|The Final Countdown|
|Studio album by|
|Released||26 May 1986|
|Recorded||September 1985 – March 1986|
|Studio||Powerplay Studios, Zürich, Switzerland; Soundtrade Studios, Stockholm, Sweden; Mastersound Studios, Atlanta; Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California|
|Genre||Glam metal, Heavy metal|
|Singles from The Final Countdown|
The Final Countdown is the third studio album by the Swedish rock band Europe. Released on 26 May 1986 through Epic Records, the album was a huge commercial success selling over 15 million copies worldwide, peaking at number 8 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and reaching high positions in charts worldwide. It was recorded at Powerplay Studios in Zürich, Soundtrade Studios in Stockholm, Mastersound Studios in Atlanta and Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The Final Countdown is the first album to feature keyboardist Mic Michaeli and drummer Ian Haugland and the last to feature guitarist John Norum until 2004's Start from the Dark .
Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.
Europe is a Swedish rock band formed in Upplands Väsby in 1979, by vocalist Joey Tempest, guitarist John Norum, bassist Peter Olsson, and drummer Tony Reno. They got a major breakthrough in Sweden in 1982 by winning the televised competition "Rock-SM" : it was the first time this competition was held, and Europe became a larger success than the competition itself.
Epic Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, Inc., the North American division of Japanese conglomerate Sony. The label was founded predominantly as a jazz and classical music label in 1953, but later expanded its scope to include a more diverse range of genres, including pop, R&B, rock, and hip hop. Epic Records has released music by artists including Glenn Miller, Tammy Wynette, George Michael, The Yardbirds, Donovan, Shakin Stevens, Europe, Cheap Trick, Meat Loaf, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ted Nugent, Shakira, Sly & the Family Stone, The Hollies, Celine Dion, ABBA, Culture Club, Boston, Dave Clark Five, Gloria Estefan, Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, and Michael Jackson. Along with Arista, Columbia and RCA Records, Epic is one of Sony Music Entertainment's four flagship record labels.
Five singles were released from the album: "The Final Countdown", "Love Chaser", "Rock the Night", "Carrie", and "Cherokee." The first single was responsible for launching Europe into mainstream popularity.
"The Final Countdown" is a song by Swedish rock band Europe, released in 1986. Written by Joey Tempest, it was based on a keyboard riff he made in the early 1980s, with lyrics inspired by David Bowie's "Space Oddity". Originally made to just be a concert opener, it is the first single from the band's third studio album, also named The Final Countdown. The song reached number one in 25 countries, including the United Kingdom, and was certified gold in that country in 1986. In the United States, the song peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 18 on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart. A music video by Nick Morris was made to promote the single that features footage from the band's two concerts at the Solnahallen in Solna, as well as extra footage of the sound checks at those concerts.
"Love Chaser" is the 1986 single released by the Swedish hard rock band Europe. It was taken from the album The Final Countdown, and was released only in Japan in the soundtrack album of the Japanese movie Pride One. The track on the B-side of the single was "Carrie". Next year the single was reissued in Japan and was entitled "Carrie" with "Carrie" on the A-side. The reissue had the same catalogue number (VIPX-1849) as the first release.
"Rock the Night" is a single released by the Swedish glam metal band Europe. The song was written by vocalist Joey Tempest in 1984 and premiered on the band's Wings of Tomorrow tour the same year.
"Rock the Night" and "Ninja" were the first songs written for the album, and were premiered on the band's Wings of Tomorrow tour in 1984."Rock the Night" was released as a single in Sweden in 1985, peaking at number 4 on the chart, and was also featured on the soundtrack EP for the Swedish film On the Loose the same year, together with the songs "On the Loose" and "Broken Dreams." "Rock the Night" and "On the Loose" would be re-recorded for inclusion on The Final Countdown along with "Ninja", all with slightly different lyrics.
Wings of Tomorrow is the second studio album by the Swedish Heavy metal band Europe. It was released on 24 February 1984, by Hot Records. Wings of Tomorrow is the last album to feature drummer Tony Reno.
On the Loose is an EP released by the Swedish heavy metal band Europe in April 1985. It is the soundtrack to the Swedish 1985 film On the Loose. The first two songs, "Rock the Night" and "On the Loose" were later re-recorded in a lighter and heavier way respectively for the album The Final Countdown.
On the Loose is a 1985 Swedish film directed by Staffan Hildebrand and distributed by Föreningsfilmo AB. It stars Tomas Fryk and Carina Lindström and features appearances by rock 'n' roll singer Jerry Williams and the hard rock band Europe.
