As of this article, it has been two decades since Cinderella released their last studio album, 1994’s ‘Still Climbing,’ and dedicated rock listeners have been patiently awaiting to witness the release of the follow-up to the band’s fourth offering. Recent years have seen the anticipated solo debuts from lead vocalist Tom Keifer and guitarist Jeff LaBar; while both of which gallivanted casual visitations into concrete blues and heavy metal territory, neither of the pair could recreate that defining full band approach from their parent collective (nor was that the intention).
The point behind that last statement was while diehard glam metal advocates celebrated the release of new material from half of the founding Cinderella lineup, it wasn’t the same fulfilling release of adrenaline-fueled chord progressions and overtly melodic group refrains which the band developed a strong reputation for on their earlier efforts, and continue to do so through compelling live performances still featuring the entire original roster.
While we continue to anticipate the (hopefully) eventual release of Cinderella’s next studio album, we’re running through ten classic unreleased numbers from the developmental stages of the band’s signature sound which even predate the release of their 1985 debut, the multi-platinum ‘Night Songs.’
10) “Stop the Fire”
Echoing explosions and menacing guitar work introduce this mid-tempo hard hitting cut into the tenth position in our countdown. “Stop the Fire” prominently features striking vocal harmonies and a neck-spanning solo, the latter of which was reportedly contributed by Michael Kelly Smith of Britny Fox before Jeff LaBar was introduced into the Cinderella lineup.
9) “Fear the Night”
“Oh no, the nightmare soon descends,” lead vocalist Tom Keifer screams in his recognizable falsetto on “Fear the Night,” a song centered upon thunderous percussion playing and propelling lead guitar. Similar to what we found on the aforementioned “Stop the Fire,” the members of Cinderella enlist the aid of suspenseful sound effects to feed the alluring cascades of hard rock found here; in this case, it’s the roars of emergency vehicle sirens which both begins and concludes this ferocious number.
8) “Wastin’ My Time”
An upbeat anthemic track which could have found a comfortable home on ‘Night Songs,’ “Wastin’ My Time” reinforces that familiar combination of energetic string bends and compelling vocal harmonies while embodying a significant Aerosmith-meets-Nazareth attitude. The song’s frequent use of glass shattering screams also attributes a slight resemblance to the concluding roars of “Fallin’ Apart at the Seems.”
7) “Devil in Disguise”
Speaking of familiar arrangements, add a few bars of slide guitar to the main riff of this unreleased track and you would have something that closely mirrors the ‘Heartbreak Station’ fan favorite “The More Things Change.” Albeit this song utilizes a more hard rock-oriented method right in line with early Quiet Riot than the blues rock overtones of the Cinderella hit, the similarities are still quite apparent.
6) “Rock Fever”
If there was anything Cinderella fans could be convicted of, it’s having an incurable case of “Rock Fever.” This selection would probably be one of the more obvious decisions if a new studio album of reworked material was being considered, as all of the classic elements from the band’s first two offerings are apparent here; impressionable vocals, a solid Fred Coury backbone, grinding bass lines and an unconquerable guitar riff.
5) “Love For Sale”
Coming in at number five in our run through of the Top 10 Unreleased Classic Cinderella Demos is “Love For Sale,” which carries over the adrenalized themes of “Rock Fever” while fusing together the sexual innuendos of such readily known tracks as “Shake Me” and “Push, Push.” In the end, what we find on this recording is the members of Cinderella at their finest.
4) “Livin’ Fast”
The ‘Night Songs’-esque character of the previous two numbers is continued through “Livin’ Fast,” which prominently jaunts an unchainable compilation of catapulting melodies and some ferocious abuse of the six strings. Muscular artificial harmonics highlight the song’s verses, however it’s the always potent presence of Keifer that’s positioned towards the center of attention through his stark vocal capacity and ability to incorporate some superior guitar harmonies.
3) “Playin’ With Fire”
Transitioning the approach more towards the musical themes of 1988’s ‘Long Cold Winter,’ “Playin’ With Fire” could easily sit in between “Second Wind” and the album’s title track because of it’s similar chord progression in regards the former and more relaxed execution in line with the latter. Smooth yet ferocious rhythm guitar work is one of this song’s more illustrious qualities, and fortifies the notion that Cinderella know just when to drop their first on the pace.
2) “Almost There Now”
The resonant power behind “Almost There Now” allows the song to effortlessly stand as one of the most brilliant numbers in Cinderella’s catalog of unreleased material, particularly due to it’s concentrations of intense guitar work and robust lead vocals not unlike the band’s finest rockers. The melodic refrain is further battered into the listener’s conscious with it’s weight percussion section, and just as the title implies, we’re moving into the top position in our countdown.
1) “Born to Rock and Roll”
Landing in at number one on our rundown of the Top 10 Unreleased Classic Cinderella Songs is the authoritative “Born to Rock and Roll.” This number embodies what can only be dubbed as the signature Cinderella sound, while showcasing such characteristics as a triumphant refrain, the overbearing lyrical deliver of Tom Keifer, and perhaps one of the more shredding guitar arrangements within the band’s catalog.