CINDERELLA – Gold (2006 Universal)
When a band like Cinderella, who only have four studio albums, get a double CD “best of” compilation, it had better be good. Fortunately Cinderella’s edition of the Gold series offers value for the money and unreleased live tracks to boot.
All the Cinderella albums are represented, including the criminally underrated Still Climbing album from 1994. Cinderella did not “go grunge” as so many others did. As “Bad Attitude Shuffle” indicates, they simply doubled down on their own brand of bluesy hard rock with bite. From the same album, “Free Wheelin'” and “Talk is Cheap” both show fearless commitment to the genre. Then the ballad “Through the Rain” also from Still Climbing provides the balance. Cinderella have successfully employed ballads since day one, because they happen to be quite good at them.
Among their greatest ballads: “Don’t Know What You Got (‘Til It’s Gone)”, “Heartbreak Station”, “Coming Home”, “Wind of Change”, and “Nobody’s Fool”. Each one of these tracks is worthy to be on this compilation. Some of their slower material either bordered on blues, or were just flat-out blues songs. Some are here: “Long Cold Winter”, “Dead Man’s Road”, and “Sick For the Cure”. Then there is the soulful “Shelter Me” that is harder to categorize. But of course Cinderella are best known as a hard rock band, and most of the material falls into that vast category. Many of these tunes are truly awesome. “Shake Me” was first to gain attention, with some noting similarities to AC/DC. “Hot and Bothered”, originally from the Wayne’s World soundtrack, combines the blues and rock in a tasty confection. “Second Wind” from Long Cold Winter kicks ass, and “Gypsy Road” is here too, albeit in live form.
The live tracks are all credited to a Japanese promo CD called Last Train to Heartbreak Station, which appears to be a completely different thing from their Japanese EP called Live Train to Heartbreak Station. Rarities are always welcome on a compilation, but one has to wish that the great single “Gypsy Road” was also included in its studio version. It’s a good enough tune that it wouldn’t be a crime to have two versions on the same CD.
Because of their feminine name and some really bad wardrobe choices, Cinderella was written off by many people without hearing any of their rocking material. While that is a real shame, Cinderella hasn’t made a new album in 23 years so this would be a good one-stop-shop to get much of their best material. Augment this baby with a copy of their classic Long Cold Winter CD and you will have enough Cinderella to have a good representation of their best stuff.