Due to the national success of On the Loose and "Rock the Night", Europe went on a new tour around Sweden in 1985, with new songs "Danger on the Track", "Love Chaser" and the power ballad "Carrie" included in the setlist and ready to be recorded for the album."Carrie" was co-written by Tempest and keyboardist Mic Michaeli during a jam session. The early version of the song consisted of only keyboards and vocals, and was performed that way on the 1985 tour, but the album version would feature the whole band.
"Carrie" is a power ballad by the Swedish hard rock band Europe released in 1987. It was the third single released internationally from the album The Final Countdown, and it is their highest charting song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart—peaking at #3 during the fall of 1987. The track on the B-side of the 7" single was "Love Chaser".
Gunnar Mathias "Mic" Michaeli is a Swedish keyboardist in the Swedish rock band Europe. Like many of the other Europe members he grew up in Stockholm suburb Upplands Väsby. He joined the band for their Wings of Tomorrow tour in 1984, taking vocalist Joey Tempest's place behind the keyboards.
The song "The Final Countdown" was based on an old keyboard riff that Tempest had composed as early as 1981–82,on a Korg Polysix keyboard he had borrowed from Michaeli. In 1985 bassist John Levén suggested that Tempest should write a song based on that riff. The lyrics were inspired by David Bowie's song "Space Oddity". The sound of the keyboard riff used in the recording was achieved by using a Yamaha TX-816 rack unit and a Roland JX-8P synthesizer. "I made a brassy sound from the JX-8P and used a factory sound from the Yamaha, and just layered them together", Michaeli said.
The Korg Polysix(PS-6) is a six-voice programmable polyphonic analog synthesizer released by Korg in 1981.
John Gunnar Levén is a Swedish bassist in the Swedish rock band Europe. Levén and vocalist Joey Tempest are the only band members who have performed on all of Europe's studio albums.
David Robert Jones, known professionally as David Bowie, was an English singer-songwriter and actor. He was a leading figure in the music industry and is considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, acclaimed by critics and musicians, particularly for his innovative work during the 1970s. His career was marked by reinvention and visual presentation, with his music and stagecraft having a significant impact on popular music. During his lifetime, his record sales, estimated at 140 million albums worldwide, made him one of the world's best-selling music artists. In the UK, he was awarded ten platinum album certifications, eleven gold and eight silver, and released eleven number-one albums. In the US, he received five platinum and nine gold certifications. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
"Cherokee" was the last song written for the album, being written only a week before the band went to Switzerland to start recording the album.Tempest said he had been inspired by the history of the Native Americans to write the song.
"Cherokee" is a 1987 single released by the Swedish band Europe. It was the fourth single released internationally from the album The Final Countdown, and reached number 72 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States.
Native Americans, also known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii and territories of the United States. More than 570 federally recognized tribes live within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations. The term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaska Natives, while "Native Americans" are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. The US Census does not include Native Hawaiians or Chamorro, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander".
The recording of the album began in September 1985 at the Powerplay Studios in Zürich, Switzerland.At the suggestion of their record company, Epic Records, the band decided to work with the American producer Kevin Elson, who had worked with bands like Journey and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Originally the band had approached Scorpions producer Dieter Dierks and Bon Jovi producer Bruce Fairbairn to produce the album, but in the end they decided to go with Elson. Elson would also produce the band's sixth studio album, Start from the Dark in 2004.
During the recording sessions, vocalist Joey Tempest came down with a bad allergic reaction to bread products, which delayed the recording for a while, and forced Joey to make changes to his diet, so he could complete his work on the album.The vocals for the title track were recorded at the Soundtrade Studios, Stockholm, Sweden, while the rest of the vocals were recorded at the Mastersound Studios, Atlanta and Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California.
The album was mixed in March 1986 at Fantasy Studios.Guitarist John Norum was not pleased with the result, claiming that the keyboards had "buried" the rhythm guitars in the final mix.
The Final Countdown was the band's breakout album and granted Europe international recognition. Upon its release in May 1986, it sold very well in most European countries and peaked at No. 8 on the US Billboard 200 album chart.By 1994, it achieved triple Platinum status in the United States and received sales awards all over Europe.
