Album success and triumph tour

From: OKEJ - 1986         Translated by: Louise

Congratulations, EUROPE - the tour really shows what class you have got, and the album "The Final Countdown" was brilliantly welcomed. A triumph on the Swedish market. It’s a good start, but it’s far from enough. EUROPE have to be prepared to make a big effort if they want to make it internationally. To go across the boarders and make it on the international markets with good results is a difficult task, which only few have done.

Actually, it’s only ABBA who have really become superstars - after them we have got a bunch of artists who made it here, but never really were that big. Secret Service made it on the Continent, Herrey’s in Eastern Europe, Jerusalem almost in the USA - and a handful more could be mentioned. Now EUROPE from Upplands Väsby are making the next ambitious attempt. They have already had noticeable success in Japan, they have got one of the world’s biggest companies behind them and a gold lined contract in their pocket - but it’s still far from certain that the band is going to succeed.

The first question mark concerns experience, routine and stage confidence. Some successful tours through Sweden are not enough, not even if the shows there are of international format and offer one of the biggest stage shows you have ever seen on the Swedish rock scene. In the USA and England this is everyday stuff, and EUROPE have to show something really original if they get a chance at all.

Further more, the band has been extremely followed by bad luck lately. First of all it was Joey’s voice problems, which stopped them from being productive, and then the album "The Final Countdown" which wasn’t released in time for the start of tour - Are EUROPE really strong enough for an intensive foreign gamble this summer and fall?

Also, there is a certain risk that EUROPE jumped on the heavy rock train just a little too late. The hard rock scene has obviously reached its peak. Now the interest is falling, and even the American and English great bands are having trouble.

Promotion visit
If EUROPE can spread their material out more, it might not be so difficult anyways. The songs from "The Final Countdown" are doing well in the competition, and "Carrie", for example, should do well on the American radio stations. It is one sign, but after all, no security for making the bet internationally, but Joey Tempest himself seems to be full of confidence - he is as good as sure that EUROPE will succeed.

"We are hoping for a lot from the USA," he says. "They have put a lot of money on us, and we have been there and checked out a lot. I think we have got the odds on our side - and I know that the Americans like our song material."

If they stick to the plans and the time schedule then, EUROPE will cross the Atlantic sometime in July for a series of promotion jobs on the American ground. During the summer they are also doing a couple of festival gigs, and in October several gigs are booked in Japan. After that, if the PR-plans from the summer succeeded, it will be time for a big American tour. That’s when EUROPE has to deal with the really big names - we’ll keep our fingers crossed for Joey and his men to succeed.

A real grip
"We’re strong," Joey says. "And I sing better now than ever before. I work in another way now - I prepare better and sing a lot more relaxed."

EUROPE’s Swedish tour took off on April 29th, and if the Gods had been willing, it could have been better. But "The Final Countdown" hadn’t reached the stores yet, and only 1500 people showed up at the concert in Gävle. An enormous show-up for any other Swedish artist, but a bit too small for EUROPE when they have made themselves available for such an event.

"It’s hard to get people to come when you haven’t got your album out in time," Joey thinks. "That has been our problem, but still I think it has gone well. And we have felt that the audience like our new songs - they were getting pretty excited, even though they hadn’t heard the album yet."

As a rock band, EUROPE have done really well. Joey is a good singer, John Norum is nothing but a brilliant guitarist, and the feeling in the band has been great. The gentlemen from Upplands Väsby have all the reasons to be satisfied. They have got a real grip on their Swedish fans, and loyal as they are, they will return to Sweden after their foreign gambling in the fall.

It's almost certain that EUROPE will do a new big Scandinavian tour already in December, and maybe Tone Norum will come along as support act. All in all, we can say that EUROPE is a great Swedish band with a big capacity, but at the same time we have to watch out for expecting too much from the international contracts and plans for a foreign success.

It’s a tough world with many great bands fighting for a place in the sun - Joey and the others have got a long way to go before the big breakthrough!

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