"Released in 1983, I've had this album since 1989, when it was first relased in the US, and I've never lost interest. "Europe" captures the band at the start of their career when they were young and naive, and closest to their Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy influenced roots. Ahh, the innocence of youth. This album was recorded in just 2 weekends which is the strength (and weakness) of the recording.
I often think of this album as the little brother to "Wings of Tomorrow". The music has good live energy and sounds very honest and uncompromised, while not having quite the same feeling of accomplishment that would've been provided by a more expensive studio production.
All 9 songs are great. "Seven doors hotel" is reason enough to buy this disc. Long before the world outside of Sweden and Japan discovered the band, this song was a major hit in Japan and remains a classic to this day. The ballads "The King will return" and "Words of wisdom" have much depth and charm. "Boyazont" is a great instrumental and example of why John Norum is one of the most underrated guitarist in the history of rock.
Yes this is the same Europe that wrote the notorious 'F' son
Paul Lawrence | Australia | 01/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The review by Darth Kommisar pretty much sums up this release. Anybody who actually likes 80's hard rock should own this album as at this point Europe were really in their own little world. They may have loved Thin Lizzy but this release has a teutonic grandiose sound that Lizzy just wouldn't of done.
Memories is right up there as one of the tremendous rock songs about lost opportunities. Seriously, anyone over the age of 14 or so should be able to relate to this song as it's so universal. Paradize Bay - the music and the lyrics sound like they should be two different songs. Whatever Joey Tempest was drinking at the time he wrote these lyrics I want some, it should NOT work but it does.
Of course this is a debut effort and thre are some creaky bits. But I can forgive it all as a guilty pleasure, and John Norums Boyazont is not the low point that many instrumentals are. In fact to me it's one of the highlights of the album. And also shows why he won best guitarist in the competition that saw Europe get the funding for this, their debut effort."
Maybe 3.5 stars
Daniel Siconnelli | Beneath the Bermuda Triangle | 08/30/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The production, the composition, the lyrics. Everything is better on Wings of tomorrow. I would have given even a 4 stars but Wings is so much better.
A must for a fan. I like it very much in fact, but I got the feeling I will listen to Wings much mor often."
Justin Gaines | Northern Virginia | 08/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Man, I really love the first two Europe albums. OK, I love all of Europe's albums, but Wings of Tomorrow and the 1983 self-titled debut hold a special place in my heart. Like most people, I discovered Europe when "The Final Countdown" hit the airwaves, but it was the budget-priced cassettes of the band's first albums that I played to the breaking point.
Far from the super-polished melodic rock sound of The Final Countdown and Out of This World, Europe's self-titled debut album sounds more like a regionally displaced NWOBHM band than anything else. The band combined the charging riffs and vaguely sci-fi/fantasy lyrics of British power metal with elements of progressive rock and added a wild energy that only a band this young can provide. There are traces of the superstar melodic rock powerhouse the band would become, but at the time Europe was definitely a metal band. Songs like "Seven Doors Hotel" and "Children of This Time" wouldn't have been out of place on a Demon or Diamond Head album, and the rest of the album maintains that metal feel. Some of these songs may seem a bit cheesy in retrospect, but when you consider the language barrier and the band's obvious passion for the material, you have to give them credit.
I wouldn't call Europe a must-have album, as I'm sure there are some casual fans who will be content with The Final Countdown or one of the band's many greatest hits compilations. It is however a must-have for all serious Europe fans, as well as being one of the decade's more underrated metal albums.
Edition Notes: Wounded Bird reissued Europe (as well as 1984's Wings of Tomorrow) in 2009. Unlike most Wounded Bird reissues, the Europe albums actually have been remastered, and sound noticeably better than the original issues. It's not as impressive the average EMI remaster (their reissues of Saxon, MSG and Scorpions sound amazing), but I replaced my older version of and am quite pleased with the improved sound quality."