Super Hits by Europe on Apple Music

10 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Because everything they did was overshadowed by the singular smash “The Final Countdown,” Europe aren't often regarded as a band with a lot of “super hits.” And yet this concise 10-song overview shows that they recorded several of the best songs of the hair metal era, in several of that era’s most definitive styles. There’s the half-time groover (“Time Has Come”), the straightforward headbanger (“Let the Good Times Rock”), and the glorious ode to the era of cowboys and Indians (“Cherokee,” which at least attempts to have a social conscience). Europe’s specialty, though, was the power ballad. Whether piano-driven (“Carrie”), synth-driven (“Sign of the Times”), or string-driven (“Tomorrow”), Europe's songs were at their best when they were moving slow. Vocalist Joey Tempest was a pretty face with a voice as clear and proud as a clarion. Of course, it all pales in comparison to “The Final Countdown.” Whether you see that huge hit as a stadium rock anthem or the just theme from Rocky IV, it's without a doubt one of the most insidiously catchy rock riffs of all time.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Because everything they did was overshadowed by the singular smash “The Final Countdown,” Europe aren't often regarded as a band with a lot of “super hits.” And yet this concise 10-song overview shows that they recorded several of the best songs of the hair metal era, in several of that era’s most definitive styles. There’s the half-time groover (“Time Has Come”), the straightforward headbanger (“Let the Good Times Rock”), and the glorious ode to the era of cowboys and Indians (“Cherokee,” which at least attempts to have a social conscience). Europe’s specialty, though, was the power ballad. Whether piano-driven (“Carrie”), synth-driven (“Sign of the Times”), or string-driven (“Tomorrow”), Europe's songs were at their best when they were moving slow. Vocalist Joey Tempest was a pretty face with a voice as clear and proud as a clarion. Of course, it all pales in comparison to “The Final Countdown.” Whether you see that huge hit as a stadium rock anthem or the just theme from Rocky IV, it's without a doubt one of the most insidiously catchy rock riffs of all time.

TITLE TIME
5:08
4:14
4:29
4:12
4:00
4:06
4:02
4:05
3:03
5:36

About Europe

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), the band landed an international deal with Epic Records. By this time, Reno had left the group and been replaced by Ian Haugland. Keyboardist Mic Michaeli had also joined the lineup.

In 1986, Europe released The Final Countdown. On the album, Michaeli's keyboards take a prominent role (they provide the main riff in the hit title track), which nicely complemented the band's smoother pop melodies. The change in style proved successful, as the record became a Top Ten hit in the U.S. and U.K.; both "The Final Countdown" and "Carrie" became Top Ten singles as well. Norum left the band by the end of the year and was replaced by Kee Marcello. Released in 1988, Out of This World continued the formula of the previous record. It was also a success, although its numbers didn't match those of The Final Countdown. Three years later, Europe released their fifth studio album, Prisoners in Paradise, which featured the hit title track as well as the midtempo ballad "I'll Cry for You," before calling it quits the following year. The band, including Norum, reunited for a New Year's Eve performance in Stockholm in 1999, resulting in the announcement of an official reunion three years later. The band subsequently recorded and released their sixth album, Start from the Dark (2004), then followed it with Secret Society (2006) and Last Look at Eden (2009), the latter of which debuted at number one on the Swedish album chart. Bag of Bones (2012) had a blues-rock feel, while War of Kings (2015) was a heavy, doomy, faintly psychedelic affair strongly inspired by their childhood heroes Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Led Zeppelin. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

  • ORIGIN
    Stockholm, Sweden
  • FORMED
    1981

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