At the same time Bon Jovi finally exploded on the scene with Slippery When Wet, they were also responsible for signing up Cinderella on their label, Mercury Records. Given the considerable softening of their sound on Slippery When Wet, it’s no surprise that Cinderella’s debut, Night Songs, rocked harder than that of their benefactors, with Tom Keifer’s banshee-like voice and harmonies from the other members giving Cinderella an extra edge.
The title track, heralded by tolling bells, has a slow and steady that could fit home on a horror film soundtrack, but actually it’s about a burned out trucker who needs the title songs to keep him going on a job that barely gets the bills paid and such.
The lead single, the one-night stand grindfest of “Shake Me” shows them getting in gear, with the team putting their signature sound of pounding skins and heavy guitars into tight rhythmic formation.
Equally as hard-driving was their third single, “Somebody Save Me,” which paints a bleak picture of the American dream: “Put your money in a big house/Get yourself a pretty wife/She’ll collect your life insurance/When she connects you with a knife.” Those thinking of getting married-take heed to that. The despair can be further felt in the chorus, where the law of the jungle is melded with the urban jungle: “somebody save me, I lost my job, they kicked me out of my tree.”
Their first foray into the charts came with the operatic power ballad “Nobody’s Fool,” replete with airy synths and blaring guitars, which peaked at #13 in 1987, one below peers Motley Crue with “Girls Girls Girls” and alongside Poison’s “I Won’t Forget You” that same year so that is a sign that metal was gaining entry into the heretofore unreachable charts.
If you have the urge to get that speedometer to three digits after listening “Hell On Wheels,” I wouldn’t fault you-just don’t make any roadkill. The fast-paced guitars and drums shows the band at their fastest on their album. The been there done that “In From The Outside” has Jon Bon Jovi singing the first verse of the song before Tom Keifer takes over for the rest of the song.
The arena rock of “Back Home Again” is a tribute to finally making it big after years of hard work, and how being on stage when rolling into town makes one feel at home again.
A consistent sound provided Night Songs a kicker of a debut album for Keifer and company. They would make it bigger with their followup, Long Cold Winter.