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Music / Europe

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Europe in Stockholm 2016: John Levén, Mic Michaeli, Joey Tempest, Ian Haugland and John Norum.
We're leaving together,
But still it's farewell,
And maybe we'll come back to earth, who can tell?
I guess there is no one to blame,
We're leaving ground,
Will things ever be the same again?
—"The Final Countdown"

Europe is 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. In 1982 they started performing under the name Europe.

After becoming quite successful in their home country, with two successful 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

  • 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; died in 2009)
    • Peter Olsson - bass (1979-1981)


  • 1983 - Europe
    • The debut album, the first prize of Rock-SM 82, was recorded over two weekends whenever there was studio time available. 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 lineup.
  • 2006 - Secret Society
  • 2009 - Last Look at Eden
  • 2012 - Bag of Bones
  • 2015 - War of Kings
  • 2017 - Walk the Earth

Europe and their music feature the following tropes:

  • 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 the 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.
  • Better Partner Assertion: "Treated Bad Again" is from the POV of a man whose female friend keeps taking back her awful boyfriend no matter how many times he breaks her heart, telling her she needs to stop doing that to herself and find someone new. In the last verse he finally admits to being attracted to her himself, making it clear which "someone" he has in mind.
  • Break-Up Song: "Carrie", their best known example. "Prisoners in Paradise" as well.
  • Call-Back: "Time Has Come" from The Final Countdown references the "Dreamer" from Wings of Tomorrow.
  • Car Song: "GTO" from Walk the Earth
  • 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.
  • Darker and Edgier: Prisoners in Paradise ramps up the guitars compared to Out of this World with slightly darker lyrical content.
  • The Four Chords of Pop: The chorus of "Superstitious" is a solid example.
  • Gainax Ending: The ending of the last song on Walk the Earth ("Turn to Dust") borders on this.
  • Gratuitous Ninja: "Ninja" on The Final Countdown.
  • Hair Metal: From 1986 to 1992.
  • Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: Ian Haugland.
  • Heavy Meta: "Rock the Night".
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Joey Tempest even admits being this with John Norum in the bio of their official website.
  • Hidden Track: There are two examples on their latest albums. War of Kings ends with the soft, soothing "Vasastan", which has an extension of the opening song fading in, then fading out, and a jarring final note. Walk the Earth ends the slow and heavy "Turn to Dust" abruptly, and seconds later, has an old jazz recording for an ending.
  • Homesickness Hymn: The power ballad "Homeland" is about growing up, moving away, and moving on, yet still yearning to return to the home of one's youth.
  • Instrumentals: "Boyazont" on Europe, "Aphasia" on Wings of Tomorrow, "Vasastan" on War of Kings.
  • Intercourse with You: "Sweet Love Child".
  • Last Note Hilarity: The ending of the last song ("Turn to Dust") on Walk the Earth. It's slow, heavy and brooding. It suddenly stops abruptly, and with over a minute to go, and a completely out of place jazz recording starts playing.
  • Last Note Nightmare: The final song (or instrumental) of War Of Kings is a calm, soothing guitar melody known as "Vasastan", which fades out a minute and 40 seconds before its expected ending, and an extension of "War Of Kings" fades in with bits and pieces of the lyrics, then out, and then ends with a jarring, distorted chord.
  • The Last Title: "The Final Countdown" and "Last Look at Eden"; both the songs and the albums.
  • 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.
  • Long-Runner Line-up: The current lineup, also known as the classic The Final Countdown lineup, originally stayed together for only two years (1984-86), but has remained intact since its reunion in 2003, first making it a Type 4 and then a Type 2.
  • Lyrical Cold Open: "Superstitious", "Secret Society".
  • 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.
  • Meaningful Name: They are from Europe.
  • Metal Scream: Heard often on their first two albums.
  • Music at Sporting Events: The Detroit Pistons used "The Final Countdown" for their team intro from their late 80s-early 90s "Bad Boys" era into The New Tens.
  • Prefers Going Barefoot: Ian Haugland prefers to play drums barefoot.
  • Re-release the Song: "Open Your Heart", originally released as a single from Wings of Tomorrow, was re-recorded for Out of This World and released as a single once again.
    • "Rock the Night" and "On the Loose", originally released on the soundtrack to the Swedish film On the Loose, were re-recorded for The Final Countdown.
  • Rock Me, Amadeus!: Not on albums, but Ian Haugland's live drum solos have contained Symphony No. 5, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and the ''William Tell'' Overture.
    • Kee Marcello would often perform Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee" as part of his live guitar solo.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Song of Song Titles: "Not Supposed To Sing The Blues" on Bag Of Bones
  • Stage Names: The only long-term members to use their birth names are John Norum and John Levén; early members Peter Olsson and Marcel Jacob did so as well. Joey Tempest is Joakim Larsson, Kee Marcello is Kjell Löfbom, Mic Michaeli and Ian Haugland's real first names are Gunnar and Jan-Håkan, respectively, and original drummer Tony Reno's real last name is Niemistö.
  • Title-Only Chorus: "In the Future to Come", "Memories", "Treated Bad Again", "Wasted Time", "The Final Countdown", "Wake Up Call".
  • The X of Y: "Scream of Anger", "Wings of Tomorrow", "Heart of Stone", "Sign of the Times", "War of Kings" and "Days of Rock 'n' Roll", to name a few.