heartbreaking, depressing, one-hit wonders
"Harden My Heart" is a song by rock group Quarterflash, written by their guitarist Marv Ross. It is a million-selling Gold-certified single and was featured on the band's Platinum-selling Quarterflash album, released in 1981.
The song was originally released as a single in early 1980 by Seafood Mama, Quarterflash's predecessor band. It featured more sparse instrumentation but a more dramatic vocal arrangement than the hit version and was a regional success on radio stations in Portland, Oregon. The record's video features theatrics in and around an office trailer with dark corridors and swinging light bulbs from the ceiling before it was bulldozed and torched.
After changing their name, Quarterflash released their self-titled debut album in 1981 which contained the new version of "Harden My Heart". This power ballad version was released as the album's first single. In early 1982, it reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and also hit #1 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The song reached the Top 20 in Germany, New Zealand and France. It was the group's only Top 10 Pop single, although the follow-up single from the album, "Find Another Fool (Quarterflash)", and the 1983 hit "Take Me to Heart (Quarterflash)" both entered the Top 20. It reached #41 U.S. Adult Contemporary.
This song is included in the game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, in the radio station Emotion 98.3 and was played twice in the pilot episode of Knight Rider. It also appears in the game Activision Anthology.
The song is used in the 2001 film Wet Hot American Summer, which is set in 1981.
Julianne Hough and Mary J. Blige sing this song in the film Rock of Ages.
An excerpt of this song is also heard in the opening scene of the pilot episode of The Americans, a 2013 television series aired on the FX cable channel. The series is set in United States in 1981.
Rindy Ross: Vocals
David Sanborn: Saxophone
Marv Ross: Guitars
Jack Charles: Guitars, vocals
Rick DiGiallonardo: Keyboards
Rich Gooch: Bass
Brian David Willis: Drums, percussion