Sunday, June 29, 2008

Number 483 - Europe

Number 483


"Final Countdown"

Genre:Hair Rock
art by mojorison
Because Prince wussed out with his song "1999" and refused to do a remake of his 1982 classic song for the party the world was going to have to celebrate the new Millennium. It didn't really matter as no-one gave a toss anyway. Prince is on a crusade these days to remove all his music video's from Youtube. Maybe he made a phone call to Lars Ulrich on how to be a noob and to piss off your fans. Anyway, back to how Europe ended up being the non "official" song to see the Millennium in. Now, I don't know about you, but I always thought the song was about the end of the world? With all the fear of Y2K with planes dropping from the sky and ATM machines blowing up, maybe the song choice was apt back then. At least Europe (the band) had the decency to make the time and do a jazzed up version of "Final Countdown" for the celebrations, not like some other wusses I know.
Hair spandex rock
One of the most glorious launches in history, the title track for the thrice-platinum The Final Countdown is so bombastically brilliant, such glorious garbage, that this nuclear hair assault could only spew from the vacuous '80s. But the full-tilt follow-up "Rock the Night" rules also: "You know it ain't easy/Running out of thrills." "Carrie" comes off a consummate butane ballad. Meanwhile, the rest of the disc packs so much power that Swedish superheroes Europe get away with all the processed pretension. In fact, the lofty ambition of "Danger on the Track," "Ninja," and "Cherokee" (each as tasty as its title) combines with 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. This is the story; this is the legend told by Teutonic guitars and predictable keyboards ringing pure and hurtling through each and every convention perfectly. The quintet's big-boy Epic inaugural, The Final Countdown deftly combines the Valhalla victory of Europe's heroic debut with the American poodle pomposity that devoured the band. You could live without The Final Countdown, but why? ~ [Doug Stone, All Music Guide]
Something funny happened on the way to ...
What do you mean no hairspray left?
In 1999 the dance remix "The Final Countdown 2000" was released. It was produced by Brian Rawling, who had previously had success with "Believe" by Cher. The single release caused minor controversy as the first pressing had a misprint that left out the first "o" in "Countdown". The story was confirmed by Tempest during an interview with the American rock radio show The Tour Bus. [Thats hillarious]
The song is based on an old keyboard riff that vocalist Joey Tempest composed as early as around 198182, on a Korg Polysix keyboard that he borrowed from keyboardist Mic Michaeli. The synth riff used in the recording was performed on a Roland JX-8P. The lyrics were inspired by David Bowie's song "Space Oddity". Originally the band had never planned to release the song as a single, and some band members wanted "Rock the Night" to be the first single off the album. "The Final Countdown" was written to be an opening song for concerts; they never thought about it being a hit but when their record company Epic Records suggested that it should be the first single, the band decided to release it. ~[Source:Wikipedia]
For Prince see Number 812
For more Prince fly to Mellow Mix Vol 1 #136
For Lars Ulrich see Number 484
For Cher see Number 889
For more Cher fly to Mellow Mix Vol 1 #088
For David Bowie see Number 495, #513 & #634
What does Rolling Drone think of Europe?
You have to figure that any band with gall enough to take the name of a continent isn't going to settle for a modest musical approach. That was true of Asia – perhaps the most elephantine exponent of pomp rock – and now it's the case with this equally continental Swedish quintet. In fact, it's a fair bet that Europe was inspired by, if not modeled on, the formulas Asia concocted. The vocal harmonies and instrumental arrangements say far more than either the lyrics or the titles, and maybe that's the point. 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. ~ [Source:Rolling Stone RS 499]
For Asia see Number 658
Rolling Stone magazine deemed their '483rd Song of all Time' was "Just Like Heaven" by The Cure. The Cure have appeared in The Definitive 1000 @ #881
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (Hair metal?) the Album ranked at (We done condone Glam rock) [whats Bowie then?]
This song has a crowbarred rating of 76.1 out of 108

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