Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

May 26, 2011

Europe ~ Super Hits (hits comp)

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Style: hard rock
Label: Epic
Year: 1998
Home: Sweden

Members: Joey Tempest ~ vocals/guitar/keyboards
Kee Marcello, John Norum ~ guitars/b. vocals
John Leven ~ bass
Ian Haugland ~ drums/b. vocals
Tony Reno ~ drums
Mic Michaeli ~ keyboards/b. vocals

Additional: Nate Winger, Paul Winger ~ b. vocals
Mats Grahn ~ bass/guitar/keyboards

Keyboards dominated the 70's prog scene to a large extent which was continued into the 80's New Wave & hard rock scene posing as much a challenge to music as overdone guitar pyrotechnics let alone making the instrument seem as cool as when Fats Domino or Jerry Lee played it. But, the immobility of the instrument, let alone its preferred use as a texture adding instrument & not a lead instrument, caused it to go out of style in the 90's except for a minority of bands or those looking to add sound effects behind their guitar riffs. Europe might be just another hard rock/glam band that from the 80's, though since reunited, most famous for their Top 10 hit "The Final Countdown" & the fact that they're from Sweden, but listening again today they provide a good nostalgia trip of music that made the keyboard a prominent instrument with its emphasis on melody vs. distorted riffing & brought together the best of 70's prog & 80's hard rock in an under-looked mix that has since been lost. There's better greatest hits collections available for Europe, but for a band with essentially one big hit & a few small ones what makes for a good or bad compilation is close to splitting hairs on the level of fan favorites. The essential thing to know is that it's worth picking up any of the compilationss. In many ways Europe is similiar to Savatage who relied heavily on keyboards with the guitar often taking a backseat yet they also have the approach of the Scorpions or Journey where the power ballads are the norm & not forced like so many of their 80's peers once it was determined that slow love songs were chart-toppers. With strong melodies with hints of both prog & hard rock & the flashiness of the 80's Europe crafted memorable songs that should be more recongized than they are. It should be mentioned that this particular compilation excludes anything from their self-titled 1983 debut while the three albums done since should also be looked for though there's more focus on the guitar today as Europe has clearly moved with the trends against what made them so unique.

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