The first incarnation of the band - Force - was formed in Stockholm suburb Upplands VĂ¤sby in 1979, by vocalist / keyboardist Joey Tempest, guitarist John Norum, bassist Peter Olsson and drummer Tony Reno. They sent several demos to record companies, but were told to cut their hair and start singing in Swedish if they wanted a record contract. Two years later Olsson left the band and was replaced by John LevĂ©n.
In 1982 Joey's girlfriend entered Force in the Swedish rock talent contest Rock-SM. Competing against 4000 bands, they ended up winning the whole contest, where the first prize was a record contract. During the contest Force had changed their name to Europe. Their self-titled debut album was released the following year, and sold well in both Sweden and Japan. The single Seven Doors Hotel even became a Top 10 hit in Japan.
The second album, Wings of Tomorrow was released one year later, and the single Open Your Heart got CBS Records interested in the band, offering an international contract in 1985. Keyboardist Mic Michaeli was recruited as background musician for live concerts after the album release, soon becoming an official member of the band. At the same time Tony Reno was fired because of lack of motivation and his constant slacking off from rehearsals. His replacement was Ian Haugland.
In 1985 Europe recorded the soundtrack for youth movie On the Loose, which gave them their first number 1 hit in Sweden - Rock the Night. Several months later they started recording their next album. The result was The Final Countdown, released in 1986. It became a worldwide hit, selling more than six million copies. The title track single was number 1 in 26 countries, and the ballad Carrie reached the Top 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the USA.
Not satisfied with the album's keyboard-dominated production and the band'Hair_metal" title ="Hair metal">hair metal image, John Norum decided to leave Europe in November 1986 to start a solo career. Kee Marcello was asked to replace him, and after a lot of consideration he joined the band. The following year included successful tours in Europe and the USA. The follow-up to The Final Countdown was titled Out of This World and was released in 1988. More touring followed, including a US tour with Def Leppard and a tour in South-East Asia.
It took three years before there was a new album, and 1991's release of Prisoners in Paradise drowned in the grunge craze caused by Nirvana and Pearl Jam. After ten years of living, recording and touring together, Europe decided to take a long break after one last European tour in 1992. Since then Tempest, Norum and Marcello have released solo albums, while the other members have participated in several different projects and bands.
For the millennium celebrations in 1999, Europe were asked to do a concert in Stockholm on New Year's Eve. That concert would be their first concert with two lead guitarists, since both Norum and Marcello had accepted to play. This wasn't a full-time reunion, however. It was a one-off event. Over the years there were several reunion rumours, and in October 2003 it was official: Europe announced their plans for a new album and world tour. The band had switched back to their classic Final Countdown lineup, with John Norum as the only lead guitarist; Kee Marcello claimed he was too busy with his own projects, including his solo band K2.
In the summer of 2004 Europe went on a festival tour all over Europe. The concert setlists included several old classics, but also introduced the title track from their brand new album - Start from the Dark. The album was released in the fall of 2004, and was followed by a world tour.
- Europe (1983)
- Wings of Tomorrow (1984)
- The Final Countdown (1986)
- Out of This World (1988)
- Prisoners in Paradise (1991)
- 1982-1992 (1993)
- Rock the Night: The Very Best (2004)
- Start from the Dark (2004)
- Joey Tempest - vocalist
- John Norum - guitarist
- Mic Michaeli - keyboards
- John LevĂ©n - bass
- Ian Haugland - drums