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Biographies: Cinderella

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Reviewer: TopCat

Cinderella was one of the few bands to start their career in the glam metal era of the mid-80s, and last well into the grungy 90s. Their appeal was a combination of exceptional musicianship (both live and on record) and ear-catching songs. While at the time of the first album their appearance made some dismiss them as just another short-lived glam-metal "MTV hair band", they managed to avoid the pitfalls of the rocker's lifestyle to gradually evolve into the bluesy, melodic rock outfit we know and love.
The classic Cinderella lineup started with Tom Keifer and Eric Brittingham, both of Philadelphia, later adding New Jersey native Jeff LaBar, and Binghamton, NY-born drummer Fred Coury. All had been in several different bands prior to getting together in Cinderella. After playing on the second album, keyboard player Rick Criniti toured with Cinderella as an unseen "secret weapon". The band was "discovered" by Jon Bon Jovi, who later made a cameo appearance in the "Somebody Save Me" video. Keifer, a very prolific songsmith, wrote most of the group's material. His wife Emily, a graphic artist, designed the band's logo.

To support the first two albums, Cinderella toured as opening act for bands such as Bon Jovi, AC/DC, David Lee Roth, and Judas Priest. But after the second album, "Long Cold Winter" was released, they became headliners on the strength of it's platinum sales. The videos from both albums were in high rotation on MTV also.

With the third album "Heartbreak Station", Cinderella evolved into an even bluesier sound, using more slide guitar work as well as a saxophone. They also used a full orchestra on some songs, most notably on "HeartBreak Station", where Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones conducted the string section. The album also marked the first "political comment" songs from the band, which spoke out against music censorship.

By 1993, Cinderella's career had been slowed by several events. Tom Keifer had developed nodules on his vocal cords, and curing the condition required surgery, rest, and vocal therapy. Fred Coury left the band to join Arcade, and was replaced by Kevin Valentine. Also, Tom Keifer's mother passed away, and the song "Hard To Find The Words" is dedicated to her. After drummer Valentine left the band during recording of "Still Climbing", he was replaced by Ray Brinker. After several remixes, "Still Climbing" was released in 1994.

In contrast to their support of Cinderella's three previous albums, this time MTV considered the band to be out-of-date '80s hard rock. The MTV attitude towards Cinderella videos was "Don't bother making them, because we won't play them". In spite of this, those fortunate enough to see the band on tour for "Still Climbing" could see that the guys had lost none of their musical edge.

After breaking up in 1995, Tom and Ray worked together on Tom's solo material and Eric had been writing &demoing with Marshall Coleman. Jeff had not been mentioned in music news, and Fred Coury continued to be a touring drummer for various bands, as well as maintaining his Nashville recording studio.

After a benefit concert at RT's nightclub in New Jersey on 11/10/96 which reunited the four core band members, the Cinderella Greatest Hits CD "Once Upon A...." was released on 5/20/97. This CD contains a collection of Cinderella's greatest hits, a cover of Janis Joplin's "Move Over" (previously released), and a new song "War Stories".

Cinderella started the successful "Unfinished Business" tour of the U.S. on March 10th 1998. While the tour was interrupted for a couple of months while Tom Keifer recovered from throat surgery, they soon were back on tour and kicking ass live! Besides the four core band members, the touring band also includes keyboardist Charlie Lawrence. See the Tour Dates Page for tour dates, and the Show Reviews Page for fan's reviews of Cinderella shows. A live CD, recorded in 1991, was being sold at concerts and is available on the merchandise pages on this site.

Cinderella's has released a new live album (recorded on the "Unfinished Business" tour) called "Live At The Key Club" recorded in Los Angeles' Key Club. A new studio CD is currently in the works, due for release next year.

Credit to the author: amazon1@ix.netcom.com.

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