"Not so long ago, rock bands made albums that contained musical muscle, healthy diversity, good lyrics, creativity, high emotional content, a big dose of asskicking, AND the ability to sell. It should be noted that such albums then got satired, forgotten, and essentially crapped on by the public just a few short years later.
"Heartbreak Station" fulfills the critera to count as such an album. This is the only album I ever bought used, as I never happened to catch Cinderella on the radio or MTV, and I just wanted to make sure I WOULD NOT like them and I wouldn't have to waste my time with their catalog (giving them a chance had much to due with my love for Bon Jovi). I put the cd on and even before the first chorus, I new this band would immediately jump into my "top 20" and I felt embarrassed for not knowing them earlier.
Today, the music industry has gotten so hollow, many albums only have a song or two that are even marketable, let alone musically viable. By sharp contrast, "Heartbreak Station" had (and still has!) the elements that were helping to make rock music taken more seriously as an art form. While maintaining all of the raw and gritty adrenalizing elements of soulful rock and roll, this album contains songs that speak the truth in a most musically motivating manner ("Shelter Me" and "Sick for the Cure"), a nod to funk ("Love's Got Me Doing Time"), a soft, tender title track that even my father of 60 years can verify as aesthetically pleasing, a short and simple nod to what really matters in life ("One for Rock And Roll"), a respectable answer to 'Blaze of Glory' ("Dead Man's Road"), and one of the most emotionally gutwrenching songs ever ("Winds of Change"). Oh, right, and heart-stomping kickass rock and roll ("The More Things Change" and "Make Your Own Way"). This is one of the more solid albums in existence.
The ways in which a) this band should be taken seriously and b) this band has subsequently been laughed out, could not be more opposite, except for maybe occasionally in the case of Poison. "Heartbreak Station" is a very strong album that makes me embarrassed for ever predicting otherwise. It got me into the band, made me buy the rest of their albums, and helped me learn that had they not been stopped dead in their tracks by shallower musical trends, each new studio release was proving Cinderella to be one of the best bands in rock history in terms of musical evolution. Though still alive and kicking, I mourn this band's creative spurt. At least we have this music, and it can be listened to forever. If you think that purchasing this album will uncomfortably stick you in "hair band land", take it from me; the music is real, the songwriting is of a very high level, and the album speaks for itself once you've heard it. Everyone should check this out."
Luis A. Rivera Rios | MEXICO CITY, D.F. Mexico | 02/04/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As an attempt to get recognition as a serious and mature musical entity, Cinderella shifts direction on this recording trying to make a big departure from the cheap corporate tones, artificiality and over exploited gimmick that made hair metal so hateful on its final stages in the late 80's and early 90's.
On Heartbreak Station, the band brings to its sound deep influences from traditional North American musical styles such as blues, country, folk and gospel as well as the British Invasion tones of the Rolling Stones and The Faces, all this in order to validate its roots as authentic rock musicians. This blend of influences creates an atmosphere of honesty, celebration, introspection and musical craft and poise. The novelty, however, its not only on the sonic department; lyrics have been traded for a reflexive and intelligent ironic mood, instead of the hedonistic and party celebratory vibe of the past.
It's been almost 13 years since the first time I listened to Heartbreak Station and still makes me wonder, what would've happened if Tom Keifer and the boys had reached the recognition and success that this risky and honest album deserved?.
Highlights: "Shelter Me", Sick For the Cure" and "One For Rock 'n' Roll" a dylanesque, evocative and beautiful song."
Tom Keifer, very good songwriter and performer
Jazzcat | Genoa, Italy Italy | 12/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album has a very good songwriting like Long Cold Winter, maybe a little step behind at some points but even higher in some others. Personally I find that "Heartbreak Station" is a very touching ballad, a simple song that is just that perfect song everyone dream to write once in his life. I'm happy for this album even only for this song, but it is not the only good one for sure here! Cinderella has been a very talented but unlucky band just like all the one from that era .. you know how the story went. Grunge killed a lot of them. Hair years saw a lot of wonderful bands and musicians instead and Cinderella made no exception, they had their own personality cut out from their influences (Aereosmith, Bon Jovi and Stones), very good songwriting skills and musicianships that found their full expression in Long Cold Winter and in this album. I loved Cinderella for Long Cold Winter mainly because I had those first two albums when I was a kid in the eighties, then I discovered this album in a used cds shop the other day and I did buy it. I can say it is the perfect follow to LCW and a very good rock album. There are the trademark Keifer's power ballads and very memorable rock blues anthems. Labels are really something stupid. Today hair metal bands are considered untrendy and dated.. bah. I still love them and consider them (some of them like Winger, White Lion, Ratt, Rough Cutt, Bon Jovi, Dokken, Harem Scarem, Guns & Roses, Def Leppard, Danger Danger, Tesla, Firehouse, Stryper, David Lee Roth band and many more) some of the best bands USA produced in rock territories (they were "Van Halen sons" in the end). Think about the music not about how long were the hair of the guys in those days ... Tom is a very good songwriter at heart. I know and I knew it in the eighties. Thanks for the music Tom I really appreciate it! Sorry for what you went through in the past with your voice! Rock on!"
ROCK N ROLL BABY!
Deimos | Alberta | 11/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"move over ACDC Cinderella can go it all metal and rock, get this one now, they are also a great liveband!"
A Great Album That Deserves Re-evaluation
JLR | Staten Island, NY USA | 05/26/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Heartbreak Station, Cinderella's third studio album and ultimately their last record to achieve platinum success, is one of the forgotten gems in the 80's hard rock era. Long Cold Winter, for all its virtues, was marred by its pop-metal conventions. Heartbreak Station erases such principles. Filled with Rolling Stones / Aerosmith sensibilities and a fearlessness to deviated from the generic formula of hair metal, this genuinely great album showed that Cinderella had more genuine grit than their poodle-haired contemporaries.
Each track is strong, distinctive and never repeating themselves, a fatal error that plagued many hair metal albums. "Electric Love", "Love Gone Bad" and the sweet, boogie-rock of "Sick for the Cure" are swaggering rock n' roll that recalls the best of Aerosmith, when that band did not need power ballads or a Michael Bay movie to climb to the charts. "One For Rock N' Roll" is a simple, country-fused ditty about lacking worries and just playing rock n' roll. And "Shelter Me" is a riotous commentary on censorship (the accompanying video featuring Little Richard was comedy gold).
But the album's coup de graces remain the two songs that have the making of an instant classic: the title track, with its melodic acoustic guitars, honky piano flourishes and an beguiling 12-string guitar solo, and the opulent "Winds of Change" both have an emotional splendor boosted by Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones' majestic strings. The title track, in particular, is the true highlight, ranking with Bon Jovi's "I'll Be There for You", Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine" and Skid Row's "I Remember You" as one of the era's greatest power ballads.
It may have not been their most commercially successful album but Heartbreak Station showcased a more ambitious, talented band whom many have taken for granted. Unfortunately, that's what happened when grunge came by and swept everyone associated with hair metal. It was a dark day for 80's hard rock and for Cinderella, as their careers went into a startling decline while bands like Helmet, L7 and Pearl Jam achieved gold status.
You know, what's funny? Back in the 1990's, everyone would have crucified a band for playing music like this but today, everyone wishes we could have an album like this again. It is the testament to Cinderella and especially Tom Kiefer that they created an album that was unfairly neglected and reaped for rediscovery. Even if you're not an 80's hard rock fan, you should pick this album up and give it a try. It is not only a great 80's rock record; it's a great rock album in general.