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The first incarnation of Europe was known as Force, and was fronted by singer Joey Tempest, with John Norum on guitar. The band sent demos to record companies but were repeatedly told to sing in their native language and cut their hair, which went against their style and sound. In 1982, Joey’s girlfriend entered the band into a rock talent contest, Rock-SM. They managed to win, beating over 4000 bands for the coveted title and winning a record deal with Hot Records. Joey Tempest also won the individual award for Best Lead Singer and the Best Guitarist award went to Norum. The band changed their name to Europe – and they were on their way to global stardom.
Their eponymous debut album was released the next year and sold very well in Sweden and Japan. It went to number eight in their home country. A year on, and their second album, Wings of Tomorrow, was released. The lead single, Open Your Heart, led to a contract with CBS Records, and Europe tickets started becoming popular.
1985 saw the band record a film soundtrack which gave them the hit Rock the Night. Joey Tempest also wrote a song for charity, called Give a Helping Hand, in which big stars of Swedish rock and metal performed. The proceeds from the single went to starving people in Ethiopia.
In 1985, the band commenced recording their next album with Journey’s producer, Kevin Elson. The Final Countdown, as the album was named, was released in May 1986 and was the band’s breakthrough album, making people sit up and listen! It was certified triple platinum in the US, and reached number eight on the Billboard 200 chart. The album’s title track was a global success, going to number one in 25 countries, including the UK. The single Carrie peaked at number three in the US. Cherokee and Rock the Night were also successful singles from the album, helping Europe ticket sales soar.
The following year saw successful Europe tours through Europe and the US. The next album, Out of this World, was released in 1988. The biggest hit was Superstitious, which was a fan favourite at Europe concerts around the world. Europe toured with Def Leppard and also appeared at a gig in Milton Keynes with Bon Jovi. On new year’s eve 1991, a Europe concert, Final Countdown 91, was staged at which Metallica also performed.
At the end of the 1992 Europe tour, they decided to have a break. Tempest and Marcello focused on solo material, whilst the other members of the group participated in different bands and projects.
The possibility of a Europe reunion started forming in 1998. A Europe concert at the millennium celebrations in Stockholm was scheduled, and they played Rock the Night and The Final Countdown. In 2003, Europe announced plans for a new album and a Europe world tour. The album, Start from the Dark, was a mix of the band’s old 80s sound but with a fresh, modern update. A Europe tour took place in the summer of 2004.
Their seventh album, Secret Society, was released in October 2006. In January 2008 they did a live concert where they were accompanied by a string quartest and played their own material, as well as covering songs by bands like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. In the summer of 2008, they co-headlined a concert with Whitesnake. Their eighth studio album, Last Look at Eden, was released in September 2009.
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