EUROPE's rock rocket has lifted off

By: Stefan Johansson            From: OKEJ - No. 8, 1986            Translated by: Louise

The rocket has lifted off. After the unexpected long countdown, EUROPE now comes with their "Final Countdown".

"I'm really excited about being on stage again," Joey Tempest says and looks forward to the tour.

After seven sorrows and eight losses, EUROPE and the fans in Sweden and the rest of the world, can take a deep breath now. "The Final Countdown" is here after a long countdown. In the end EUROPE succeeded - they are firing off the rock projectile which now stuns everybody.

"I'm very satisfied," Joey Tempest says. Not only satisfied; the incredibly gifted Joey must feel like a stone has fallen from his heart. A while ago it looked like he couldn't sing at all. His voice wouldn't work and a central, unique part of EUROPE was out of order. It was when EUROPE went down to the Powerplay studios in Zurich that the problem began. The recording of the music was going great, but when Joey was going to sing, something happened.

"At first I thought that it was a normal cold and that I had simply overstrained my voice," Joey says. But it was much more serious. Joey's vocal cords had been struck by a mysterious virus, and no matter how much he tried, he couldn't sing a single note. The speculations started right away: Couldn't Joey handle the pressure? Was the pressure from the record company - who'd put almost 2 million Swedish Kronor
(256 000 US Dollars) into the recording of "The Final Countdown" - too much? Was Joey Tempest finished?

"It's really ridiculous to say that there's some mental reason for it. I'm quite a strong person." So Joey Tempest denies that the problem with his voice has any mental reason, but it didn't get better when both the band, manager and record company waited for something to happen. Joey Tempest, the rare genius, tried one homemade remedy after another.

For a while he annoyed his surroundings by more or less living on garlic. Then a drastic decision was taken: Joey Tempest went to stay at the health clinic Skebo Herrgård. That made a difference. When I met him, it was a new Joey I saw. A Joey who looked better and stronger. "I got my strength back," Joey says. "For two weeks I relaxed, ate right and exercised."

The health cure was followed by a lot of work with the singing master Bo Sydow. Together they developed something that can be called "A new Tempest voice". "I don't push my voice as much as I did before," Joey says. "I have started to work in a whole new way: Now I see the entirety of it more. Earlier it was more like you had to show off to prove that you were the best. Now I sing in a more relaxed way. Compared to how I sang before, my voice is much more honest now. Now I know what I did wrong before. I feel like I've become more experienced."

When Joey got back his strength from the health cure and the work with Bo Sydow, he decided to go to the warm California. Together with producer Kevin Elson he did the vocal add-ons at Barkeley Studios. "I felt calm and relaxed when I got there," Joey says. "I had prepared well and did one song right after I got there."

After two weeks' work with the vocals, the rest of the band came to the studio for the mixing. Now the album is ready. "The Final Countdown" is one of the best rock albums that has ever been made in Sweden. "I'm so satisfied. I think our fans are going to be satisfied too. We are not going to let them down."

Now Joey and the band are looking forward to the Swedish tour which begins on April 29 in Gävle. EUROPE are going to do 25 concerts in Sweden. "We have a lot of cool stuff going on when it comes to the stage show," Joey tells and sounds secretive. "I'm so thrilled about being on stage again. It's going to be so cool to see the fans again."

Thousands of EUROPE fans think it will be very cool to see the band again. A year has gone by since the last time.

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