Europe is a Swedish hard rock band that formed in Upplands Väsby, Sweden in 1979 under the name Force by vocalist Joey Tempest and guitarist John Norum. Since its formation, Europe has released eight studio albums, three live albums, three compilations and seven videos. The band rose to international fame in the 80s with their third album, ‘The Final Countdown’, and it continues to be perhaps their best known work. A strong commercial success, that release sold over three million copies in the United States alone.
Europe was one of the most successful rock acts of the 80s. Incorporating a bombastic sound in debt to both heavy metal and progressive rock, the band has achieved two top 20 albums on the Billboard 200 chart (‘The Final Countdown’ and ‘Out of This World’) and two top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (“The Final Countdown” and “Carrie”). From 1986 to 1992, Europe sold over 20 million records worldwide, making them the 4th most successful act from Sweden in musical history. For a non-American group, their success in the U.S. has been immense, selling over four million albums over their career.
Europe went on hiatus in 1992, reunited temporarily for a one-off performance in Stockholm on New Year’s Eve 1999, and finally announced an official reunion in 2003. Since then, Europe has released four studio albums: ‘Start from the Dark’ (2004), ‘Secret Society’ (2006), ‘Last Look at Eden’ (2009), and ‘Bag of Bones’ (2012). They continue to have popular tours.
Born in 1979 from the underground rock music scene in the outskirts of Stockholm, Sweden, a young band called ‘Force’ sprung from the suburbs to win national acclaim in the early 80s, emerging victorious in a nationwide talent contest. Their main influences were arena-ready British hard rock bands of the 70s such as UFO, Thin Lizzy, and Led Zeppelin. Winning a recording contract, core members Joey Tempest (vocals), John Norum (guitar) and John Leven (bass) re-named themselves ‘Europe’.
They went on to record and release two spirited albums, ‘Europe’ and ‘Wings of Tomorrow’. They broke through the musical mainstream in both Scandinavia and Japan. The band toured widely on the strengths of these two records, and, in 1984, they recruited new members Mic Michaeli (keyboards) and drummer Ian Haugland. The success these albums generated on their home soil as well as in the Far East landed them an international record deal with Epic Records in New York.
In 1986, Europe went on to release their third album, ‘The Final Countdown’, which was produced by Kevin Elson (who had notably worked with Journey and Mr Big). Upon its release, gaining major momentum from Moscow to Manhattan and Stockholm to Sydney and elsewhere, that album conquered the airwaves and the epic arena rock anthem that was its title track succeeded in penetrating the global psyche. The prominent (and now arguably legendary) keyboard riff and memorable melodies catapulted “The Final Countdown” into the top ten charts in the U.K and U.S., and it ended up reaching number one in 24 countries. Selling in excess of six million units and resulting in an extensive world tour, ‘The Final Countdown’ became a global phenomenon.
It was at this time that John Norum chose to leave Europe to pursue a solo career, and he was replaced by another well-known Swedish guitarist, Kee Marcello. About two years later, Europe emerged again with their fourth album, titled ‘Out of This World’. Produced by Ron Nevison (who had worked with UFO, Thin Lizzy, and Heart), this album delivered what had become the trademark Europe melodies and inspiring musical arrangements. Also a remarkable success, Europe embarked on a second world tour, and they notably were the first international rock-act to perform behind the ‘Bamboo Curtain’ in Bombay, India in front of a 60,000-strong audience.
The follow-up to ‘Out of This World’ approximately came two years later. That album, titled ‘Prisoners in Paradise’, was inspired by the band’s time residing in Los Angeles, California. Upon completion of yet another world tour in 1993, the members of Europe decided to take time out to pursue personal projects and record solo albums.
After an extended hiatus, the band came together again in 1999 (including original guitarist John Norum) on new year’s eve in Stockholm Sweden to perform “Rock the Night” and “The Final Countdown”, helping to usher in the new millennium. The performance not only marked Europe’s first public appearance in almost a decade but also inspired a permanent reunion. Still, the band’s members had difficulties getting their plans to come together.
In 2004, with John Norum firmly back in the band, the original Europe lineup returned to the world stage with “Start From the Dark” – a raw, cutting-edge rock album that delivered a brand new style of melodic rock. The release saw the band’s welcome return to the road as they embarked on an extensive tour in Europe, the United States and the Far East. Shortly thereafter, the band returned to the studio to record their 7th studio album titled “Secret Society” which was released in October 2006. Marking the most daring and innovative Europe album to date, “Secret Society” is both a return to their roots as well as a celebration of their collective musical experience and willingness to explore brand new territories. Followed by another world tour, the band continue to work hard to establish themselves yet again. It can be said that there are few bands from the 80’s that still remain creative and relevant today with an edgy and modern sound.
Following their summer 2008 European tour, Europe returned to the studio to record and then release their eighth studio effort, ‘Last Look at Eden’. The band’s latest work is ‘Bag of Bones’, which they released in April 2012. Vocalist Joey Tempest remarked that he thought he’d “made a hardcore classic rock record with the blues knocking on the door.” Showing that the group has still got it, the album debuted at #2 on Sweden’s top album chart and has been certified Gold in Sweden while also receiving strong sales throughout Europe and in the U.K.
Europe is available for corporate events, private shows, milestone celebrations (birthday, anniversary), fundraisers, festivals, and more.