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On disc: Europe



Rock The Night (DVD) - Claudia Ehrhardt -  
Start From The Dark - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
Collections - Claudia Ehrhardt -
Last Look At Eden - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
Live At Sweden Rock
- 30th Anniversary Show (DCD)
- Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars


www.europetheband.com







Live At Sweden Rock - 30th Anniversary Show (DCD)

Live At Sweden Rock - 30th Anniversary Show (DCD)
(earMusic - 2013)


Europe celebrated their 30th anniversary this summer by headlining Sweden Rock Festival and playing at this festival in their home country is guaranteeing a fantastic show and atmosphere. The show was recorded for this double CD and a DVD, unfortunately I can't tell you anything about the DVD.

The opener is Riches To Rags and the first thing one notices it the heavy sound. And the excellent guitar play of John Norum. Joey Tempest sounds great and keyboarder Mic Michaeli these days prefers a more organic sound, so a song like Scream Of Anger sounds timeless and don't give away that it's an 80's tune. And it makes the songs from 3 decades sound homogenous, if one doesn't know from which era a song is, the sound won't give a hint. At Open Your Heart Tempest sounds a bit raspy, but it's still fun to listen to this one, even in a more reduced way. And once more John Norum is ennobling the song with his guitar play. At Carrie it seems that everybody in the audience was singing the chorus, that must have been a goose bumps-moment for the band - especially as it's a tune from their early years. Time for a cover version and a guest, time for Scott Gorham and Thin Lizzy's classic Jailbreak. The songs sounds a bit different due to Tempest's timbre which isn't as deep as Lynott's. After the Drum Solo they storm off with The Beast, a heavy riff-based tune. Another highlight is the U.F.O. cover Lights Out where Michael Schenker joins the Sweds on stage. With Rock The Night and Last Look At Eden they get closer to the end of the set - and as expected The Final Countdown is closing the night.











I can just recommend to get the DCD or even the DVD, even if I haven't seen it yet, but I bet it's worth every single dime.

Track listing:

CD1:
Riches To Rags
Firebox
Not Supposed To Sing The Blues
Scream Of Anger
I'm Not Superstitious
No Stone Unturned
New Love In Town
In The Future To Come
Paradize Bay
Girl From Lebanon
Strangers In Paradise
Always The Pretenders
Drink And A Smile
Open Your Heart
Love Is Not The Enemy
Sign Of The Times

CD2:
Start From The Dark
Wings Of Tomorrow
Carrie
Jailbreak (Thin Lizzy cover featuring Scott Gorham)
Seven Doors Hotel
Drumsolo
The Beast
Let The Good Times Rock
Lights Out (UFO cover featuring Michael Schenker)
Rock The Night
Last Look At Eden
The Final Countdown


9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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Last Look At Eden

Last Look At Eden
(earMusic - 2009)


It's been 30 years of rock for the Europe members who started back in 1979 as a cover band called Force. In the mid-80's they took the world by storm with The Final Countdown. The rest is history!
Symphonic dark sounds lead you into the album, the intro Prelude leads over to the title track Last Look At Eden. The title track is a heavy rocker with symphonic elements and catchy melody. The song has a dark edge and shows Europe a bit different... modern, heavy and dark. At Gonna Get Ready more retro sounds are audible, another cool rocker. Again the Swedish can surprise the listener, this time with a slow passage and a great guitar solo. Europe take you back to the 70's with Catch That Plane - and manage to make the retro sounding tunes sound modern. Contradiction? Well, listen to this one and you'll understand! Time for a ballad! Europe always been strong when it comes to ballads and so the semi-ballad New Love In Town won't disappoint you. The piano-based tune has some heavy guitar parts, but it's Joey Tempest's vocals which will touch you. Then they show that they still can rock and present a very heavy, bass dominated rocker called The Beast! Actually John Levn's bass is bass play is very prominent this time and together with Ian Haugland's drumming they give the songs the heavy punch. A heavy groover is Mojito Girl which got spiced up with some Oriental sound elements. This time keyboarder Mic Michaeli can step up a bit, but don't expect some bombastic keyboard-laden tune! With No Stone Unturned they present a Zeppelin-esque track. Again the Czech National Symphony Orchestra joined in to give the song a symphonic touch, but it's still a heavy rocker with twists and turns! With U Devil U they stay on the chosen path. A relaxed slow rocker is Run With The Angels at the beginning, but then the song explodes! And after a moment they return to the opening theme. A sonic roller coaster ride, but very enjoyable. The closer is called In My Time, a bluesy song with very emotional vocals and guitar. Enchanting!
It seems that Europe finally found their musical identity again, compared to the comeback album this one seems to be more authentic.... Their fresh retro rock sound is fun! And live these songs should sound even better!