When it was time to choose the first single from the album, Tempest suggested "The Final Countdown".Originally the band had never planned to release the song as a single, and some members wanted "Rock the Night" to be the first single. "The Final Countdown" was written to be an opening song for concerts, and they never thought it would be a hit. But when their record company Epic Records suggested that it should be the first single, the band decided to release it. It became a worldwide success, peaking at number 1 in 25 countries, including the United Kingdom, France, West Germany, and Italy. In the US, it peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 18 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The song has been a regular in Europe concerts ever since its live debut on the premiere of the band's Final Countdown Tour on 29 April 1986 in Gävle, Sweden and arguably became the band's most recognizable and popular song. One of the most memorable performances of the song took place in Stockholm, Sweden on 31 December 1999, as part of the Millennium celebrations.
"Love Chaser" was released as a single in Japan only, and was on the soundtrack for the movie Pride One. "Rock the Night" was released as the worldwide follow-up single to "The Final Countdown." It became a Top 10 hit in Germany, Holland, France,Ireland, Italy and Switzerland, and peaked at number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 12 on the UK Singles Chart. The next single, "Carrie", peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, their highest single on the chart to date. "Cherokee" was released as the last single from the album, peaking at number 72 on the Billboard Hot 100.
All the singles The Final Countdown became hits and their accompanying music videos received heavy airplay on music television. Eight of the ten tracks on the album were featured in the 2007 comedy film Hot Rod .
|The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal||6/10|
The Final Countdown received mixed reviews upon its release. Rolling Stone Magazine writer J. D. Considine wrote that "the words to 'The Final Countdown' make almost no sense whatsoever on paper, but there's genuine drama to the way Tempest's keening vocals surge through the mock-orchestral morass of synths and guitar. Maybe it's trite, maybe it's derivative, but it's also undeniably effective. From the stirring stadium schlock of 'Rock the Night' to the self-indulgent melodrama of 'Love Chaser', the best moments here are insidiously catchy, leaving you humming along against your better judgment".Howard Johnson of Kerrang! was not excited by the album and considered Europe "just bland and boring" and "boasting the most nauseating keyboard sound on a title track of all time".
The contemporary review by Doug Stone of AllMusic was more positive. He finds the title track "bombastically brilliant glorious garbage ... that could only spew from the vacuous '80s", but writes that the rest of the songs combines "heated drive and hot delivery to meld The Final Countdown into a unique portrait of propulsive prog and a worthy addition to any hard rock collection."Canadian Journalist Martin Popoff remarks how the album "sounds very nice, rhythmic, even modern beyond its years, but it's also gutless and shamefully commercial". PopMatters' Ben Varkentine, on the contrary, reviewed badly the album criticizing the production and the composition of "rock songs with half-assed keyboard lines smeared on them", which "aimed at being anthems but succeeded only in being derivative not only of other bands but of themselves."
The first leg of the Swedish tour started in Gävle on 29 April 1986.The album had not been released yet because the cover art was not complete, but Europe was forced to start the scheduled tour. The album was eventually released on 26 May, the same day that the band played the last concert on the leg, at Solnahallen in Solna. The band did two concerts at Solnahallen, on 25 and 26 May. These concerts were filmed for a TV broadcast, which would later be released on VHS and DVD, entitled The Final Countdown Tour 1986 . A 20th anniversary edition of the DVD was released in 2006. The promotional music video for "The Final Countdown" was shot partly during the soundchecks for those concerts and partly during the actual concerts.
Europe went on a Japanese tour in September 1986,playing four concerts in Tokyo and one concert each in Nagoya and Osaka. During that tour, guitarist and band co-founder John Norum told the other band members that he wanted to leave the band, due to musical differences and other disagreements with the band's manager, Thomas Erdtman. Norum agreed to stay in the band for the second leg of the Swedish tour, which started in Örebro on 26 September 1986, as well as a promotion tour around Europe including TV appearances and interviews. He made his last appearance with the band for a Sky Channel broadcast at the club Escape in Amsterdam, Netherlands on 31 October 1986.
Norum was then replaced by Kee Marcello, who had just left another Swedish rock band, Easy Action.At first Marcello had been hesitant to join Europe, because he had put a lot of work into Easy Action's upcoming album That Makes One. After some consideration he changed his mind and decided to join the band. He appeared in the music videos for "Rock the Night", "Cherokee" and "Carrie," before making his first TV appearance with the band at Peters Popshow in Dortmund, West Germany on 12 December 1986.
The European leg of the tour started in Bergen, Norway on 24 January 1987 and ended in Genoa, Italy on 3 March 1987.A concert done at Hammersmith Odeon, London on 23 February, was filmed and released on video, entitled The Final Countdown World Tour.
