Europe (band)

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Clockwise from left: Ian Haugland, Mic Michaeli, Joey Tempest, John Levén, John Norum.


Europe are a Swedish melodic hard rock band mostly known for the mega-hit "The Final Countdown". The band's roots can be traced back to 1979 when they started out as Force, but in 1982 they started performing under the name Europe.

After becoming quite successful in their home country with a couple of hit albums under their belts, Europe achieved their greatest success internationally with their third album, The Final Countdown, with its famous title song becoming a number one hit worldwide thanks to the growing popularity of Hair Metal. While Europe begins and ends with this song as far as a lot of people are concerned, they had other hits, such as the Power Ballad "Carrie" (which was actually a bigger hit than "The Final Countdown" in America when it was released in 1986).

Europe members[edit | hide | hide all]

Current

  • Joey Tempest - vocals (1979-1992, 2003-)
  • John Norum - guitar (1979-1986, 2003-)
  • John Levén - bass (1981-1992, 2003-)
  • Mic Michaeli - keyboards (1984-1992, 2003-)
  • Ian Haugland - drums (1984-1992, 2003-)

Former

  • Kee Marcello - guitar (1986-1992)
  • Tony Reno - drums (1979-1984)
  • Marcel Jacob - bass (1981)
  • Peter Olsson - bass (1979-1981)

Discography[edit | hide]

  • 1983 - Europe
    • The debut album, the first prize of Rock-SM 82, was recorded over two weekends whenever there was studio time available, and bassist John Levén had to take illegal absences from his military service.
  • 1984 - Wings Of Tomorrow
    • The second album featured a more experienced and well-rounded Europe. Recorded in the famous Polar Studios in the center of Stockholm, "Wings" features traditional heavy metal lyric subjects and competent songwriting throughout, with many of the songs still in the band's set, such as "Scream of Anger", "Open Your Heart" and the title track.
  • 1986 - The Final Countdown
    • The work for Europe's breakthrough album was delayed when Joey Tempest got serious voice troubles from an infection.
  • 1988 - Out Of This World
    • The first album with John Norum's successor, Kee Marcello.
  • 1991 - Prisoners In Paradise
  • 2004 - Start From The Dark
    • The comeback album from the The Final Countdown line-up.
  • 2006 - Secret Society
  • 2009 - Last Look At Eden
  • 2012 - Bag of Bones

Europe and their music feature the following tropes[edit | hide]

  • Album Title Drop
  • All Drummers Are Animals: IAN HAUGLAND!! His antics have included running with his pants down at parties, the pee balloon and 19(!) bottlecaps.
  • Audience Participation Song: "The Final Countdown", "Rock the Night". Also, some Freddie Mercury-style sing-along vocal contests have always been a part of their live shows.
  • Author Tract: "Homeland" on Prisoners In Paradise and the unreleased song from the same sessions, "Mr. Government Man" might just be songs inspired by the band moving to Bahamas to avoid high Swedish taxes and Joey being charged a big sum of money for evading his country's obligatory military service. Also, "Last Look At Eden" is inspired by the political situation in the USA.
  • Black Sheep Hit: Guitarist John Norum felt that way about "The Final Countdown", and the associated style, so he left the band. He eventually returned when they reunited.
  • Break Up Song: "Carrie", their best known example. "Prisoners in Paradise" as well.
  • Chorus-Only Song: Guess which song?
  • Cover Version: Their 2008 live album, Almost Unplugged, includes four covers, namely of UFO, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Thin Lizzy.
    • Guitarist John Norum did a Thin Lizzy cover in each of his solo albums, bar a few.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Ian Haugland prefers to play drums barefoot.
  • Executive Meddling: Their fifth album was originally titled Break Free and was finished in November 1990, but their record label was reportedly not satisfied with the material and asked the band to write more hit songs. The album was eventually renamed Prisoners in Paradise and released in September 1991.
    • A more positive example revolves around "The Final Countdown". When they wrote it, the band were just looking for a cool concert opener, and had no plans to release it as a single. One suggestion from Epic Records later, they had their biggest worldwide hit.
  • Filk Song: "Seven Doors Hotel" is based on the horror film The Beyond. Yes, that one. Not surprisingly, it passes off as Nightmare Fuel for some not familiar with Europe's earlier music.
    • "Seventh Sign" is based on the apocalyptic film The Seventh Sign.
  • The Four Chords of Pop: The chorus of "Superstitious" is a solid example.
  • Hair Metal: From 1986 to 1992.
  • Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: Ian Haugland.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Joey Tempest even admits being this with John Norum in the bio of their official website.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: The video for "Got To Have Faith" (2004) has the Ghost Rider, a stunt biker in Sweden with a secret identity, notorious for riding at excessively high speeds in traffic.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: "Ninja" on The Final Countdown.
  • Instrumentals: "Boyazont" on Europe, "Aphasia" on Wings of Tomorrow.
  • Intercourse with You:
  • Lighter and Softer: The Final Countdown, of course. Europe was a very different band, bordering on Thin Lizzy-influenced metal that sometimes resembled Iron Maiden. They got lighter with the next release, Out Of This World.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Their more recent albums, particularly Start From The Dark. The music is full of dark, brooding guitar tones, with down-tuning. The lyrics, however, are very positive and encouraging.
  • Metal Scream: Heard often on their first two albums.
  • New Sound Album: Start from the Dark being the most obvious example.
  • One-Hit Wonder: "The Final Countdown," to many people. However, they did have another top 10 hit with "Carrie," which peaked higher in the US but is less memorable than "Countdown."
  • One Steve Limit: Averted by John Norum and John Levén.
  • One-Woman Song: "Carrie".
  • Performance Video: "The Final Countdown".
  • The Pete Best: Tony Reno.
  • Power Ballad: "Carrie", "Open Your Heart", "Prisoners in Paradise"...
  • Porn Stache: Averted. UNLESS YOU DIG TOO DEEP INTO THEIR HISTORY.
  • Rock Me, Amadeus: Not on albums, but Ian Haugland's live drum solos have contained Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and the William Tell Overture.
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: With the exception of "Rock the Night", Joey Tempest did all the backing vocals himself on The Final Countdown. Averted on all previous and subsequent albums though.
    • Kee, Mic and Joey were credited as a backup vocal group on Prisoners In Paradise, named "The Lame Swedes".
  • Self-Titled Album: Big in Japan.
  • Sequel Gap: Europe was on hiatus 1992-2003.
  • Sixth Ranger: Kee Marcello. Also The Other Darrin in the videos for "Rock The Night", "Carrie" and "Cherokee", songs for which he did not record.
  • Something Blues: "Devil Sings the Blues" on Secret Society, "Not Supposed to Sing the Blues" on Bag of Bones.
  • Stage Names: The only members to use their birth names are John Norum and John Levén. Joey Tempest is Joakim Larsson, and Mic Michaeli and Ian Haugland's real first names are Gunnar and Håkan, respectively.
  • Title-Only Chorus: "The Final Countdown".