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Metal/Prog Metal DVD/Video Reviews

Europe

Rock the World DVD

Review by Greg Olma

If ever there was a band whose whole career was judged by one song, it has to be Europe. "The Final Countdown" made them a household name but it also shut the door on what could have been a longer career. This release was put out by Epic due to the reformation. Start From the Dark was the comeback, so their old label tried to squeeze a few dollars from the die hard fans. I was never a huge Europe fan, but back in the mid 80's, this was the only kind of "metal" that made it onto the airwaves. This release is directed to two different groups. The first group, who consists of the fans who like their metal safe and wholesome will like the regular videos, while the second group, who likes a bit of an edge to their rock, will really enjoy the bonus material. Kicking things off with "The Final Countdown," you soon realize why Guns 'n Roses killed this genre. Rock, and more specifically metal, is meant to be dangerous. If your mom is humming it while cooking dinner, it's a safe bet that it's not good rock. The videos from that time period were cheesy. During the video "Rock the Night," the band breaks out into song at a Hard Rock Café and ups the cheese factor by having Joey Tempest use a ketchup bottle as a microphone. Things let up a bit when you get to the videos from Prisoners in Paradise, but by that time, the damage has already been done. Even though I have been harsh about this DVD, it was fun seeing the video again. For those of you who like to ride the nostalgia train, I recommend this release. It will take you back to a time when videos showed the band and didn't feature spastic cinematography.

The best part of this DVD is definitely the bonus material. If you are a fan of Europe's first two records, then this will make a worthwhile addition to your collection. The first of the bonus features is the Swedish Rock Championship where Europe perform "In the Future to Come" and "The King Will Return." Before they struck gold with "The Final Countdown", Europe were a great rock band in the NWOBHM tradition. John Norum played like a young Michael Schenker. If you want a good chuckle, check out Joey Tempest's mustache on this clip. It will totally remind you of Bruce Dickinson in his Samson days. Next up, we get a peak into Europe in the studio along with a bit of an interview. You will want to have your subtitles set on your DVD player for all of the bonus material as it is all from Swedish TV. More live footage follows with four songs performed in a small club in Stockholm. John Norum really shines in this segment. They perform a few songs from the first two albums but they sneak in "Ninja" off of The Final Countdown. This footage pre-dates the release of that song by almost two years. The last couple of pieces of bonus material are from The Final Countdown and Out Of This World tours. The interviews consist of such enlightening topics as Joey Tempest's wardrobe. Since there are two different versions of Europe on offer here, I can recommend this DVD to both old and new fans.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

 
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