TNT formed in the Norwegian town of Trondheim in 1982 by Ronni Le Torkö, and released a Norway-only debut that same year with all lyrics in Norwegian. Not soon after, original vocalist Dag Ingebrigtsen (aka D.D. Dynamite) was replaced by American (New York native) Tony Harnell. Harnell debuted on the band's first international album, 1984's "Knights of the New Thunder," on which he was credited as Tony Hansen.
TNT (Karussell) 1982
Humble beginnings for one of Norway's finest exports. The original TNT lineup consisted of Dag Ingebrigtsen (Vocals), Ronni Le Tekro (Guitars), Steiner Eikum (Bass), and drummer Morten "Diesel" Dahl. Their first self-titled album was released on Vertigo in Norway only, due to the fact that the lyrics were in Norwegian. It's a bit odd to my American ears hearing these songs all sung in Norwegian, but I also think it adds a bit of charm and mystique to the album. TNT's debut is pure heavy metal. Ronnie's guitarwork on this debut was already spectacular and already helped to establish them as a fine metal band. "Etyde i Fuzz-mål" is a fine example of some Eddie Van Halen inspired guitar wankery. (ehhh, "Etyde i Fuzz-mål" means what?) The only real downfall to this EP is the vocals. While Dag is a decent singer, he doesn't have the character or charisma of Tony Harnell who will soon take TNT to new heights with their follow-up release.
Apparently there is an ultra rare 5 track vinyl EP with some of the songs sung in English. But it was used for promotion only, and never made it to CD. Of course a re-recorded English version of U.S.A. made it onto the band's "Knights of the New Thunder" album. The English versions of "Harley Davidson" and "Eddie" were released on "The Big Bang" compilation.
TNT-Knights of the New Thunder (Vertigo) 1984
Without a doubt, Knights of the New Thunder is TNT's crowning achievement. This disc is just chock full of meaty heavy metal with superb songwriting, guitar playing and vocals. The entire CD just shreds! By today's standards this disc would probably be labeled melodic metal, due to the melodic nature of the songwriting, the catchy choruses and the high pitched clean vocals. However in 1984 there were few bands doing stuff this intense. There are several standout cuts, although as I stated the entire CD shreds. However, "Ready to Leave", ""Last Summer's Evil", "Deadly Metal" and "Tor With the Hammer" are all outstanding songs. By far my favorite TNT CD. The cover pictured above is the German version, the Japanese version has a completely different cover.
Powergod recorded a cover of "Tor With the Hammer".
TNT - Tell No Tales (Mercury) 1987
1. "Everyone's a Star"
High pitched, high energy, commercial heavy metal from Norway's TNT. Can't understand why this band didn't do much better. Songs like "Child's Play" and "10,000 Lovers" should have been tearing up the charts in '87-'88. I had read that "10, 000 Lovers (In One)" received some radio and MTV play, but I don't recall ever hearing or seeing this song back then. Just goes to show that is takes more than talent, look, and a big record company to make it big. I mean, these guys had it all. There are three short guitar instrumentals on this disc as well that break up the disc a bit and ad some flavor. This particular disc, I believe, is out of print in the U.S.. A friend picked this up for me in they used bins for $7.99 in the Chicago area.
TNT - Intuition (Vertigo) 1988
1. "A Nation Free
Majestic sounding pop-metal with infectious hooks and excellent guitar work. The band has an excellent sense of melody that pushes them over the top of many of the pop-metal bands of the late 80's. Their songs are not so much anthemic in nature but loaded with tons of instrumental details, arrangement twists and excellent songwriting. Of course there is tons of power ballads like in the excellent title track, but then there are heavier songs like "Forever Shine On" that proves the band can rock as well. "Caught Between the Tigers" is another rocking track with some stellar guitar work.
Once again the Tony Harnell/Ronni LeTekrö formula proves to be a winning combination as "Realized Fantasies" proves to be another in a line of brilliant, melodic heavy metal platters. This one is similar to "Intuition" in that there is a perfect blend of commercial, melodic appeal with crunchy guitar tones and killer guitar solos. Something I heard on this disc that I didn't really hear in the past was a slight Queen influence, especially on "Easy Street.". (Anyone else heard that?) Plenty of standout cuts on this one as well; "Purple Mountain Majesty", "Mother Wanned Me" and "Downhill Racer".
