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Cinderella, 'Long Cold Winter' (1988)

10. Cinderella, 'Long Cold Winter' (1988)

A mere half-decade after their unbelievable commercial for Pat's Chili Dogs in Philly, Cinderella made this meticulously paced masterpiece. Not until 1990's more blatantly nutritious Heartbreak Station did the intelligentsia realize they were something more than mere poodle-dogs, but in retrospect Long Cold Winter ranks with any blues-rock of the Eighties. The back porch instrumental picking opening each side digs persuasively deep, but the band lets hooks — in four charting singles, for starters — evolve naturally out of the slide and pedal steel. Sneakily kicking off with "Bad Seamstress Blues"/"Falling Apart at the Seams," both world-weary Janis-style weepers and hopped-up Nazareth-style ravers unfurl seamlessly. Vocalist Tom Keifer clearly yearns to get back home, but his gypsy road won't take him there. So he grows his hair to the sky and dares you to poke fun of it and drives all night just to keep his rat in the race. C.E.