9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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Collections

Collections
(Sony BMG - 2006)


Actually I have no idea why this compilation got released, coz there are already several ones. With Rock The Night - The Very Best Of Europe there is a double CD which offers more then this one. Sure, all their hits are on this disc, but I think that they have a lot of good songs which never been released as a single and so aren't that much known. Beside that they left out their latest album Start From The Dark and the bands self-titled debut. For fans of the Swedish this compilation offers nothing new - no special versions or bonus tracks - and as fans have the albums anyway, there is no need for Europe fans to buy this one. As opener they chose their biggest hit - The Final Countdown -, even if this isn't a typical Europe song. It's followed by Sign Of The Times off Out Of This World - a nice track, but nothing special. A catchy hookline and heavy riffs aren't making a good song, not necessarily. Then they go back to their high time and to their touching ballad Carrie. Even if I personally prefer Open Your Heart... Or Tomorrow, but Carrie was a single hit. With songs like Let The Good Times Rock and Halfway To Heaven some rock tunes made it onto this one, too.
It is a collection of Europe tunes, but there are better ones! Here I miss something special and I hope that it's not the band who chose the songs... For me it looks like a label-thing to make a little money... But that's just a guess, coz I have no information I can base this one. Collections is only interesting for rock fans who want to have the single hits and aren't looking for more.

Track list:

The Final Countdown
Sign Of The Times
Carrie
Cherokee
Time Has Come
Open Your Heart
Let The Good Times Rock
Halfway To Heaven
Tomorrow
Prisoners In Paradise


Claudia Ehrhardt
 






Start From The Dark

Start From The Dark
(Sanctuary Records - 2004)


It's been a long time that we last heard of Europe. Now the band is back the original line-up with a new album called Start From The Dark. And it was a surprise for most rock fans. Okay, they played the millennium show in Stockholm, but that was it. Start From The Dark is dark and more mature. You can hear that it's Joey Tempest and his mates, but don't expect something similar to their previous releases. They kick off with Got To Have Faith, a heavy rocker which grooves. In a way it seems to be their motto they got to have faith in what they do to come back. This song is not really an earcatcher, but after a few spins you will remember it. The title track starts slowly... Acoustic guitar and vocals, but then become a heavy grooving rocker. This is a catchier one, but has a sad feeling... Sounds a little resigned... Even if the message is more positive. Here you also find the first guitar solo of the album. It seems that with every song they got more confident. Most songs are rockers, but they haven't forgot that ballads made them successful. Lyrically it seems that the comeback and the possible failure was haunting Joey Tempest when he wrote the lyrics.... At least for awhile. Their track Hero is a mid-tempo one which deals with the hero everybody has in one or the other way. But more the hero of everyday life... For people who manage their daily life even under tough circumstances. With Wake-Up Call they recorded a heavy tune, partly up-tempo... partly slowed down. The Swedish recorded a balladesque song with Roll With You, but with Settle For Love they recorded a real ballad. Anyway, this album is heavy guitar rock!
Actually this album has no weak tracks. Sure, some are better then others, but no real fillers. The album is heavier then many might expected it to be. John Norum's guitar riffing is heavier then ever before and the more personal lyrics make the songs stronger.


9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 






Rock The Night (Collector's Edition)

Rock The Night (Collector's Edition)
(Sony Music - 2004)


The Swedish rockers are back with a new album and so it was no surprise that their old label Sony used the chance to release a video collection. I'm not sure, if this collection was released on video before and if this is just a re-release.
Anyway, beside 10 video clips - see list below - you can find some rare TV shows from Swedish TV shows of the 80's. The video clips present their greatest hits and include with Open Your Heart a clip with Kee Marcello on guitar, even if the song was originally recorded with John Norum. Personally I prefer the original song off Wings Of Tomorrow, but it's nice to see a clip of this one, so... Even more interesting is the bonus material, coz it shows TV appearances from the 80's are all from Swedish TV and so the majority of Europe fans won't know these. Only I couldn't find the listed Casablanca TV show... Beside that not much to complain, just that subtitles would have been nice for people who don't speak Swedish.   ;)
It seems that Europe are mainly attracting their fans of the 80's and so this collectors edition will be welcome. Especially the bonus material.
The DVD has a running time of approx. 90 minutes and offers Dolby Digial 2.0 and 5.1 as well as FSA (Full Surround Audio).

Videos:

The Final Countdown
Rock The Night
Carrie
Cherokee
Superstitous
Open Your Heart
Let The Good Times Rock
Prisoners In Paradise
I'll Cry For You
Halfway To Heaven


Bonus material:

Swedish Rock Championship: Luciarock - In The Future To Come and The King Will Return live plus a short clip of the award ceremony / STV 1982

TV Show Casablanca: Interview with the band shortly after they won the Sweden Rock Championship / STV 1983 - It's listed on the DVD case, but not in the menue!?!

TV Show Bagen / Rocksugen: Live from club Sfudion in Stockholm recorded Scream Of Anger, Ninja, Dreamer and Meznozies / STV 1984

News feature: Rapport - Tour premiere in Orebro, Sweden / STV 1986

TV Show: Ritz - On tour in the USA / STV 1988


Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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