I am aware that I’ve been unwavering in writing about one single band the past year or so… don’t despair, here they come… Europe has the stage today! It is rather fitting since they started their summer tour yesterday in Sofia, Bulgaria. Was I there? Of course not, but maybe some of you were… Anyway, weird title for this blog post you might think but in truth, I am like all my other fellow Europe fans, I’m getting tired of this recurring look of surprise on people’s face when I say that Europe is one of my favourite bands – and has been for the past 31 years: “Europe? Are they still alive? Is it not the band who played that super hit song, you know…” and then, you see this person starting to hum The Final Countdown intro, playing air-keyboard. This is so freaking annoying!
First Europe song I ever heard, first album
Don’t get me wrong, I love The Final Countdown since it is how I discovered the band… by the way, thank you mommy for buying me the single! How I have listened to that song, I probably drove my little brother mad… But then, and as I wrote in 2013, one of my aunties bought me the vinyl album The Final Countdown. I’m telling you right now, I was hooked. At that time, I shared a passion for Europe with my cousin. She and I went crazy in record shops, and that is when we found the first two albums – which we ultimately bought. Wings of Tomorrow was my favourite… anyway, after finding all that great new music, my first Europe single played less until I realised there was a B-side: On Broken Wings… I played it so much that the song was inaudible after playing it a hundred times or so, again and without a doubt to the delight of my little brother.
Get over it! Yes, they still live and they are rocking it!
Europe has been back since 2004… so it’s been 13 years, how could you miss that? They’ve released five albums since and the sixth is on the way (planned to be released around October 2017). Added to the studio albums, they have also released four live albums three of which are also available as DVDs. So, get over it! Europe is still rocking the stages all over the world. The music is more mature, Joey Tempest‘s voice has never been so good, and every album is different which makes it always extremely exciting to discover a new release. Get curious, listen to them, they are NOT what many used to call them a “poodle band” from the 80s – I always hated that expression anyway. Start From The Dark (2004), Secret Society (2006), Last Look At Eden (2009), Bag of Bones (2012) and War of Kings (2015).
Nostalgia is alright, the present is way more interesting
Almost a year to this day, I wrote a blog post about The Final Countdown 30th anniversary. I won’t repeat what I said then. I am just adding this: we can expect a DVD release this summer to have a memorandum of the event. Great! But then, the real treat – if you ask me – is the upcoming album in October. So, note to self – or rather to family and friends – my birthday is on October 31st!
The other day, I was talking music with a neighbour, sweet man. I played some tunes from my phone and every time he asked: “Oh! what’s that? That’s so good!” etc. Then I had a little fun, because some of the bands I played for him, he’d heard of, some others he did not… anyway, I played Days of Rock n Roll (from War of Kings) for him. He was like: “no, I don’t know that song… but, hell, I know that voice!” and he proceeded in naming many bands and got it all wrong of course, until I had it and told him: “Come on, man! Aren’t you Swedish? Jeez, you should know that band!” Yet, even with a clue, he did not guess. In the end I’ve had it and told him. He felt really stupid and we laughed a lot.So, my neighbour was one of those who had no idea whatsoever that Europe was back – 13 years after the come back. Okay, not everyone is a fan, but the band’s been touring in Sweden during that time, they’ve even been posters announcing such events. I live in Borlänge and they came to this Peace & Love festival after the release of Start from the Dark (I think it was), for crying out loud!… Shape up people!
Best part of today’s Europe
I remember how nuts I’d get when I saw a picture of the band in a magazine, or when they were to be interviewed on TV (for a channel I did not have at the time)… they were so far away… so, untouchable. It was part of the charm, part of the dream that music brought to me and people in general. At the same time, musicians like Europe were somehow dehumanised for they belonged to a world that no ordinary human would ever enter. It’s all well, but kind of unhealthy both for them and us. The music scene has thankfully changed since. Social medias have a lot to do with it. Musicians are closer to their audience, and Europe is no exception. Communication between them and the fans is as easy as breathing, selfies are all over the place… and so, Europe came back to earth and became like you and me… normal people who happened to do what they love for a living, that’d be the only difference – humanly speaking at least.
Jokes and metaphors aside, Europe has an ever growing fan-base including the new and the old fans. I try to go see them live as often as I can when they play in Sweden, of course, my husband tags along and sometimes, friends do too. There is more than meets the eye with Europe (pun intended, understands whom that will).
I’ll always love the music, always love them… it cannot be any other way.
All videos are official ones borrowed from the band’s YouTube channel… go have a look and a listen!