1982 in Philadelphia suburb, Clifton Heights, Pennsylvania,[5] by singer-songwriter, keyboardist, and guitarist Tom Keifer and bassist Eric Brittingham.[6] The initial lineup also included guitarist Michael Schermick and drummer Tony Destra. In 1985, Shermick and Destra left to form Britny Fox, another Philadelphia-based glam metal band. Cinderella practiced in the attic of the American Legion building in Wayne, PA.[7] In a 2014 interview, Tom Keifer stated that Kiss bass guitarist Gene Simmons first took interest in the band and tried to get them a deal with PolyGram, but they were not interested. Jon Bon Jovi saw them perform at the Empire Rock Club in Philadelphia and talked to his A&R man, Derek Shulman about seeing the group. Shulman was not convinced at first either, and wanted to sign the band to a six-month development deal. But after extensive negotiations, he finally signed the band.[8][9] In 1985, with a recording contract with Mercury/Polygram Records in the works, guitarist Jeff LaBar and drummer Jim Drnec joined the band.[citation needed]

Night Songs and Long Cold Winter (1986–1989)

During the recording of the band’s debut album, Night Songs, studio session drummer Jody Cortez and lead guitarist/songwriter Barry Benedetta were brought in to help with the recording.[10] After the recording was completed, Drnec was replaced by Gloucester City, NJ drummer, Albie “Al” Barker, who just missed making the album’s cover and the band’s album line-up. Fred Coury joined the band and was in all MTV music videos and played in the upcoming tours.[11] Night Songs was released on August 2, 1986 and eventually achieved triple platinum status, selling 50,000 copies per week at one point. The heavy metal album reached No. 3 on the Billboard charts[5] in February 1987. By the end of 1987, the band released a video compilation called “Night Songs” to accompany the album, featuring the promotional videos from the album plus three live songs recorded on their 1986 tour.[12]

Cinderella’s first tour was in 1986 with glam metal rockers Poison, opening for Japanese heavy metal band Loudness. Further tours into 1987 were spent playing to large arena audiences: five months opening for then-former Van Halen lead singer David Lee Roth, and seven months with Bon Jovi, taking the opening slot for their Slippery When Wet tour. Later that year, the band went overseas, appearing in Japan, Scandinavia, and at the Monsters of Rock festivals in United Kingdom and Germany.[citation needed]

Cinderella’s second album, Long Cold Winter, was released in 1988. The new album signified a shift towards a blues rock sound, though it could still be described as glam metal. A 254-show tour to support the album lasted over 14 months, and in August 1989, the band performed at the Moscow Music Peace Festival alongside other metal acts, such as Ozzy Osbourne, the ScorpionsMötley CrüeBon Jovi, and Skid Row. The tour’s stage show included Tom Keifer being lowered to the stage while playing a white piano during their radio hit “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)“. On April 17, 1990, the band released a video compilation called Tales from the Gypsy Road featuring four promo videos from Long Cold Winter plus two live medleys, the second of which contained a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s famous “Sweet Home Alabama“.[13]

Heartbreak StationStill Climbing and hiatus (1990–1995)

Cinderella’s third album, Heartbreak Station, was released in 1990. It featured more songs than Long Cold Winter that were influenced by Keifer’s love of the blues. Following the accompanying tour, Fred Coury left the band and joined former Ratt vocalist Stephen Pearcy in the band Arcade.[14] The song “Hot and Bothered” was featured in the movie Wayne’s World and its subsequent soundtrack.[15]

In 1991, Keifer lost his voice due to a paresis of his vocal cords. He underwent several surgeries to repair a vocal cyst and hemorrhage.[16] This added to delays in the recording of the band’s fourth album, Still Climbing. It was finally released in 1994 with Kenny Aronoff on drums, but the album quickly disappeared from the charts. Mercury Records consequently dropped the band which went on hiatus in 1995.[3]

Reunion (1996–2009)

Cinderella resumed activity in 1996, and a year later, Mercury Records released a greatest hits compilation titled Once Upon A… and a video compilation containing all the bands promo videos from the first three albums. The group toured the United States in 1998, with one concert stop captured on the live album Live at the Key Club, which was released in 1999 through Cleopatra Records.[17]

Around 1999, the band was signed by John Kalodner to Sony Records. However, the band was dropped by the label before a new album could be released, plunging the band into three years of litigation.[18] Cinderella toured again in 2000 and 2002.[citation needed]

Cinderella headlined the VH1 Classic Rock Never Stops 2005 summer tour. Also in 2005, Cinderella toured with FireHouseRATT, and Quiet RiotMercury Records released the compilation Rocked, Wired & Bluesed: The Greatest Hits on CD and DVD.[19]

