In 1986 you would have been hard pressed to go anywhere on the Planet Earth and not hear Europe's perfect storm of high-flying vocals and bargain basement synth lines heralding the coming apocalypse. "The Final Countdown" made it to No. 1 in no less than 26 countries that year. Today you may be hard pressed to identify a guitar anywhere in the song, but no matter. Outside the U.S. (where they disappeared from the charts almost immediately) Europe went onto a long and lucrative career releasing albums and remaining on the international charts into the '00s. They broke up for a time in the '90s but were of course tapped to reunite and play a show for New Year's Eve in 1999 in Stockholm, a no doubt indescribable moment of synchronicity for all in attendance. Beginning in 2003, the band resumed recording and touring.
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