Underrated #2: Tony Harnell

I remember hearing “It Doesn’t Matter”, sang by Tony Harnell and composed by Jun Senoue on the Dreamcast game “Sonic Adventure”, back when I was eight years old. The same year, I heard his collaboration with “Ted Poley” on “Escape from the City”.

Of course, being born 1993, I’m definitely born too late to remember Tony’s biggest hits with TNT and Westworld, but there is one thing I know for sure: he’s one of the greatest singers I think I’ll ever hear in my life. In fact, I would have put him number one on my list, but he’s really the only the one on my list whose entire discography I’ve yet to hear. Still, from what I have heard, it’s never disappointing, and it’s amazing that when I tell others about him or let them have a listen, they always insist that they’ve never heard of him, or they consider his music to be outdated.

But they’re opinion doesn’t really matter here. Frontiers records uploaded this to their YouTube: Entitled Northern Lights:

Even at age 49 (then 47, I presume) He still has the same vocal range and vibrato that he had in 1985. But I couldn’t figure out is why it is that I guy like this isn’t on the top of the charts.

To sing that high (and for so long), is a talent rarely seen in today’s industry. But that’s not to over look his song writing ability, which also has a creative force behind it.

Since Tony’s TNT days, I noticed something unique about his  song writing style that was a bit of a compromise of the stereotypical hair metal band. At that point, many bands were dedicated to very cheesy ballads, coming across as being one in the same. Not so with TNT. Having listened to albums like “Knights of new Thunder”, “Tell No Tales” and “Intuition”, I loved how the lyrics were all apart of a huge spectrum of talent ranging from high fantasy (“Tor with the Hammer, Last Summer’s Evil”, Knights of New Thunder) to Inspirational (“Everyone’s A Star”, “Intuition”, “Forever Shine On”), to brilliant (not cheesy or cliche) love songs (“10,000 Lovers”, “Without your Love”, “Break The Ice”). This (personally) is a talent I haven’t heard in many 80’s bands (expect maybe White Lion).

So of course, Tony Harnell could easily become a household name with the amount of talent he carries and delivers. Everyone who hears Tony can’t deny who amazing he is, especially considering the fact that some artist lose their voices at his age, while his only seems to get better. There are also few singers who can outdo Tony in terms of vocal range (expect for maybe Miljenko Matijevic of “Steelheart”).

I guess the best thing to do HERE is to redirect you to his latest works…


Go Buy it. And good luck Tony!

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