Meaning of The Final Countdown by Europe & Story

Swedish rock band Europe doesn’t want to be called a one-hit band, because the guys actually recorded a lot of decent songs, including the great Carrie. But, frankly speaking, the majority of domestic music lovers, having heard about it, remember only the composition The Final Countdown, which has become the hallmark of Europe.

The story of creation and the meaning of the song The Final Countdown

It all started with a keyboard score composed by Joey Tempest in 1981. Only four years later, on the advice of bassist John Levene, he wrote a song based on this tune. When Joey played it to the rest of the band, they were not enthusiastic about it, but the author convinced them to work on the composition.

The lyrics of The Final Countdown were inspired by David Bowie’s Space Oddity. Initially, the band did not plan to release it as a single and intended to perform the song at the beginning of the concerts. But Tempest, who recognized it as a potential hit, insisted on it, and Epic Record, who recorded the album, supported him.

Release and achievements

The single The Final Countdown, released in 1986, rose to the first lines of the charts in many countries, including the UK, Germany, Sweden, Italy.

It peaked at number eight on the US Billboard Hot 100. In the list of the best hard rock songs according to the VH1 channel, The Final Countdown took the 66th position.

Since then, The Final Countdown has been widely used in modern culture, but especially by sports event organizers. It is constantly turned on in stadiums, and many boxers, wrestlers and participants in MMA fights enter the ring under it. It sounds in various feature and animated films, as well as in computer games.

Against the background of such popularity of the composition, it seems simply surprising that in 2011 the readers of Rolling Stone magazine named The Final Countdown one of the ten worst songs of the 80s, placing it on the second line of the anti-rating. This can only be explained by the fact that they were simply tired of the pretty worn-out song.

Video The Final Countdown

The video for The Final Countdown was directed by Nick Morris. The video consists of footage filmed at two of Europe’s concerts in Sweden in 1986.

Interesting Facts

  • Soviet viewers saw the clip of The Final Countdown in the Morning Post program on Central Television.
  • Joey Tempest wrote the intro to the song on someone else’s synthesizer, which he borrowed for a while.

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
Will things ever be the same again?

It’s the final countdown…
The final countdown…

We’re heading for Venus
And still we stand tall
Cause maybe they’ve seen us
And welcome us all
With so many years to go
And things to be found
I’m sure that we’ll all miss her so.

It’s the final countdown…
The final countdown…
The final countdown…

The Final Countdown Lyrics Alternative

We fly away together
But it’s still goodbye
Maybe we will return
Down to earth, who knows
Guess there’s no one to blame
We break away from the earth’s surface
Will everything ever be the same?

This is the last count…
Last countdown…

We’re heading for Venus
And we have nothing to be ashamed of
‘Cause they might have seen us
And we rejoiced
We have so many light years to fly
And so much to discover
I’m sure we’ll all miss her

This is the last count…
Last countdown…

Song quote

When I first heard The Final Countdown’s synth cut, my reaction was, “No, that’s crazy. We just can’t use it.” Thank God they didn’t listen to me.

John Norum, Europe guitarist

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