In 2006, Cinderella toured with Poison. Both bands celebrated the 20th anniversary of their debut albums, Night Songs and Look What the Cat Dragged In. Cinderella planned to tour in 2008 with WarrantLynch Mob, and Lynam, but on June 13 that year, Tim Heyne, the band’s manager, said in a press release: “It is with unbelievably deep regret that I must announce that Cinderella’s Tom Keifer’s left vocal cord has hemorrhaged, thereby making it impossible for him to sing in the immediate future.” Lebar was interviewed by Ultimate-Guitar and stated that Cinderella would love to make a new record but there were obstacles holding the group back. They still were not signed to a record label after Sony dropped the band in 2000. LaBar also stated that he is busy with his new band, Freakshow, which features Frankie Banali of Quiet Riot, and Eric is busy with Naked Beggars. A message posted to the Cinderella message board in spring 2009 stated that Keifer’s voice had returned to normal. Promoters from the 2009 Rock Gone Wild Festival confirmed that the band was scheduled to perform, but the festival was cancelled.[20]

More touring and final performances (2010–2014)

Cinderella confirmed on their message board that they would be touring in 2010 with two warm-up dates already confirmed.[21] It was announced on February 22 that Cinderella will be a part of Rocklahoma 2010 in Pryor Oklahoma and Sweden Rock Festival 2010. On February 26, 2010, it was announced that Cinderella will be the headliner of the MSC Poesia sailing from Fort Lauderdale on November 11, 2010. In July 2010, Cinderella took the stage to open for Bret Michaels, during the Common Ground Music Festival[22] in Lansing, MI, with an original line-up of stars including Tom KeiferEric BrittinghamJeff LaBar and Fred Coury. They will then follow that with 14 dates in the US supporting Scorpions on their Get Your Sting and Blackout farewell tour.[23]

Cinderella played at the Download festival in the UK in June 2010,[24] the Rock Jam near Grand Junction, Colorado, Friday, August 27, and also the Oregon State Fair on September 4, 2010. In November 2010, Cinderella joined a variety of other hard rock acts on the cruise entitled “ShipRocked”.[25]

In 2011, Cinderella undertook a 25th anniversary world tour. 20 shows were confirmed from April through July.[26] During the tour, they headlined the first edition of the “Shout It Out Loud” Festival in Germany.[27]

In the summer of 2012 Cinderella did a US headlining tour with former Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach supporting them.[28]

In March 2013, Cinderella played the 2013 Monsters of Rock Cruise along with bands such as TeslaKixQueensrÿche, and others.[29] In 2014, the band played their final performances on the 2014 Monsters of Rock cruise.[30]

Aftermath and LaBar’s death (2017–2021)

In November 2017, Keifer stated that Cinderella has no plans to reunite, explaining that “issues between the band members are beyond repair.”[4]

On July 14, 2021, it was announced that Jeff LaBar had died at the age of 58.[31] The following day, it was announced that former long-term touring keyboardist Gary Corbett also died on the same day.[32]

Discography:

Studio albums

Definitive lineup
Tom Keifer – lead vocals, guitar, keyboards, saxophone, harmonica, steel guitar, mandolin, dobro (1982–2017)
Eric Brittingham – bass, backing vocals (1982–2017)
Jeff LaBar – guitar, backing vocals, slide guitar (1985–2017) (died 2021)
Fred Coury – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1986–1991, 1996–2017)
Touring members
Rick Criniti – keyboards, piano, organ, synthesizer, backing vocals (1986–1995)
Garry Nutt – bass (1989, 2000, 2008)
Gary Corbett – keyboards, backing vocals (1990–1995, 1998–2017) (died 2021)
Kevin Valentine – drums, percussion (1991–1993)
Roberta Freeman – backing vocals (1990–1991)
Dianne (Diane) Jones – backing vocals (1990–1991)
Jay Davidson – saxophones, keys, backing vocals (1990–1991)
Charles Lawrence – keyboards, backing vocals (1991)
Ray Brinker – drums, percussion (1994–1995)
Phillip Calfy – drums, percussion (2006)
John Rogers – drums, percussion (2009–2010)
Paul Taylor – keyboards, backing vocals (2012, 2014)
Session members
Jody Cortez – drums, percussion (1986)
Barry Benedetta (Bennedetta) – guitar (1986)
Jeff Paris – keyboards (1986)
Cozy Powell – drums (1988) (died 1998)
Denny Carmassi – drums (1988)
Kevin Conway – drums, percussion (1990–1991)
Kenny Aronoff – drums, percussion (1994)
Ken Hensley – keyboards (1990) (died 2020)
Rod Roddy – piano (1990)
Jay Davidson – saxophones, keys, backing vocals (1990)
Pre-Recording members
Michael Kelly Smith (Schermick/Smerick) – guitar, backing vocals (1983–1985)
Tony Destra – drums, percussion (1983–1985) (died 1987)
Jim Drnec – drums, percussion (1985–1986)
Albie “Al” Barker – drums, percussion (1986

One response to “Cinderella: Heartbreak Station-1990.”