Wow! Now I certainly wasn't expecting an album like this from TNT. For some reason I always had the idea in my head the TNT stayed pretty close to their original sound, not unlike Pretty Maids. However, "Firefly" is not melodic, pop metal, but rather a more modern sounding hard rock album with some decent guitar work and equally stellar vocals. If all modern rock bands were this good, I probably would like the more modern styles a bit more. I must admit, however, that I am more a fan of the band's early, more metallic material and this is not really my thing. That's not to say that I don't like this disc however. Songs like "Angel's Ride" and the title track are quite good. Over time I imagine I will probably like the whole album. However, the modern, acoustic nature of this album, along with the obvious Beatles influences are just not as appealing to me as the band's earlier material. Compares to Holy Soldier's "Promise Man", although I'd say TNT are quite a bit better.
Wooohooo! Thanks to my good friend Kurt in Norway, I now am the proud owner of the limited edition double disc version of Firefly with the complete "Three Nights in Tokyo!" show on disc two. Unlike the American single disc version titled "Firefly + Live", this one has the complete song listing for both albums.
TNT-Firely and Live! (Shrapnel) 1996
Not sure of the story behind this disc. I don't know why this U.S. release contains only select songs off "Firefly" and has the added live tracks. Doesn't really matter I suppose. The live tracks are what I am most interested in here. These tracks were recorded in Tokyo, 1992. All five tracks are superbly performed and well recorded. Of course Ronni's guitar solo is outstanding in and of itself. Had just these live tracks been released as an EP, I still would have wanted this disc. What surprised me was how much I enjoyed listening to the first nine studio tracks. I admit that I was not blown away by "Firefly" when I first heard it, like I was other TNT discs. However, I suppose over time the songs have grown on me. While the music is without a doubt more in the modern rock direction, the vocal harmonies continue in the melodic rock mode and give the songs the hook that kept me listening and not skipping over to the live material. Still I don't think that "Firefly" competes with the band's earlier discs, but an enjoyable listen nonetheless.
TNT - Transistor (Spitfire) 1999
Like God" (3:55)
Tony Harnell and Ronnie LeTekrö et al. are back in '99 with a disc that improves on "Firefly" but doesn't really stray far from that modern rock style. Musically I think this album falls within the Mötley Crüe "Generation Swine" and Guardian "Bottlerocket" mode of following on the coat tails of popular radio rock. Unfortunately for Crüe and Guardian, those albums are terrible! TNT however manage to pull it thought thanks mostly to the stellar vocal performance of Tony Harnell. His smooth melodic vocal harmonies are what I like best about this disc. Ronni LeTekrö is a shredder, but he doesn't show much of that attitude on this disc, choosing instead to come across as rather lifeless and dull. The whole strumming approach to rhythm playing, as opposed to staccato picking or power chords, is a bit boring to me. So, as with "Firefly" I find this one to be a mixed bag. I still think TNT are better than most modern rock bands, but I prefer the TNT of old. The songs were more memorable and enjoyable, at least for me. I really dig the bizarre cover art on this album though.
TNT - The Big Bang-The Essential Collection (MTM Music) 2003
Excellent career retrospect compilation, that surprisingly features nothing from "Transistor" and "Firefly." As with any compilation of a band I like, there are songs that I personally would have included that are not, and some I would not have included that are. I was surprised that "Purple Mountain's Majesty" and "Tor With the Hammer" were not included on this disc. There are a few rare tracks included, including "Harley Davidson" and "Eddie" off the band's mega-rare first album, as well as "Destiny" an unreleased track. "Hey Love" and "Satellite" are brand new tracks that have the band moving away from the modern rock sound of "Transistor" and moving forward to a more melodic rock sound. These two tracks actually fall somewhere between the band's 80's sound and their more modern style. Can't wait for their new release. (thanks for the disc Kurt.)
TNT - My Religion (Crush/Mayhem) 2004
1. "Invisible Noise"
As was hinted at with the "Give Me a Sign" EP, "My Religion" is a welcome return to the more melodic hard rock songwriting of TNT's past. I for one am thankful that they moved beyond the alternative-rock thing they had done on the past few albums. "My Religion" is chock full of memorable hooks and melodies. That is not to say this CD sounds like dated 80's rock. There is the slightest hint of those modern vibes, but it mixes well with TNT's classic sound. Ronni Le Tokrö once again shines and is able to stretch out and do some guitar shredding, as he does so well. All the new songs off of the "Give Me A Sign" EP are on this full length album as well. This is actually the third release that "Hey Love" and "Satellite" have been released on. Of the new tracks, "She Needs Me" and "You'll Be There" are my favorites. Both of these tracks are emotional and moving, albeit mellower than some of the other songs. Overall, a fine release from TNT and certainly their best in a long time. This is definitely going to be a favorite release of 2004. (mega-thanks James.)
