Tony Rich Project's career has been an interesting evolution. While everyone knows him best for Nobody Knows, his music has trended more into soul and spoken word with later albums. Each project is an unexpected surprise as Tony Rich explores different styles of music.
He has released six albums over the years that explore all different styles. Everyone knows about Words, but he also explored some harder rock music with Resurrected, and more spiritual soul and jazz with his most recent Encaustic. Every album is a unique blend of Tony Rich music.
With this list, we are going to attempt to look across his entire career and pick out the tracks we think are the best Tony Rich songs. It's a challenging task as it covers such a diverse style of sounds, but we hope you'll stick with us and let us know what you think his top songs are.
A mandatory inclusion on any Tony Rich list. This song is how people first get exposed to Tony Rich and discover he is so much more than it. The track was #2 on the Hot 100, #11 on the R&B charts and is an incredible listen. So much emotion packed into it.
While Nobody Knows was the centerpiece of Words, songs like Ghost showed what we would come to expect from Tony Rich over the years. It has simple production but lyrics and feeling that run down to your soul. A beautiful, haunting track.
My favorite track from Birdseye, it is the right blend of Tony Rich's spoken word style with musicality. He paints a beautiful picture of sorrow in the lyrics, it immediately sucks you into the song. The chorus is catchy and solid, and anyone broken down will be singing these words with him.
Off of Tony Rich's most recent album, Encaustic, The Graze has such a subdued opening that it grabs you. It's hard not to listen to this track and find yourself getting lost inside of it.
Sponge was some of the great evolution we saw in Pictures. Resurrected often felt like the guitar solos were just a chance to jam. But in Sponge, the guitar solo feels like a crucial part of the track, letting us stew in the heartfelt lyrics.
This song dominated my college years. My favorite track on Exist, I love the lyrics here. It's great track and I love the opening lines. "Sitting here talking in letters but I think it might just sound a little better face to face."
Movin On from the Pictures album is one of those perfect tracks to summarize Tony Rich's style. I don't understand the lyrics fully, but holy cow, it's a beautiful song. The flow of the track is great, the lyrics are solid. Great song that should be atop any list.
This song has some slick production. It's opening beat makes it such a distinctive song. When the "shots go by", you're already so immersed in the song, it could stop right there and you'd be sold. But Tony Rich continues with a nasally delivery as he grabs your stomach and makes you feel the loss he's going through.
Grass Is Green has such a soulful punch to it. In our times of social unrest, this song puts you right in the midst of it and makes you open your eyes to it all. This song came out in 1996 but it invokes the internal turmoil that so many people continue to be going through to this day.
Such beautiful imagery. Sometimes, Tony Rich feels more like a poet than a singer, and Now You're Gone is a great example of that. The track really paints a picture of a breakup, it takes the song to a whole different level. Truly a wordsmith.
After the dark tones of Tony Rich's Words album, Birdseye had some more positivity and feel good energy. No Time Soon has that anthem vibe as Tony Rich looks towards positivity and sheds the stress from his shoulders.
The pleading in the chorus of I Wanna Be immediately resonates. Tony Rich seemed to recognize the feeling it invoked as it's one of his few songs that opens right up with the chorus. It sets the tone right and gets the song into the right mindspace.
On Resurrected, Tony Rich seemed to have decided to start exploring more rock feels. Mental Purgatory is all in on the rock elements. It's a long track featuring lengthy guitar solos. It's such a different side of Tony Rich, but it's fun and a nice change of pace on any playlist.
Silly Man is similar to No Time Soon as it features a giddy Tony Rich, carefree about all the stress and burden of the world. It connects well with the feeling of a new relationship as the lyrics pack fun visuals like "I found you so I'll bake you a chocolate cake."
Near the end of the Pictures album, Don't Be Worried as quiet production but such a punch in its delivery. The lyrics are haunting, and it has so much emotion, it's hard not to feel like this track came from the heart. Dark messages, but delivered with a feeling that stands out.