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Out of This World

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Though it's usually overshadowed by the album that preceded it—1986’s The Final CountdownOut of This World was easily one of the best hard rock records of 1988. Produced by Ron Nevison, who'd just collaborated on a string of big hits for the likes of Heart and Ozzy Osbourne, the album refined Europe’s already-acute sense of pop songcraft, but it also contained riffs that were much grittier than anything on their debut. If not for Nevison’s penchant for extra servings of synth, it'd be easier to recognize the toughness of the riffs embedded in “Tower’s Callin’,” “Let the Good Times Rock,” and even “Sign of the Times.” Though there might have been a heavier rock band inside Europe just dying to get out, there was certainly nothing wrong with the soaring, sweet metal style that made them famous. When it comes to catchy hard rock from the hair metal era, it doesn’t get better than “Superstitious,” “Ready or Not,” and “Tomorrow,” the last of which is one of the most potent power ballads from a period packed with similar songs.


Formed: 1981 in Stockholm, Sweden

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Originally a progressive rock group, Europe didn't achieve success until they reworked their sound into bombastic yet melodic pop-metal. In their first incarnation, the Swedish band was called Force. The band -- featuring core members Joey Tempest (vocals), John Norum (guitar), Tony Reno (drums), and John Leven (bass) -- won a national talent contest in the early '80s, which led to a record contract. After changing their name to Europe and releasing two albums in Sweden (Europe and Wings of Tomorrow),...
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Out of This World, Europe
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