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Europe - The Final Countdown

Editor's Choice...

And this time ... a recommendation with a "sugar overdose" warning...

You will not find here a story about a masterpiece album or a bunch of geniuses who wrote complex works, there will be no asymmetrical rhythms nor multi-instrumentalists that were touched by the hand of God and play with virtuosity reserved for virtuous individuals.

Yes, yes, we know, it's as simple as a song in three chords, it's catchy as Abba's song, sometimes it's as shallow as the Dead Sea, sometimes as sticky as cotton candy, but we love it, and even enjoy it very much! Here, we said it. Now you are welcome to pull out the arrows or put us in front of a firing squad, you choose.

So in case you did not understand, on May 26, 1986, Europe released their third album, "The Final Countdown", an album that we encourage you to listen to from beginning to end.

This album is much more than the theme song, which is definitely not a representative sample of what this band is capable of. What's more, Europe is much more than the album "The Final Countdown", it is an excellent hard rock / heavy metal band that is active to this day with the same band that played on this album and continues to release great albums.

So today we are here to recommend an album that may be familiar to many just because of the big hit and the theme song, but there is much more to it than that. This is an excellent album that maintains a uniform level almost throughout its length and from which no less than five singles were released that immediately became hits: "The Final Countdown", "Love Chaser", "Rock the Night", "Carrie" and "Cherokee".

Judging only by the outtake "On Broken Wings" which was recorded in sessions for the album but did not enter the final version and was later released as a b-side, then this album is just perfect. The outtake is so beautiful, that it is not clear how it did not enter the album, and perhaps this is to teach about the excellent writing ability of the band at that time.

The song that was first written for the album was the rhythmic and sweeping "Rock the Night", which Joey Tempest wrote during the tour that promoted the band's previous album - "Wings of Tomorrow" from 1984. The song describes the good feelings and upliftment during the band's tour.

It is followed by "Ninja", a particularly catchy classic hard rock song that accurately reflects the synthesized hair metal style at the time.

The famous synthesizer riff for the theme song "The Final Countdown" was written by singer Joey Tempest back in 1981 on the Korg Polysix synthesizer he borrowed from keyboardist Mic Michaeli. When bassist John Levén heard the riff in 1985 he urged Tempest to write a song based on the riff. Tempest was convinced and wrote the lyrics inspired by David Bowie's song "Space Oddity". Tempest intended to write the song so that it would serve as an opening piece in the band's performances and the original version was over 6 minutes long.

The Power Ballad "Carrie" was performed by the band back in 1985. The earlier versions were only with keyboards. Joey Tempest admitted that there is no real Carrie and that the song is not based on anyone from his personal life.

The song "Cherokee" was the last to be written for the album. The band was missing one more piece. Joey played his band an unfinished melody, the members got excited and the song was written in the studio. The lyrics are a kind of tribute to the Cherokee tribe in the United States.

This album does not give adequate representation to the band's real sound, especially not as it has sounded in the last twenty years, but it's definitely a fun album full of 80s hair metal. It's just as fun now as it was in 1986.

So if your mind craves some light music, catchy songs, and melodic solos, imagine that you are opening the sunroof, fantasizing that you have long, puffy hair and that it is entertaining in the pleasant spring breeze.

And now just click on one of the links... Spotify, Apple Music

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