Vocalist Joey Tempest of Swedish hard rockers EUROPE spoke to Australia's Wall Of Sound about the creation of the band's mega-hit "The Final Countdown". Asked if he knew the song would be a smash when he was writing it and recording it, the singer said: "It is a good question. I did the demo at home with this song and we had the ideas for it for so long. It was a one-minute demo since high school for me. On the third album, we decided to record the song and we were talking about writing around this main keyboard riff. Initially, it was really a soundtrack-type song and not a hit single, and I guess this was good for it. I remember playing the demo for the guys and they really saw the song so strong and it built from there. [But] no, we never knew that this was going to be such a big hit. We opened the album and the tour with this song, but we really thought this was not the one to be the initial single."
"The Final Countdown" was the first single released from EUROPE's third studio album, "The Final Countdown", in 1986. The band's most recognizable and popular song, it reached No. 1 in 25 countries, including the United Kingdom. In the United States the song peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and 18 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The single was certified gold in the United Kingdom in 1986.
According to Tempest, "The Final Countdown" still stands as "one of our strongest albums and it was one of the albums that stands out; it opened up a lot of doors for the band. You know, 'Wings Of Tomorrow' was a little more naïve and stronger in that regard. But personally, I think we have done better albums, especially in the last [few] years. The three last albums are our strongest, but obviously it was something that belonged in that era and something so important to our career and history."
EUROPE's latest album, "Walk The Earth", was released last October via the band's own Hell & Back label through Silver Lining Music. The follow-up to 2015's "War Of Kings" was laid down at London, England's legendary Abbey Road studios and was produced by Dave Cobb, who also helmed the band's previous disc.