Finally the problems are over
From: OKEJ - 1986            Translated by: Suzy

It looks as though EUROPE's problems are finally solved. Joey's throat has healed, and they are doing everything to finish the delayed LP "The Final Countdown".

It's the talk of the town: "When the hell will EUROPE's new LP be released?" It's now been more than two years since "Wings of Tomorrow" was released, and the new LP has been on its way ever since. New release dates have been presented time after another, but they've been changed due to a quite stubborn virus bacteria that seems to have taken permanent residence in Joey's throat. But the headstrong bacillus has given in to a number of treatments and a strict healthy diet. Now, after seven sorrows and just as many troubles, Joey is finally on his way to the USA to finish the recordings of "The Final Countdown", an LP which they began recording already in September in Zurich, and that should have been released just before Christmas.

"Well, it's not fun," says Mic Michaeli, who's been doing nothing since the last recordings were done in the Powerplay studios two weeks in October, "It's been more than two years since the last album, and it has to work now! The USA and Japan really want us and the same goes for Sweden."

Hard pressure on Joey
The visits to doctors, voice coaches and health farms have been many. A couple of months ago, Joey spent a couple of weeks at the well-known Skebo Gård outside of Rimbo. Ian went with him for company. Boring, of course, but it did produce results. If everything works out, which it has to, "The Final Countdown" should be ready for the stores in April. "But we are not promising anything this time," Mic says seriously, "We have presented release dates before, but never been able to follow them. We are really doing everything we can."

The man behind the album is the American Kevin Elson, who used to work as a sound technician and co-producer for Journey. It seems like his knowledge has created a fantastic sound for EUROPE. All the backgrounds and most of the backing vocals were finished in Zurich. Joey has recorded the lead vocals for five tracks in Ft. Lauderdale, USA, and now it's time to go back and get the rest done. Twelve tracks in total. Ten for the LP and two for single B-sides.

The list of the tracks is as follows: "The Final Countdown", "Carrie", "Ninja", "On Broken Wings", "Cherokee", "When Men Don't Dare", "Time Has Come", "Love Chaser", "Danger on the Track", "Heart of Stone", "On the Loose" and "Rock the Night". The last two tracks are new recordings of the songs on the LO single (LO = Swedish Federation of Trade Unions) that sold gold this summer.

"I wouldn't be surprised if the USA choose 'Rock the Night' to be the first single," Mic explains. But the CBS boss really believes in the title track, even if it's not a given single-hit. "It's not decided yet which song will be released as a first single in Sweden. We will release 'Carrie', but probably not as the first single as it's a bit too slow." "Carrie" could be heard during EUROPE's hockey arena tour this summer, but then in a softer version. Only Mic's keyboards with Joey's superior melody. On the LP the whole band will appear in the song.

A while back, an evening paper wrote that Joey had been asked to write a ballad for the German band Scorpions. A hit with them would mean a very well filled wallet for Mr. Tempest. He's very calm about it. "Sure, I'm working on a song for them. We'll see what happens." Mic's version is also down to earth: "I don't think it means that Scorpions have asked him to write a song and it's all clear that it will be on their album. Their producer is looking for good material, and Joey is one of those who have been asked to contribute. But I don't think we should celebrate yet."

New tour
The fact is that Joey has become an international songwriter of class and with the success of EUROPE and Tone Norum, he can take credit for all of this without shame. But of course EUROPE comes first. They are planning a tour of hockey arenas around Walpurgis (April 30). "But it's only preliminary and all the details are not sorted," Mic says.

All this waiting has not been in vain. "The Final Countdown" will not be a disappointment.

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