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The Final Countdown-Europe-Hyperdrive25

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The Final Countdown - Europe
----------------------------- 
Released: December 7, 1999.
Genre: Eurodance.
Running Time: 4 minutes, 59 seconds.
Writer:	Joey Tempest.
Producers: Brian Rawling, Gary Miller.

"The Final Countdown" is a synth rock song by the Swedish rock band Europe written by Joey Tempest. It was the first single released from the band's third studio album, The Final Countdown, in 1986. It is the band's most recognizable and popular song. The song reached No. 1 in 25 countries, including the United Kingdom. In the United States the song peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and 18 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The single was certified gold in the United Kingdom in 1986. The song appears in the 2010 video games NHL 11 and NHL Slapshot.

Origin and recording
--------------------
The song was based on an old keyboard riff that vocalist Joey Tempest had written as early as 1981-82, on a Korg Polysix keyboard he borrowed from keyboardist Mic Michaeli. In 1985, bassist John Levén suggested that Tempest should write a song based on that riff. Tempest recorded a demo version of the song and played it for the other band members. At first the members expressed mixed reactions to it. "When I first heard the synth intro to 'The Final Countdown', my reaction was: 'No, this is nuts. We just can't use this,'" guitarist John Norum said, "Thank God they didn't listen to me." "Some of the guys in the band thought it was too different for a rock band," Tempest said, "But in the end I fought hard to make sure it got used."

The song's lyrics were inspired by David Bowie's song "Space Oddity". The sound of the keyboard riff used in the recording was achieved by using a Yamaha TX-816 rack unit and a Roland JX-8P synthesizer. "I made a brassy sound from the JX-8P and used a factory sound from the Yamaha, and just layered them together," Michaeli said.

When it was time to choose the first single from the album The Final Countdown, Tempest suggested the song "The Final Countdown". Originally the band had never planned to release the song as a single, and some members wanted "Rock the Night" to be the first single. "The Final Countdown" was written to be an opening song for concerts, and they never thought it would be a hit. But when their record company Epic Records suggested that it should be the first single, the band decided to release it.

As Tempest stated:

    "It's always a nice feeling. Sometimes you hear it on the streets or someone has it on their mobile phone or something, it's a nice feeling! Actually, I did an interview about a year ago with a newspaper from America and they talked about how much it's been used in sports in America which I didn't know so much about. Apparently it has been used a lot and it was nice to hear. The ironic thing, though, is that the song was actually written for the fans. It was over six minutes long and was never meant to be a hit or anything like that. It was meant to be an opening for the live show. We were putting out our third album and we wanted a really grand opening for the show. So, I had that riff tucked away in a drawer since my college years and I took it out, found a tempo for it, wrote lyrics and it turned out to be a great opening for that album and for the show as well. Nowadays, we don't rehearse it but when we play it live, it is still just so amazing! It does communicate so well with the audience and we really love playing it."


Release and reception
---------------------
"The Final Countdown" was released in the spring of 1986 and became the most successful song from The Final Countdown on the American rock charts and as well as the band's most recognizable and popular song. It appeared on Billboard magazine's Billboard Hot 100 chart, reaching the top 10. The following week it debuted on the Mainstream Rock Tracks, where it peaked at number eighteen in its eighth week and remained on the chart until its twentieth week. The band's next hit was "Superstitious," which achieved a higher chart position on the Mainstream Rock Tracks.

Outside of the United States, the single was released worldwide. In Canada, the song reached the top ten on the Canadian Singles Chart. It remained in the top 10 for three weeks and became the band's highest charting song in Canada. "The Final Countdown" reached the UK Top 3, eventually spending two weeks at the top of the UK Singles Chart in December, and was the only single from the album which would chart in the UK top 20. "The Final Countdown" reached number 1 in 25 countries, including France, Germany, Ireland, Sweden and Italy.

The song enjoys notable popularity in many sports arenas and stadiums; public address booths have often played the opening keyboard riff to rally the home crowd; it has also become a staple of high school and college pep bands for this same purpose. It was also frequently used in the American television show Arrested Development as the opening theme of G.O.B.'s magic show. The song was used for the American commercial of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games and is used as an entrance theme for professional wrestler Bryan Danielson in Ring of Honor. It was the unofficial song of the Eurobasket 1987 held in Athens, Greece (it was the main song theme played during the time-outs) and it is still heavily associated with both the introductions of the Detroit Pistons at their home games at The Palace of Auburn Hills as well as the surprise and unprecedented victory of the Greek Men's Basketball team over the team of the Soviet Union in the last seconds of that Cup final (1987). It has been used as the opening theme for Henry Green's weekly radio show "Radio Therapy" on WQLT for several years and continues to see widespread airplay on similar Classic Hits and Classic Rock radio stations. On The Singing Bee, it was used preceding the final round, called "The Final Countdown." The song has been used in the video games SingStar '80s, Saints Row 2 and Lego Rock Band. In 2010, the song was used in trailers for the third series of the 1980s-set BBC One television drama Ashes to Ashes.

The song was named the 66th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.


The Final Countdown lyrics
--------------------------
We're leaving together
But still it's farewell
And maybe we'll come back
To earth, who can tell?
I guess there is no one to blame
We're leaving ground
We're leaving ground (chorus)
Will things ever be the same again?

It's the final countdown
The final countdown (chorus)

Ohh
We're heading for Venus Venus and still we stand tall
'Cause maybe they've seen us and welcome us all, yea
With so many light years to go and things to be found
To be found (chorus)
I'm sure that we'll all miss her so
It's the final countdown
The final countdown
The final countdown
The final countdown (chorus)
Ohh ho ohh

The final countdown, oh ho
It's the final countdown
The final countdown
The final countdown
The final countdown (chorus)

Ohh
It's the final countdown
We're leaving together
The final countdown
We'll all miss her so
It's the final countdown
The final countdown (chorus)
Ohh, it's the final countdown
Yeah
.................................
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