Europe In-depth Biography
Originally a progressive rock} group, Europe} didn't achieve any success until they reworked their sound into a bombastic yet melodic pop-metal}. In their first incarnation, the Swedish band was called Force}. The band -- featuring core members Joey Tempest} (vocals), John Norum} (guitar), and John Leven} (bass) -- won a national talent contest in the early '80s, which led to a record contract. After changing their name to Europe} and releasing two albums in Sweden (Europe} and Wings of Tomorrow}), the band landed an international deal with Epic Records}. By this time, Norum} had left the group and was replaced by Kee Marcello}; drummer Ian Haughland} and keyboardist Michael Michaeli} also joined the lineup.
In 1986, Europe} released The Final Countdown}. On the album, Michaeli}'s keyboards took a prominent role (they provide the main riff in the hit title track), which nicely complimented the band's smoother pop} melodies. The change in style proved successful, as the record became a Top Ten hit in the U.S. and U.K.; both "The Final Countdown"} and "Carrie"} became Top Ten singles as well. Delivered two years later, Out of This World} continued the formula of the previous record. It also was a success, although its numbers didn't match those of The Final Countdown}. Two years later, Europe} released their final album, Prisoners of Paradise}, to little attention. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide