Our Top 10 Europe Songs presents to us one of the greatest rock bands hailing from the county of Sweden. Formed in 1979, Europe would begin its rock career under the name Force, with its founding members being guitarist John Norum, vocalist Joey Tempest, drummer Tony Reno, and bass guitarist Peter Olsson. The band started by playing covers during rehearsals to find the perfect balance in their talents while writing new songs, which they would record later in the years. They would later send demos to several record labels, but they were denied a chance with a response that they needed to cut their hair and do their songs in the Swedish language. However, better days were not away having them win the 1982 Swedish rock talent contest Rock-SM.
They competed against 4000 bands under their new name Europe as suggested by Tempest, with the songs “The King Will Return” and “In The Future” being the highlight of the competition. Thanks to the sublime vocals and guitar talents in Tempest and Norum, they won individual awards for the Best Lead Singer and Best Guitarist consecutively. Following being crowned the band of the year in the Rock-SM contest, Europe was rewarded a record deal with the record label Hot Records. Here they would release their eponymous debut album in 1983, followed by Wings of Tomorrow in 1984. Their third album, The Final Countdown, would bring Europe to global success, making a lasting name in rock music. However, the band went on hiatus in 1992, only to reunite officially about eleven years later. They came back string releasing an album Start from the Dark in 2004 and have been together since then.
Europe was influenced by bands like UFO, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple. The band has won numerous awards and recently, in 2018, got inducted into the Swedish Music Hall of Fame. Here are the top 10 Europe songs that bring the best of this iconic rock band from Sweden.
#10 – Seven Door Hotel
Ushering in the top 10 Europe songs is “Seven Door Hotel” from the band’s eponymous debut album. “Seven Door Hotel” was among the first songs written by the band’s vocalist “Joey Tempest.” Inspiration to write the song would follow after he watched an Italian horror movie, The Beyond. For those who have watched the movie, you will relate this song’s title to a building in the film. “Seven Door Hotel” would sell big in Sweden and Japan, helping the band grow its fan base while gaining popularity internationally.
#9 – War of Kings
In 2014, Europe bagged a deal with UDR records to establish growth, trying not to sit on their past success. The band would have Dave Cobb listen to some of their demos which he loved but wished to perfect. One of the twelve songs which later made it big internationally in Europe’s 2015 album was “War of Kings,” thanks to Dave Cobb’s aid in redoing the lyrics. The song originated from a John Leven riff with lyrics inspired by the early days of his homeland, which involved Vikings and scuffles between Danes, Swedes, and Norwegians.
#8 – New Love in Town
“New Love in Town” is one of the top 10 Europe songs picked from the band’s eighth studio album, Last Look at Eden. The song’s lyrics are inspired by the birth of the band’s lead vocalist Joey Tempest’s son. Europe flew to Gothenburg to have the video of this song directed by iconic director Patric Ullaeus. You ought to love Tempest’s vocals and Mic Michaeli on the keyboard in this song.
#7 – I’ll Cry for You
Featured on Europe’s 1991 album, Prisoners in Paradise, “I’ll Cry for You” is one emotional composition of a guy who’s starting to fall in love with a woman. So he pours out his heart, confessing of a love he never thought would have grown that big! “I’ll Cry for You” was co-written by Joey Tempest alongside former Atomic Rooster vocalist and bassist Nick Graham. The song peaked at number 28 on the UK Singles Chart, proving how massive it was in the United Kingdom.
#6 – Prisoners in Paradise
Released in its self-titled album, “Prisoners in Paradise” became one of the greatest thanks to Joey Tempest for penning its poetic and highly relatable lyrics. The song is about reaching one’s ambitions that he or she had craved for so bad, only to get frustrated to live in the present wishing for the past. Guitarist Kee Marcelo and keyboardist Mic Michaeli provide the background vocals for this superb ballad making it one of the best songs in its album worth mentioning in the top 10 Europe songs.
#5 – Superstitious
Taking us back to Europe’s album Out of This World is the song “Superstitious,” one of the band’s favorites for performances. During live performances, Europe includes a part of Bob Marley’s hit song “No Woman, No Cry” in its middle. Thanks for its great composition that the song peaked at number 31 in the Billboard Hot 100.
#4 – Rock the Night
After the band had released two studio albums with Hot Records, a local Swedish label, they would sign to Epic Records as they were on the verge of international stardom. The song was written to describe how the band members felt about having fun in their music tours after a successful start in their rock music career. “Rock the Night” became one of Europe’s best songs from their third album, The Final Countdown, making prominent appearances on UK and US charts.
#3 – Open Your Heart
Three years later, after The Human League released a song under the title “Open Your Heart,” Europe would release their version of the same song. This power ballad was released twice for the first time in 1984 on Europe’s album Wings of Tomorrow and in 1988 as a single in Out of This World. However, the two versions are a little different from each other despite a similar message. It is Joey Tempest’s vocals, and the song’s great instrumental that makes it such a banger!
#2 – Carrie
Featured on the band’s third studio album, “Carrie” is a power ballad written by Joey Tempest and Mic Michaeli. When you lack words to convince someone about leaving them lack, the best thing you can do is dedicate someone to the song “Carrie.” This is probably the saddest song about heartbreaking someone’s heart. The song was inspired by the casual breaking up and finding new girlfriends back at Tempest’s young age. “Carrie” was by far Europe’s most successful ballad across the Atlantic.
#1 – The Final Countdown
The ballad “The Final Countdown” is crowned as the number one song on our top 10 Europe songs list. The song features both apocalyptic and optimistic lyrics describing a tour to Space since we will have to leave this earth one day. Joey Tempest proved to be quite the force behind the success of this song, having him write the lyrics, compose its iconic keyboard riff, and provide sublime vocals for this ballad. While it might not have been the best performing song for Europe in the US, “The Final Countdown” peaked at number one in about 25 nations, including the UK and Germany.
Top 10 Europe Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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