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Long Cold Winter

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  • THE BAND: Tom Keifer (vocals, guitars, harmonica), Jeff Labar (guitars), Eric Brittingham (bass), Fred Coury (drums & percussion).

    THE DISC: (1988) 10 tracks clocking in at approximately 44 minutes. Included with the disc is a 4-page foldout containing song titles/credits/times, song lyrics, 2 band photos, and thank you’s. Recorded at Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, NY. Additional players included – Cozy Powell (drums), Rick Criniti (synth, piano), Denny Carmassi (drums) and Kurt Shore (keyboards). Label – Mercury Records.

    COMMENTS: Though not quite in the same league as Cinderella’s ‘86 debut (“Night Songs”), this sophomore release is still a great rocker. Where “Night Songs” was for the most part straight ahead 80’s hair/glam rock, this “Long Cold Winter” continued to rock, but also showed Keifer’s love for the blues. Highlights include the opener “Bad Seamstress Blues / Falling Apart At The Seams”; the piano ballad “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” that coolly reminds me of Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home”; the album’s first hit “Gypsy Road”; the slow and melancholy title track; and two minor hits with the mid tempo rocker “The Last Mile” and the heaviest track on the album “If You Don’t Like It” (in the same vein as their earlier “Shake Me”). “Don’t Know What You Got” reached #12 on the US charts – and turned out to be the band’s biggest hit to date. Two filler songs with “Second Wind”, and “Fire And Ice”. As an album, “Long Cold Winter” failed to top the #3 “Night Songs” (reaching #10 in the US) – both albums have sold 3+ million units. One of the hidden gems on this album is “Coming Home” with it’s slow acoustic intro and Keifer singing, well, sounding almost normal… I like his voice here and often wondered what would’ve happened had he sung more songs like this. The music on this album is varied – fast, slow, bluesy… and a sign of things to come – their 3rd album “Heartbreak Station” (1990) was very bluesy. If I’m going to grab one Cinderella album, more times than not it will be “Night Songs”, but this “Long Cold Winter” comes in a close 2nd. A very accomplished record at the time (4.5 stars).

    Posted on November 15, 2009