On 15 April 1987 the band started their first U.S. tour at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco. km. A Swedish TV crew followed the band on the tour, producing the documentary Europe in America, which would be shown on TV and released on video.The tour ended in Philadelphia on 17 May 1987, as the band had been playing in 23 cities and traveling 14,565
Europe ended the Final Countdown Tour at the Roskilde Festival in Roskilde, Denmark on 4 July 1987.
All tracks written by Joey Tempest, except "Carrie" by Tempest and Mic Michaeli.
|1.||"The Final Countdown"||5:12|
|2.||"Rock the Night"||4:03|
|4.||"Danger on the Track"||3:45|
|7.||"Time Has Come"||4:01|
|8.||"Heart of Stone"||3:46|
|9.||"On the Loose"||3:08|
Another Tempest-written song that was recorded during the sessions, "On Broken Wings", was used as a B-side on the "Final Countdown" single.
Instrumental "Where Men Won't Dare", co-written by Tempest and John Levén, was an unfinished outtake which was included as a bonus feature on The Final Countdown Tour 1986: Live in Sweden – 20th Anniversary Edition DVD.
In 2001, Sony released a remastered version of the album with expanded liner notes and three bonus tracks, live takes of "The Final Countdown", "Danger on the Track" and "Carrie", taken from the Final Countdown World Tour home video that was taped at Hammersmith Odeon in London 1987.
*Note: for more chart results, check each single's article
|USA||RIAA||1994||3× Platinum (+3,000,000)|
|United Kingdom||BPI||1986||2x Platinum (+600,000)|
|Spain||Promusicae||1987||4× Platinum (+400,000)|
|Canada||CRIA||1987||4× Platinum (+400,000)|
|Italy||AFI||1987||5x Platinum (+500,000)|
Rolf Magnus Joakim Larsson, professionally known as Joey Tempest, is a Swedish singer, best known as the lead singer and main songwriter of the rock band Europe. He has written hits which include "The Final Countdown", "Rock the Night", "Cherokee" and "Superstitious".
John Terry Norum is a Norwegian/Swedish rock guitarist and one of the founders of the Swedish rock band Europe. As an infant, he moved with his parents to Upplands Väsby in Sweden, where he grew up and has spent most of his life. Concurrent to his role with Europe, he also maintains a career as a solo artist.
Start from the Dark is the sixth studio album by the Swedish rock band Europe. It was released on 22 September 2004 by Sanctuary Records. It was the band's first release since reforming in 2003, the first original album of all-new material since 1991's Prisoners in Paradise, and the first album to feature the band's original guitarist John Norum since 1986's The Final Countdown.
Live from the Dark is a DVD released by the Swedish hard rock band Europe. The main feature is a concert filmed at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, England on November 15, 2004.
The Final Countdown Tour 1986 is a concert video released by the Swedish hard rock band Europe. It features footage from a concert filmed at Solnahallen in Solna, Sweden on May 26, 1986. It was first released on VHS in Japan in 1986, and was released on DVD and CD in 2004.
The Final Countdown Tour 1986: Live in Sweden – 20th Anniversary Edition is a DVD by the Swedish hard rock band Europe. It was released on October 4, 2006. The main feature is a concert filmed at Solnahallen in Solna, Sweden on May 26, 1986.
The Final Countdown Tour 1986 is a live album by the Swedish hard rock band Europe. It was released on December 20, 2004.
Extended Versions is a live album by the Swedish rock band Europe. It was released on 27 March 2007.
Almost Unplugged is a live album by the Swedish hard rock band Europe. It was released on CD on 17 September 2008 and on DVD on 19 August 2009.
Last Look at Eden is the eighth studio album by the Swedish rock band Europe. It was released on September 9, 2009 in Sweden by Universal and was released on September 14, 2009 in the UK, by Edel Music's international rock music label earMUSIC.
War of Kings is the tenth studio album by the Swedish Hard Rock band Europe. It was released on March 2, 2015 by UDR Records.
Live at Sweden Rock – 30th Anniversary Show is a live album by the Swedish hard rock band Europe. It was recorded on June 7, 2013 at Sweden Rock Festival And released on CD, DVD and Blu-ray on October 16, 2013. It is the longest live concert done by band featuring over two hours and performed 28 songs from all albums.
Walk the Earth is the eleventh studio album by the Swedish rock band Europe. It was released on October 20, 2017. The album was produced by Dave Cobb and recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London.