Over three decades and dozens of millions albums sold, Joey Tempest (vocals), John Norum (guitars), Mic Michaeli (keyboards), John Leven (bass) and Ian Haugland (drums) as hardworking as ever, annually performing concerts worldwide and producing albums that are critically acclaimed by fans and the music industry alike.
It all started in a small suburb outside of Stockholm, Sweden. Joey and John met and formed the band Force. They both were into British rock bands like Thin Lizzy and UFO. Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple also made an immense impact on these teenagers. They recorded their first demos when they were only 16 and 17 years old. Record companies turned them down, saying “the guitars were too loud and their hair was too long′. But armed with the new name Europe they proved everybody wrong. They won a rock band competition and the first prize was a recording contract. When “Europe” was released in 1983, kids in Sweden and Japan really identified with their music.
The second album ′Wings of Tomorrow′ gained attention from all over the world. Notably from Epic Records, New York (now Sony Music) who got interested and signed a five album million dollar contract.
When it was time to release their third album ′The Final Countdown′, they had Journey—producer Kevin Elson onboard and a major American label behind them. Touring the UK, US and the rest of the world had always been the boys dream. They had put in the dog years and it was time for the big success. ′The Final Countdown′ sold 7 million records worldwide and the single was number one in over 25 countries and still is a big anthem all over the world until today. The album spent 70 weeks on the Billboard Charts and had four Top 40 singles. Europe had made it.
They were constantly on the road all over the world but eventually found time to hook up with producer Ron Nevison (UFO, Led Zeppelin) to record their 4th album ′Out Of This World′. With the new hit ′Superstitious′ on the airwaves, they embarked on another 2 year long world tour including an arena tour in the US as special guests to their friends in Def Leppard on their majestic Hysteria tour.
In 1990 they relocated to Los Angeles to record their 5th album, ′Prisoners In Paradise′, followed by yet another extensive world tour. By then the band had constantly been recording and touring for 10 years and felt it was time for a break.
2004 the band returned with the powerful ′Start From The Dark′. The plan was to think long-term and slowly build up a relationship with fans and the music world again. The album caused controversy with raw, heavy detuned songs, but proved to be a great platform to build on.
2006 they recorded ′Secret Society′ — a more heavy and alternative rock album.
According to the band it was their best album cover to date, designed and executed by the legendary Storm Thorgeson (Hypgnosis). With this album, the British rock press started to take the band serious. The band continued to tour worldwide but now started to get invited to play the UK on a regular basis, with steadily increasing concert attendees.
One of their most successful records since returning to the scene was released in 2009: ′Last Look At Eden′. With the majestic title track and the ballad ′New Love In Town′, Europe broadened their fan base even more to become one of the most successful bands in their genre and returned to the pole position of the official album charts in their home country.
At the end of April 2012, the 9th Europe—album, ′Bag Of Bones′, recorded at Atlantis Studios in Stockholm, was released worldwide. Spawning the singles/videos ′Not Supposed To Sing The Blues′ and ′Firebox′, The Kevin Shirley produced record saw the band embark on yet a new adventure with a more down to earth , soulful and bluesy feel, much appreciated in the classics rock and blues camps.
With continued touring and an ever growing fan base, Europe entered the brand new PanGaia Studios in Stockholm (the first band to ever to record there) to record ′War of Kings′. In keeping with the vibe of the previous two releases and in hopes to take their newfound creativity to even higher levels, the band chose American producer Dave Cobb who had done such an amazing job on recent releases by Rival Sons.
Joey adds “And after hearing Dave Cobb amazing production for Rival Sons we simply had to work with him!” And the result is an immense album that corners everything this band is about in 2015 — a huge ′classic′ sound that encompasses the bands talent and draws from all the classic bands and influences from the 70′s, with a vital current sound! ′War of Kings′ the album, featuring the title track as first single (released February 2nd) was unleashed on the public the day the WOK World tour starts — March 2nd 2015, with the band playing Dublin Ireland for the first time in 25 years.
Joey Tempest: “Hey! We took the long road! But we wanted to re—establish Europe the proper way. It′s taken 10 years and countless tours since the re-start but we′re finally getting there and we’ve done it our way!
For the first time in over 10 years the band played two concert tours in the USA within just over a year, including a headline appearance at the M3 festival in Maryland.
2016 found the band marking a milestone in their career, the 30th anniversary of their landmark album, The Final Countdown. To celebrate this, the band staged a series of special shows throughout Europe where they first performed the entire War of Kings album followed by the entire Final Countdown album. Their sold out show at London’s famous Roundhouse was documented for a DVD release in early 2017.
The Autumn of 2017 saw Europe release their 11th studio album “Walk The Earth” on the 20th October. The album featured original artwork by famed Los Angeles artist Mike Sportes of Filth Mart.
From the anthemic sound of the opening track “Walk The Earth” – to the heavy vibe that is “Haze”, from the instant melody of “Election Day” to the lyrical content of “Kingdom United”, “Walk The Earth” is the album that should see Europe rightly acclaimed as a band at the height of their powers. The wonderful melodies and depth of Joey Tempest’s vocals along with a powerhouse rhythm section and the guitar playing of John Norum, one of the great underrated guitarists. Norum’s guitar playing shines across the record. This is an album that is big in its scope and sound. Much like previous album “War Of Kings”, “Walk The Earth” is an album that has instant appeal but is also an album that needs to be lived with, in order to uncover it’s depth. The album was recorded at famed Abbey Road Studios in London, once again with Grammy winning producer Dave Cobb (Rival Sons, Shooter Jennings, Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton). The band won a Swedish Grammi for Walk The Earth in 2018, the band’s first such award.
2018 and 2019 saw the band continue to “Tour The Earth” with trip back to Japan for three concerts at the famous Club Citta in Kawasaki.
As we all know 2020 saw the global pandemic and the concert industry shut down. The band kept busy writing material and filming special lockdown videos for social media and other outlets.
2022 saw the band back in full force starting with an arena tour of UK with Whitesnake and Foreigner and then continuing into European territories with Whitesnake and numerous festival headline appearances. In December 2022 the band headlined three sold out arena shows in Chile, Brazil & Argentina respectively.
To top it all off the band were presented with a special YouTube award for ONE BILLION views of the 1986 smash “The Final Countdown” – the first Swedish band ever to hit that number with a single song.
2023 sees the 40th anniversary of the bands self-titled debut album and in January the band announced an 18 date tour of Europe with a special ‘Evening With’ performance in September / October, finishing with two concerts at the iconic London Palladium!
… 40 years on and no sign of slowing down!