europeI never thought in the five or six years that I have been blogging that a GEICO commercial would inspire me to do an album of the week. If you don’t know what I am talking about there is a GEICO commercial that features a band by the name of Europe in it performing The Final Countdown while people wait for something to come out of a microwave. The Final Countdown was also the name of the record that the legendary song comes from by the band Europe and that is the album I am covering. The band comes all the way from Sweden and the band at the time of the release of the album in 1986 was made up of Joey Tempest (Vocals), John Norum (Guitars), John Leven (Bass), Mic Michaeli (Keyboards), and Ian Haugland (Drums). The album just may be the biggest album the band had ever released in their careers as it peaked at number one in Sweden, Switzerland, and France. It peaked at number two in Canada and Italy, four in Norway, five in Austria, six in Germany, eight on the Billboard Top 200 charts here in the states, and number nine in the UK. The album also went triple platinum in the US while it went double platinum in Canada.

europe 21. The Final Countdown– This is probably the most recognizable song int he world as soon as you hear the opening keyboard synth parts of the track. The track is played in every arena and stadium across the US. Believe it or not the lyrics were inspired by David Bowie’s Space Oddity. 5/5

2. Rock The Night– The track opens up with a beefy guitar riff with those synths included before the bass drives the verses. It was the second single released off the album and it’s amazing. 5/5

3. Carrie– If you were a hair metal band in the 80’s, it was customary to have at least one power ballad on your record and this was the band’s power ballad. 4/5

4. Danger on the Track– Big power chords and some keys open up the song, but then the Deep Purple like riffs carry the track which seems to be about a man who leaves to go out on the road, but fears that someone is there to steal his girl. 4/5

5. Ninja– The track is a real rocker, but for some reason the lyrics make absolutely no sense to me. 3/5

Europe-The-Final-Countdown-Cd-Cover-870666. Cherokee– Another keyboard/rock driven classic from the band that absolutely rips and guess who it’s about? 5/5

7. Time Has Come– a softer rocker from the band which seems to ask you to think of the people who sacrifice for good and for those less fortunate. 3/5

8. Heart of Stone– a cool rock song from the band with some nicely placed keyboard parts in a track about a guy who longs for love, but that girl just has a heart of stone. 4/5

9. On The Loose– This is one of three tracks that was originally recorded for a soundtrack to a Swedish film, but was re-recorded for the album and the guitar riff is a barn burner. The track’s lyrics seem to be about a guy who is a dreamer of sorts and wants to be on top of the world. 4/5

10. Love Chaser- This is the last track on the record and while it has the flare of the guitars, it has a real chugging bass line mixed with the keyboards who add another layer to the song. It’s not a ballad by any means, but it’s about someone who is chasing after love. 3.5/5

My Final Thoughts– This is the definitive album from Europe if you’re looking to hear 80’s Europe. If you’re looking to hear some serious business from the band then you have to check out their later stuff because they’ve turned into great songwriters. This was the first album that I heard from the band and it was the album that got me hooked to them in the first place. Check it out for yourself, but right now I am giving the album 4 stars out of five for a final grade.

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