Our top 10 TNT songs list looks at the body of work of one of the most iconic Norwegian heavy metal bands of all time. While TNT has presented itself as a heavy metal ensemble, some of its releases feature a hint of glam metal and hard rock sonic influences. The band was formed in 1982, starting with a lineup of four members. Its original lineup consisted of guitarist Ronni Le Tekrø, bassist Steinar Eikum vocalist/rhythm guitarist Dag Ingebrigtsen, and drummer Diesel Dahl.
A few months after TNT’s inauguration, the band signed a recording contract with Vertigo Records, a subsidiary of Polygram. The band went on to release its eponymous debut album in 1983. Other notable albums issued the same year through Vertigo Records include Live Evil (live album) by Black Sabbath, Back to Back by Status Quo, and Pyromania by Def Leppard.
TNT is the band’s only studio album to feature Norwegian lyrics. The band would later re-record the album in English in 1984, releasing it as an EP of the same title. One of the musical gems from the band’s debut album is “Harley-Davidson.” TNT marked the band’s final album with Steinar Eikum as the bassist. Steinar was replaced by bassist Morty Black. Vocalist and rhythm guitarist Dag Ingebrigtsen was also replaced by Tony Harnell, only to reunite with the band briefly in 2008 and 2012.
TNT’s Album Releases over the Years
With a new lineup, TNT was ready to pursue success after attracting attention to its musical pursuits and talent with its debut album. In 1984, the band released its sophomore studio album, Knights of the New Thunder. This heavy metal sound-oriented album featured “USA” and “Eddie,” two songs initially from the band’s debut album.
Thanks to the stunning vocal range of the American vocalist Tony Harnell that Knight of the New Thunder managed to attract an international fanbase to the band. While the album didn’t chart internationally, it managed to rise to the ninth spot on the Norway Albums chart. “Seven Seas” and “Knights of the New Thunder” are some of the best TNT songs from the album.
The band went on to release its third studio album, Tell No Tales, in 1987. Tell No Tales catapulted the band to international success after it made it to the hundredth spot on the Billboard 200. The album also topped the Norway Albums chart, peaking at number forty-one on Swedish charts. Tell No Tales was a commercial success in Norway, achieving Gold certification.
Once more, the individual brilliance of vocalist Tony Harnell and guitarist Ronni is highlighted as the biggest influence on the success of the album. Unlike the band’s former albums, Tell No Tales featured strong glam metal sonic influences. “10,000 Lovers (In One)” and “Everyone’s A Star” are the biggest songs by TNT from the album. Both of the songs received massive airplay on MTV’s Headbangers Ball.
Unfortunately, Tell No Tales marked the band’s last studio album with drummer Diesel Dahl. Diesel was replaced by Kevin Odiin, who the band recorded its fourth studio album with, in 1989. Intuition saw the band blend its usual heavy metal sound with glam metal. Once more, the band enjoyed the spoils of international success, with the album making it to the Billboard 200 at number one hundred and fifteen. Intuition also peaked at number three on the Norway Albums chart, rising to number nineteen on the Swedish Albums Chart. “Tonight I’m Falling” and “Intuition” are some of the musical gems from the album.
The band signed a recording deal with Atlantic Records through which it released its fifth studio album, Realized Fantasies, in 1992. Like the band’s last two albums, Realized Fantasies saw the band take on a blend of heavy metal and glam metal sonic influences. Unfortunately, the album was a commercial failure owing to poor promotion, especially in the US. As a result, the album never made it to the Billboard 200, only managing the fifth spot on the Norway Albums chart and number forty-four on the Swedish Albums Chart. “Rain” is one of the most popular songs by TNT from the album.
The band disbanded for a short while, a time which allowed its members to take on solo projects. However, the band returned in 1996, releasing a studio album, Firefly, the following year. Firefly only managed to rise to number sixteen on the Norway Albums chart. The album was soon followed by the band’s seventh studio album, Transistor, issued in 1999. Transistor went on to reach number twenty-nine on the Norway Albums chart. Both of the albums were issued through Norske Gram. Firefly and Transistor saw the band return to its heavy metal sound.
In 2004, TNT released its eighth studio album, My Religion. My Religion is home to one of the best TNT songs, “She Needs Me.” The album peaked at number fourteen on the Norway Albums chart. TNT went on to release its ninth studio album, All the Way to the Sun, in 2005. “Driving” is one of the musical gems featured on the LP. My Religion and All the Way the Sun saw the band take on a blend of heavy metal and glam metal sounds. The two albums were issued through MTM Records.
TNT released two albums, The New Territory in 2007 and Atlantis in 2008, through Bonnier Amigo. The albums peaked at number eleven and fourteen, respectively, on the Norway Albums chart. Later in 2010, the band its twelfth studio album, A Farewell to Arms. A Farewell to Arms was titled Engine in the US. Unfortunately, the album never made it to the charts. After eight years without releasing any LPs, the band was back with its thirteenth studio album, XIII. The album was issued through Frontier Records, featuring hits such as “We’re Gonna Make It” and “Not Feeling Anything.”
TNT’s Accolades and Legacy
TNT remains one of the most successful Norwegian heavy metal acts of all time. The band has conducted successful tours across Europe, Japan, and the US. TNT has also opened for reputable acts like Scorpions. In 1988 the band’s third studio album, Tell No Tales, won the Spellemannprisen Awards for Best Rock Album accolade. The band has, over the years, received recognition for its magnificent music career back in its homeland. As a result, TNT was inducted into the Rockheim Hall of Fame in 2019. Here we present the ten best TNT songs of all time.
