Band Info
OriginUpplands Väsby, Sweden
Years-Active1979 - 1992, 2003 - present
Genre(s)Hard rock
Glam metal
Label(s)Hot Records
Epic Records
Sanctuary Records

Europe is a Swedish Glam metal band. They is one of the most successful Swedish rock and metal bands of all time, having sold more than 15 million albums worldwide.


The beginningEdit

The first incarnation of the band was named Force and came together in 1979, in Upplands Väsby, Stockholm, and was integrated by vocalist and keyboardist Joey Tempest, guitarist John Norum, bassist Peter Olsson and drummer Tony Reno. The band sent several demos to record companies, but were told that in order to be published they had to cut their hair and sing in Swedish. Two years later, Olsson left the band and was replaced by John Levén. Just a couple of months later, Levén joined Yngwie J. Malmsteen's band Rising Force, and Malmsteen's former bassist, Marcel Jacob joined Force. This only lasted for three months, though; Levén apparently had issues with Malmsteen, so he and Jacob traded places again.

In 1982, Tempest's girlfriend entered Force in the Swedish rock talent contest Rock-SM. Competing against 4000 bands, they won the contest thanks to two songs, "In the Future to Come" and "The King Will Return". Their rewards being a record deal with Hot Records. Tempest won the individual award for Best Lead Singer, and Norum won the award for Best Guitarist. During the contest, Force changed their name to Europe. Their self-titled debut album was released the following year, and sold well both in Sweden and Japan. The single "Seven Doors Hotel" became a Top 10 hit in Japan.

The second album, Wings of Tomorrow was released one year later, and the single "Open Your Heart" got CBS Records interested in the band, offering them an international contract in 1985. Keyboardist Mic Michaeli was soon recruited to play in live concerts, and became an official member of the band shortly after. At the same time, Tony Reno was fired because of his lack of motivation and alleged slacking off on rehearsals. His replacement was Ian Haugland.

In 1985 Europe recorded the soundtrack for youth movie On the Loose, which gave them the hit "Rock the Night". Several months later, Tempest was asked to write a song for the charity project Swedish Metal Aid. He wrote "Give A Helping Hand", which would feature the biggest stars of Swedish rock and metal. The income from the sales of the single, which was produced by Easy Action guitarist Kee Marcello, was donated to the starving people of Ethiopia.

Worldwide successEdit

Europe the band 1986

Final Countdown era photo

At the end of the year they began the recording of their next album with Journey producer Kevin Elson. The result was The Final Countdown. Released in May 1986, it became a worldwide hit and established Europe as one of the biggest rock bands in the world. The album sold more than six million copies and reached number 8 on the Billboard 200 chart in the USA. The title track, which was released as the first single, sold about eight million copies and was number 1 in 26 countries. Other hits included the power ballad "Carrie", which reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and "Cherokee" and a re-released "Rock the Night".

Not satisfied with the album's keyboard-dominated production nor the band's commercialized image, John Norum decided to leave Europe in November 1986 to pursue a solo career. "'Countdown' was mixed in L.A. with Kevin and none of us was involved in the process," Tempest said, "We liked the album, of course, but we also realised that it was very keyboard oriented and featured less guitars. That was definitely a reason for John to start thinking, 'I wonder where this is heading - I don't think I can do this.'" [1]

Kee Marcello was asked to replace him, and after some consideration decided to join the band. The following year included successful tours through Europe and the USA. The follow-up to The Final Countdown was entitled Out of This World and was released in 1988. The biggest hits from the album were "Superstitious" and a new version of "Open Your Heart". The album sold about three million copies, which was considered a fiasco compared to previous sales figures. More touring followed, including an American tour with Def Leppard and a festival gig at the National Bowl in Milton Keynes, England with Bon Jovi, Skid Row and Vixen.

In September 1989, Europe did a gig at the Whisky a Go Go club in West Hollywood, California, under the pseudonym Le Baron Boys. That name would later be used as a title for a much-circulated Europe bootleg, which contained demo recordings from 1989-90. Two years later, the album Prisoners in Paradise was released, but received limited media attention due to the "boom" of the grunge movement, started by Nirvana and Pearl Jam. On New Year's Eve 1991, Europe kicked off a new tour with a show at the Tokyo Dome, in which Tesla, Thunder and Metallica also performed. The show was called "Final Countdown '91".

After ten years of living, recording and touring together, Europe decided to take a long break when the tour ended in 1992. In that time, Joey Tempest and Kee Marcello released solo albums, while the other members participated in several different projects and bands.


Europe the band 1999

One night only: Europe 1999

For the millennium celebrations, Europe was asked to do a concert in Stockholm on New Year's Eve. That would be their first concert with two lead guitarists, since both Norum and Marcello had accepted to play. They played "Rock the Night" and "The Final Countdown". This was not a full-time reunion, however; just a one-off event.

