Year 3, Dav 39: Europe – The Final Countdown
- The Final Countdown
- Rock the Night
- Danger on the Track
- Time Has Come
- Heart of Stone
- On the Loose
- Love Chaser
About the Album
The Final Countdown, is the third studio album from Swedish glam rock/hair metal band, Europe. The album, recorded from September 1985 to March 1986, was released in late May 1986 through Epic Records. The album was a massive commercial success, going triple platinum in the United States alone. The album peaked at number eight on the United States Billboard 200.
Thoughts on the Album
Welcome to the second-to-last day of the third year of the project; otherwise known as Day 39. We have went on a musical journey across the world, so why not continue that journey? We all have that one album in other music collection that some don’t like admitting they own. Yes, even me. For me, that album is none other than Swedish glam rock band, Europe‘s The Final Countdown. The album is your quintessential, prototypical, and archetypical 1980’s glam rock/hair metal band album: full of cheesy lyrics, big guitar riffs, even bigger synth riffs, and soaring choruses. Essentially, it is the epitome of 1980’s hair metal albums (looking at you Jon Bon Jovi).
Let’s face it, this album wouldn’t be as well received today as it was back then. I’ll admit it, this album is pretty bland and blah rock that it makes the garage band down the street have full Slayer-status. But while we’re at it, also admit that, we’ve probably rocked out to this album at least once or twice.
If you haven’t heard the titular opening track, then I have no words for you. If you’ve gone to a sporting event, or seen a cheesy comedy movie, or played Guitar Hero or Rock Band, then you have heard the title track, The Final Countdown. The Final Countdown opens the album with such bombastic brilliance, such majestic and glorious garbage, that it is the epitome of the 1980s. However vapid and vacuous the song’s lyrics are, the instrumentation is pretty good. The majestic and booming bass synthesizer, brass-like synth riffs, pounding drums, and heavy hitting guitar riffs (and the solo) helped make this song an anthem that everyone knows and sings along to. Of course, The Final Countdown, is probably one of the weaker tracks on the album too.
One of the problems with this album is it’s genre. It’s definitely not hard rock. It’s rock, but not hard rock. This album is more of a stereotypical (radio) pop/rock album of the time period. Of course, while you do get heavy riffs and technical solos on tracks like Rock the Night and On the Loose; and Carrie is your quintessential 1980s hair metal ballad. But everything else is more closer to the synthpop that was predominantly featured on the airwaves during that time. That includes the title track.
Listen to: The Final Countdown for it’s cheesiness; Rock the Night for it’s pounding drums and heavy riffs; Carrie if you are looking for a 1980s hair metal ballad that backs some heat; On the Loose for the heavy guitar riffs and technical guitar work.
Keeping it relatively short and sweet. If there was a “King of 1980s Cheese” music list/crown, then The Final Countdown, both album and title track would rank close to number one on it. But, the album is a product of it’s musical time period were cheese and commercialism ran rampant. It’s definitely not and would not be considered a form of “high art” by any means. If The Final Countdown had less of the cheese and brought more of fire, then I’m pretty sure more would love this album.
I swear, this probably has been the most negative about an album I’ve posted about on this project before.
But all that said, it’s still an enjoyable listen. So give it a listen!