#10 – Angel’s Ride
Opening our top 10 TNT songs list is the captivating hit “Angel’s Ride.” The song was penned by the band’s guitarist Ronni and vocalist Tony Harnell. “Angel’s Ride” is among the most popular songs by TNT from the band’s sixth studio album, Firefly. Guitarist Ronni delivers a unique, awe-inspiring guitar solo. This is in addition to some great riffs all through this heavy metal ballad.
#9 – She Needs Me
The success of the band’s third and fourth studio albums put more pressure on TNT to make such releases constantly. However, this was far from achieved, especially after the band cut ties with Vertigo Records. My Religion marked the band’s next fan-favorite album since Intuition.
“Lonely Nights” and the ninth pick on our top 10 TNT songs list “She Needs Me” are some of the biggest musical gems from the album. “She Needs Me” is an alluring guitar-driven hit that brings the best of Ronni’s guitar skills. The song is also Tony Harnell’s favorite hit from the album.
#8 – Harley-Davidson
There is always one song that puts a band/artist into the limelight, and for TNT, that song was “Harley-Davidson.” The song is among the first releases the band issued in its eponymous debut album. Like most of the songs from the band’s debut album, “Harley-Davidson” was issued with Norwegian lyrics. However, an English version of the song would later be released in 1984 on the band’s eponymous EP.
The song’s title refers to the American motorcycle brand of the same name. “Harley-Davidson” is among the best TNT songs that feature Dag Ingebrigtsen on the vocals. The band’s original drummer Diesel Dahl released a cover of this song on the 1997 LP Recycled.
#7 – As Far as the Eye Can See
“As Far as the Eye Can See” is one of the biggest hits by TNT from the mid-’80s. The song is featured on the band’s best-selling and highest-charting album, Tell No Tales. “As Far as the Eye Can See” finds singer Tony Harnell fully capitalizing on his four-octave modal voice. The song also features the background vocals of Håkon Iversen and amazing keyboard sounds from additional personnel featured on the band’s lineup for the album.
#6 – We’re Gonna Make It
Number six on our top 10 TNT songs list is the hit “We’re Gonna Make It.” The song is featured on the band’s most recent album, XIII. After Tony Harnell, there was Tony Mills, who tried his best to fill in the gap Harnell left. However, Mills would also leave after recording three studio albums.
“We’re Gonna Make It” is a perfect introduction to the band’s four and current lead vocalist Baol Bardot Bulsara. Bulsara’s vocals find the band’s fans reminiscing TNT’s good old days with Tony Mills. Of course, this follows Bulsara’s individual brilliance on the vocals, which is the major highlight of this release. However, the song also brings out the best in Ronni’s guitar skills. The additional spoken words on the intro and outro add some exquisite and unique to the song’s overall feel and mood.
#5 – Everyone’s A Star
“Everyone’s A Star” is yet another magnificent hit from the band’s album Tell No Tales. The song finds singer Tony Harnell issuing his signature four-octave modal voice, as seen on the hit “As Far as the Eye Can See.” “Everyone’s A Star” is, however, more vicious compared to “As Far as the Eye Can See.” Its blend of glam metal and heavy metal elements brings some stirring rock and roll vibe to the song. “Everyone’s A Star” is among the band’s fan-favorite and concert staples.
#4 – Tonight I’m Falling
“Tonight I’m Falling” is yet another musical gem from the band’s ’80s. The song is featured on the band’s second highest-charting album, Intuition. “Tonight I’m Falling” is among the most successful melodic rock songs ever released by the band, both on the charts and commercially. This concert staple’s success is highly motivated by the awe-inspiring guitar riffs from the band’s guitarist Ronni, inspirational vocals by Tony Harnell, and great songwriting. “Tonight I’m Falling” made it to number twelve in Norway.
#3 – Seven Seas
At the third spot of our ten biggest songs by TNT is the anthemic hit “Seven Seas.” The song is the most successful single from the band’s sophomore album, Knights of the New Thunder. “Seven Seas” is among the earliest releases that speak volumes of the band’s high level of musicianship.
However, the song also gives both guitarists Ronni and vocalist Tony Harnell to showcase their individual brilliance. The song played a part in making the two the core pillars on which the band’s success and legacy were built. “Seven Seas” is among the songs by TNT that got heavy rotation on MTV in the ’80s.
#2 – Intuition
One of the reasons TNT’s fourth studio album was covered by the Swedish power metal band was its melodic yet punching metal sounds. “Intuition” takes the lead as the most influential metal hit from the LP. This timeless hit brings on the band’s raw and powerful metal balladry in a record that balances the band’s signature heavy metal sounds and glam metal elements. “Intuition” peaked at number five in Norway.
#1 – 10,000 Lovers (In One)
Number one on our top 10 TNT songs list is the alluring hit “10,000 Lovers (In One).” The song was penned by guitarist Ronni, vocalist Harnell, and drummer Diesel Dahl. “10,000 Lovers (In One)” has its lyrics allude to a girl that the band’s vocalist knew. The song is featured on the band’s third studio album, Tell No Tales.
“10,000 Lovers (In One)” finds the band taking on glam metal sonic influences. The gamble paid off, gifting the band its most successful hit both in Norway and in the US. “10,000 Lovers (In One)” went on to peak at number two on the Norway VG-Lista. It is also the band’s only song to make it to the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at the hundredth spot.
Feature Photo: Photo by Steinar Knudsen, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
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