Over the years, there were several reunion rumors, and on October 2, 2003 it was made official: Europe announced plans for a new album and world tour. The band then switched back to the classic Final Countdown line-up, with John Norum as the only lead guitarist. "There was no doubt that we wanted John back, and John wanted to get back," Tempest said, "For me it was important to get that spark going again that we had before." [1] Kee Marcello claimed that he was too busy with his own projects. "I told them I didn't want to participate in a [new] studio album because musically, I want to go in a different kind of direction than the music Europe stands for," Marcello said, "Then we talked for a while about doing a six-piece tour – it didn't turn out that way because of different reasons." [2]

In the summer of 2004 Europe went on a festival tour through the European continent. The concert setlists included several old classics, but also introduced the title track from their brand new album - Start from the Dark. Start from the Dark was released September 22, 2004; the same day John Norum became a father. The album received good reviews from music critics. The album featured a different sound and style compared to their older albums. "We just wanted to make something fresh," Tempest said, "The music and the lyrics just happened, but that was one decision we made – that we wanted to be relevant now." [3] Eventually, the album sold in excess of 600,000 copies worldwide.

Europe released their latest album, Secret Society on October 26, 2006, and the world tour started the same day in Lund, Sweden, and ended September 1, 2007 with two performances at the Dalhalla in Rättvik, Sweden. The band performed in Sibiu, Romania, to celebrate New Year's Eve with a one-hour live show, and on January 26, 2008 they performed at the Nalen, in Stockholm, in a special event called Almost Unplugged, their first acoustic live show, during which they played some of their old and new never played live songs, and some covers from the bands that have influenced them in the years: Pink Floyd, UFO, Led Zeppelin and Thin Lizzy. The show was webcast on their official website.

After some summer festivals, the band will be ready to record the new album, expected for Spring 2009. It will be followed by a world tour.

Band membersEdit

Current membersEdit

  • Joey Tempest - lead vocals, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboards (1979-1992, 2003-present)
  • John Norum - lead & rhythm guitars, backing vocals (1979-1986, 2003-present)
  • John Levén - bass (1981-1992, 2003-present)
  • Mic Michaeli - keyboards, backing vocals, rhythm guitar (1984-1992, 2003-present)
  • Ian Haugland - drums, percussion, backing vocals (1984-1992, 2003-present)

Former membersEdit


For complete discography and sales information, see: Europe discography

Studio albumsEdit



  • Seven Doors Hotel (1983)
  • Lyin' Eyes - Withdrawn shortly after the release (1983)
  • Dreamer (1984)
  • Stormwind (1984)
  • Open Your Heart (1984)
  • Rock the Night (1985)
  • On the Loose - Soundtrack (1985)
  • The Final Countdown (1986) #8 US, #1 UK, #2 AUS, #1 GR
  • Love Chaser (1986)
  • Rock the Night - New Version (1986) #30 US, #12 UK, #22 AUS
  • Carrie (1986) #3 US, #22 UK
  • Cherokee (1986) #72 US
  • Superstitious (1988) #31 US, #34 UK, #45 AUS
  • Open Your Heart - New Version (1988) #86 UK
  • Let the Good Times Rock (1989) #85 UK
  • More Than Meets the Eye (1989)
  • Tomorrow (1989)
  • Prisoners in Paradise (1991)
  • I'll Cry for You (1992) #28 UK
  • Halfway to Heaven (1992) #42 UK
  • Sweet Love Child (1993)
  • The Final Countdown 2000 - Remix (1999) #36 UK, #33 AUS
  • Got to Have Faith (2004)
  • Hero (2004)
  • Always the Pretenders (2006)

Promotional music videosEdit

  • In the Future to Come (1983)
  • Dreamer (1985) [5]
  • The Final Countdown (1986)
  • Rock the Night (1986)
  • Carrie (1986)
  • Cherokee (1987)
  • Superstitious (1988)
  • Open Your Heart (1988)
  • Let the Good Times Rock (1988)
  • Prisoners in Paradise (1991)
  • I'll Cry for You (1991)
  • Halfway to Heaven (1992)
  • The Final Countdown 2000 (1999)
  • Got to Have Faith (2004)
  • Hero (2004)
  • Always the Pretenders (2006)


Collection of all their music videos from 1986 to 1992, plus old interviews and live footage from Swedish TV. Released as Rock the World in the USA.
Concert recorded in Solnahallen in Stockholm, Sweden 1986. Released in Japan only.
Concert recorded at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, England 2004. Interviews, music videos and band info are included as bonus material. Released as a double-DVD.
Remastered edition of the Solnahallen concert DVD, which was released to mark the 20th anniversary of the album The Final Countdown. Includes interviews, unreleased pictures from the Final Countdown tour and biography.

References Edit