  1. Cinderella – Heartbreak Station (by Tommy Morais!)
    – Heartbreak Station (1990 Polygram)

    I’ve loved the first two Cinderella albums and for the longest time I didn’t get around listening to their next two albums, Heartbreak Station and Still Climbing. I recently acquired Heartbreak Station and I have to say I missed out on some great music. They changed their roots from the Glam sound that made them popular to a more Blues-oriented direction and although I was very fond of their debut album Night Songs and its follow up Long Cold Winter it’s a change that I like. Cinderella on this album seem to be wanting to break away from the Glam mold, which was already evident from their second album, which already integrated blues elements into the music but pushed even further in that direction with their third album. It introduced more acoustic and came dangerously to country many times, but Cinderella style of course, Heartbreak Station is anything but generic. As a Rock/Metal fan primarily the country direction wasn’t something I thought would have much appeal to me but I’m surprised at how much at I like it and how well the approach they took on this album works. Just have an open mind and you’ll see that they’ve matured as persons and musicians and Heartbreak is a culmination of that and the stunning result.

    “The More Things Change” as an opening song is a statement of how they’ve changed their sound, evolved through the years as musicians and persons, it’s quick to show the new direction and is one of the catchiest and most memorable tracks off Heartbreak Station. “Love’s Got Me Doing Time” has a cool near psychedelic groove and even some Jimi Hendrix style of playing and while it’s very different and might seem a little out of place, it fits and adds diversity, it’s a cool track. “Shelter Me” is one of the best tracks from this album, it’s catchy and the chorus is instantly etched in your mind, it’s a quite effective track. Like Long Cold Winter, the title track of this album is both the longest cut, and the ballad. Cinderella have done amazing ballads (“Nobody’s Fool”, “Don’t Know What You Got“, “Long Cold Winter” all come to mind) and “Heartbreak Station” ranks up there, it’s touching, has a neat chorus, feels sincere and is just as good as any of the ballads they’ve done, albeit with a slightly different sound. The lyrics to me are heartbreaking and very personal and anyone’s who’s ever experienced a heartbreak will be touched by this one, a true tearjerker the highlight and centerpiece of the album. “Sick For The Cure” picks up the pace and gets things rocking a little more, it has great lyrics and Tom’s delivery is absolutely fantastic. “One For Rock And Roll” could be described as a happy go lucky, “I don’t care because I’m happy with simple things” bouncy delight. A simple effective and infectious song. “Dead Man’s Road” is a bluesy as Cinderella gets and Tom’s voice shines through altering between his normal and raspy voice. It’s one of the highlights of Heartbreak Station and it stands out, it takes you places. Reflecting lyrics on this one, “When I was young, my old man told me I could be what I wanted”, one of my favorite Cinderella songs. “Electric Love” stands out for being much different from the rest, the simplest way to explain it is that it’s a trip for the listener with its groove (reminiscent of Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion”) and although it has a fixated chorus, it still goes places. “Love Gone Bad” and “Wind of Change” end the album tremendously well and on a high note, there is not a bad moment here.
    Coming from a big fan of the band’s first two albums, Heartbreak Station is an incredible album that pursues different musical territories. It’s undeniably Cinderella but with a twist. This is one of my favourite albums of the 1990’s and while some of the bands tried (and failed) to adapt to the changing landscape of the decade, Cinderella is one of the few that I felt succeeded at doing so. They reinvented themselves successfully and even though I’m sure some of the early followers didn’t love the change, they reached out to people they couldn’t have otherwise. I’ve always maintained that Tom Keiffer is a superb songwriter who wrote amazing songs and on this album the maturity and beauty he reaches in the lyrics is something.

    After Heartbreak Station Cinderella went on to release one more studio album Still Climbing (1994) but singer, leader and songwriter Tom Keifer struggled with his voice in the 1990’s and unfortunately they haven’t released anything since other than live albums. Musically and from an objective point of view Heartbreak Station is possibly Cinderella’s strongest album (especially if you dislike the Glam sound of the 80’s), however, I always had a soft spot for the first two albums the band released in the 1980’s and those songs will always be with me, but this is something else and I mean that in a VERY good way. HS is a GREAT album, it was great to see one of the bands branch out and do something unexpected and different. It’s a great little gem and even thought it was clear that they weren’t just another Glam band with big hair, this album validates it even more as they branched out and didn’t go for a commercial sound; they did what they wanted. If you liked the other Cinderella albums and have an open mind, or if you didn’t like the band’s early sound I think you’ll find a lot to like on Heartbreak Station. It’s deserving of the acclaim it receives from fans, I know it has a very special place in my collection.

    Liked by 1 person

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