Friday, October 30, 2020

End Of Days: Defending Europe's "The Final Countdown"!

When one thinks about how many times hair metal heavyweights Bon Jovi have been the top-grossing concert act in the United States, yet they've never given us a tune even half as catchy as Europe's "The Final Countdown", it becomes glaringly obvious that we as a people have lost our way.

Don't pretend you don't find yourself singing that song's majestic synthesizer riff long after hearing it at the supermarket, yet, more times than not, the song is treated as a punchline to a joke more and more people think is funny.

Based on that song alone, Europe should be playing stadiums in this country where all they do is riff out on "The Final Countdown" for half an hour, take a fifteen-minute  intermission, and then come back out to play "The Final Countdown" because we haven't waved our Bic lighters apps on our cell phones for a half an hour.

And for an encore, they perform "The Final Countdown" with a full symphony orchestra!

Can you say "eargasm"? I knew you could. 

Next day at school, every kid with ears and/or legs would be wearing their brand new "The FINAL Final Countdown, We Promise IV" tour shirt. Those who don't are socially shunned, and rightfully so. 

Now, you're probably wondering if there are any opening acts at a Europe show. The answer is, thankfully, No. 

Not only do the members of Europe recognize their place in the pantheon of rock & roll, they also don't want to keep us out past our bedtimes on a school night.

This is, after all, THE FINAL COUNTDOWN and it pays to be well-rested.

In reality, the last time I heard anyone but me talking about "The Final Countdown", it was a group of teenage kids making fun of it as it played at concert volume in a Dave & Buster's.

Even as the very synth riff for which the word "elegiac" had been invented drowned out the seductive ring-a-ding-dinging of a thousand arcade machines, I could still barely hear the song over a table of nitwits arguing back-and-forth about which band actually performed the song.

With ever-present cell phones in front of them, these techno-dweebs still managed to come up with a frightening range of incorrect guesses, from Billy Squier to Poison to Nelson (!) before deciding as a group that it must have been ... BON JOVI.

I hate to admit it, but those crazy kids did get it half right.

You see, Europe are Sweden's Bon Jovi, driving up sales of hair spray for five decades, while scoring a career run of nine Top 10 albums, eight Top 10 singles, and sold-out stadiums for just as long as Bon Jovi have been doing the same here in the States. 

Over yonder der in Sveden, doh, "The Final Countdown" went to #1", whereas it only got to #18 in the States. Can you believe that nonsense?

Wait, it gets worse. 

Did you also know that "The Final Countdown" wasn't even Europe's biggest U.S. hit?

I won't even tell you which song actually made it to #9 because, hey, why dig up a memory that you've successfully repressed? 

Hint: It wasn't "Carrie" or "Rock The Night", which both went Top 40 in the U.S., which raises the question: "If Europe scored four Top 40 hits in the U.S., two of which went Top 20, why the hell aren't they playing U.S. stadiums to this day?"

I'll tell you why: Because there can only be one Bon Jovi in this country and we already have ours, gosh darn it. Maybe we can work out a trade with Sweden, just for a few years to mix things up a bit. 

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