Night Songs


Mercury Records, 1986

REVIEW BY: Sean McCarthy


Uncle. I'm not made of the lightweight but very sturdy steel frame that is my mountain bike. As a fan of music, you should keep an open mind to everything, from the avant garde to the bubblegum pop. So, I nut it up, I dig Cinderella.

And I know why now! Yes, they were more formulatic than "Armageddon", big ass hair, glam costumes that looked like they were hand-outs at Steven Tyler's garage sale and some of the riffs were overcooked bloaters, but for some reason, they just seemed to rock a bit more than their peers.

And they never rocked as hard as they did on their first major release, Night Songs. Straight from the cuffs of Bon Jovi, Cinderella were good pals with the band and wasted no time recruiting heartthrob Jovi to be in their videos and have the band open for them on their tour.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

If the band had to pay an official royalty check, it would have to go to AC/DC. Tom Keifer seems to do all he can to imitate the nasal delivery of Back In Black and he actually does a damn good job. Fortunately, they also took something from AC/DC: a love for southern-get down boogie-blues. And they make it their own in the glorious 40 minutes of Night Songs.

The album begins with the slow, moody title track. There, the band lays the groundwork for an album that was bound to scare ignorant parents. I heard all the propoganda: Cinderella actually meant, 'Sin'-derella. Night Songs was a semi-endorsement of paeganistic activity. The sophomoric tales of trying to bed the bad girl ("Once Around The Ride", "Push Push") are there as well as teen-age geek dreams of being a hard ass with the blazing, "Hell On Wheels".

The songs that can still make me crank the volume in my car are "Shake Me" and "In From The Outside". "Shake Me" is just a kick ass number, thanks guitarist Jeff LaBar and Keifer for laying such a solid riff. The easy scream-a-long chorus also make the song stand out. "In From The Outside" and "Somebody Save Me" are just solid rockers by any standard.

Of course, even a short album of this material can go a long way now. If you're looking for a good dose of the band, you're better off getting their greatest hits collection, where you can see the band persued their blues love even more with some material off of Heartbreak Station. "Push, Push" and "Back Home Again" are weak choices to close an album that was doing pretty good with making fluff material rock.

They were once in arenas, now they're playing at the dive bar that's about two miles from where my apartment is. Fortunately, their best album was the one that most people were able to get. Night Songs stood for everything that was good about the hair metal trend of the 80s. Their chops were tighter than Poison, they didn't self-destruct ala Motley Crue and most everybody knows, Tom Keifer could kick Kip Winger's ass on any given day.

Rating: B

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© 1998 Sean McCarthy and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Mercury Records, and is used for informational purposes only.