TNT - All The Way To The Sun (Playground Music) 2005
1. "A Fix" (4:03)
TNT have been experimenting with their sound for a long time. While their last CD was a return to the more straight forward hard rock, I'd be hard pressed to call "All the Way to the Sun" hard rock, no less heavy metal. On first listen I was a bit disappointed, but upon subsequent listens it is apparent that "All the Way to the Sun" is one of those discs that grows on you. I will say that this album doesn't quite hold up to "My Religion" but doeskin contain some good songs. "A Fix" is a good opener and one of the more upbeat songs on the disc. Likewise, "Too Late" sounds like it easily could have fit with anything on "My Religion". "Sometimes" is another standout cut. The short guitar solo in the middle of this song reminded me of Brian May a bit, more because of the guitar tone than the playing. This song is a melodic ballad and one of the best songs on the disc. The cover of Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World" is, uhhh...interesting and a bit of an odd inclusion. The title track is filled with layers of vocal harmonies and is another interesting song, although certainly not one of the album best. As usual, Tony Harnell's vocals are superb. He just has one of those voices that can do no wrong. Likewise, Ronnie LeTekro delivers some solid, albeit subdued guitar work. While there are some short guitar solos on this disc, it seems that Ronnie is following in the footsteps of many other modern bands and not shredding like we all know he can.
TNT - Live In Madrid (Bonnier Amigo) 2006
I've said it before, live albums seem to be the end of an era for a band. TNT - Live In Madrid is the end of an era for TNT as this is to be the last album with longtime vocalist Tony Harnell. This CD/DVD collection offers what amounts to a greatest hits package, live. Personally I much prefer this to a compilation, especially since TNT already has a few compilation CDs out. TNT are a more than competent live band. Ronni Le Tekrø is a shredder who has held back a bit on the band's more recent releases. However, he is given the chance to let go a bit here and he even offers up a fun guitar solo with some amusing audience participation and even a talk box. The newer material sounds a bit beefier and heavier here and the older songs are given new life as well. If I had to find fault at all in this CD, I would have wanted to hear a few more songs from "Knights of the New Thunder". As it stands, "Live in Madrid" is an excellent testimony to one of Norway's greatest exports. (Thanks Kmorg)
TNT - The New Territory (Bonnier Amigo) 2007
1. A Constitution"
As with any longtime TNT fan, I expect the departure of vocalist Tony Harnell to spell the end of TNT. His voice was the signature sound of this band, along with Ronnie LeTekro's guitar pyrotechnics. However, in '07 TNT trudges ahead with new vocalist Tony Mills (ex-Shy). His voice is also very distinctive, but he does have a lot of similarities to Harnell and fits into this band's sound quite well. For those looking for the melodic heavy metal of the 80's, this album won't impress them. Those looking for the natural progression from the band's last couple CDs should be pleased with at least half of this album. "The New Territory" is, for the most part, a quality, melodic rock album. There are plenty of mellow moments on this CD with a total of four ballads. However, the harder rockin' moments are quite good. Album opener "A Consititution", "Substitute", "Cant' Go On Without", "Milestone River" and the slightly more melodic "Are You Blind? are prime TNT songs complete with those smooth, layered vocal harmonies and LeTekro's superb guitar playing. Some songs seem to be influenced by Norwegian folk music, which would only make sense since TNT are based in Norway. There are a few songs I would qualify as pure filler. "Now We're Talkin'" is an quirky song with the lyrics compromised of various Beatles song titles. The words to this song are spoken in an exaggerated English accent rather than sung. "June" is an odd number as well that I can only describe as a happy song complete with orchestration. Sort of reminds me of TNT's cover of "A Wonderful World" on "All the Way to the Sun". Ultra-happy. Ultra-corny. Also, "Let's Party Mills" is just Tony reading the credits for the album, over some weird circus music. Overall, this album isn't bad and new vocalist Tony Mills is a welcome addition, but I would like to see a more solid album that isn't peppered with silly fillers.
TNT - Atlantis (Bonnier-Amigo) 2008
Norwegian rockers TNT are one of those bands that are held in high regard by metal fans due to their early works. Starting with “Firefly” in the mid-1990’s, the band began experimenting with their sound and I was one of those who was initially disappointed. However, I still enjoyed their music and began to appreciate it for what it was. TNT haven’t really been a heavy metal band for over a decade. With that in mind, I haven’t really expected a metal release from TNT and have enjoyed their new releases without any disappointment.
TNT - A Farewell to Arms (Dynamo) 2010