REVIEW: Europe – Rock the Night: The Very Best of Europe

EUROPE – Rock the Night: The Very Best of Europe (2004)

Europe’s successful reunion was one of the most unexpected of the last decade, but thus far four awesome studio albums have been the result. A tougher more rock-oriented Europe emerged with Start From The Dark, but not before this appropriate retrospective was released. Containing music from the first era of Europe, from their debut album to their fifth, Prisoners In Paradise, this compilation is the ideal summary of the 80’s and 90’s era of the band.

All the casual fans need to know is that all the hits are here, in their original studio versions: “The Final Countdown”, “Cherokee”, “Superstitious”, “Carrie”, and the title track. That’s enough to make this worth buying for many. But also included are great lesser known tracks, many of which were also singles: “Open Your Heart” (the original version from Wings of Tomorrow), “Dreamer”, “Sign Of The Times”, “Heart of Stone”, “The King Will Return”, and many more. Two of my personal favourites are included: The rhythmically powerful “Girl From Lebanon” and the pop yet inspiring “Prisoners In Paradise”.

The diehards are also baited with B-sides and rare tracks. Many of these such as “On Broken Wings” and “Mr. Government Man” have since been issued on Europe remasters and other compilations, but there were a couple I never had before: live takes of “Time Has Come” and “Let The Good Times Rock” from the 1980’s. There’s also a studio track that I’m unfamiliar with called “Here Comes the Night”. This appears to be from the Prisoners In Paradise sessions, previously unreleased, and it’s a decent track. Best for me was a later B-side version of “Seven Doors Hotel”, with Joey Tempest enunciating a lot more clearly.

For my personal tastes, I didn’t like Prisoners In Paradise much. I found it overproduced and way too commercial and American-sounding. Europe were always much more European sounding, like a more radio-friendly Deep Purple or UFO. So there are too many tracks here from Prisoners for me, including a few that I just hate: “Got Your Mind In The Gutter” (dull blooze-rock) and “Seventh Sign” are not that great. But, it is what it is. I preferred a lot of the songs from Out Of This World and previous albums. I would have preferred to hear “Tomorrow”, “Ninja”, or “Paradize Bay”.

But hey, it’s two CDs of Europe, right?  And Europe were and are a good band.  In North America, I don’t think they ever got any respect.  They are remembered here for the big hair, and the big anthem.  That’s too bad.  As this collection demonstrates, Europe had a lot more to offer then.  There are ballads indeed, but there is also mighty heavy metal, many grand melodies, and hard rock performed with precision.

Good liner notes, decent photos.  Good comp.


4/5 stars




    1. This is an import here, and it was expensive and hard to get. Here, all we get are the single disc comps that are out there. But the one I have, I never listen to because of the presence of the dreaded “Countdown 2000”.


  1. Yeah the deeper into the Europe tracks u get you will find as say that UFO influence rearing it’s musical head. Your also totally correct that Europe never got any American respect and there just known as that Countdown band which is a shame but really they can flat out rock.
    Even when everyone was going crazy over there singles on Countdown I perferred stuff like Cherokee and Danger On The Track those are good rock songs as is Rock The Night but the vid ruined it for me ..what the hell was Tempest thinking when he was singing and using a Heinz ketchup bottle as a mic???
    But still to this day I somewhat follow what they put out and I did get the 30th Anniversary cd they put out so yeah good on em for still going…….

    Norum was in Dokkens solo band along with (M Dee ,Motörhead and Baltes from Accept) back in 91 touring on Dokkens Up From The Ashes(best Dokken album in my books) .
    Was fortunate to see em live also and they smoked the headliner that night(Poison)….


    1. Ooh Dude…I dig Up From the Ashes but I gotts put Back For the Attack up higher. It’s good but it’s a bit too ballad heavy. However I’m not surprised they blew Poison off the stage that night!

      All the power to Europe who just keep going on, and I’ll tell ya Deke, they did an awesome UFO cover on their Almost Unplugged CD. They covered Love To Love and it’s amazing!

      RE: ketchup bottle


      Oh man I totally forgot about that!


  2. Cool album, especially with all the unreleased stuff. But when you put the Marcello era next to the Norum it becomes so clear that Kee kicks Norum’s ass as a guitar player. As much as I think that Norum is really good, he can’t hold a candle to Kee in any ways.
    Also I think this album shows just how much better Prisoners In Paradise could have been had the band stuck their original idea. Yesterday’s News, Break Free and Mr Goverment Man kicks the PIP album real hard. But I really don’t understand why you hate Got Your Mind In The Gutter so much. I think it’s awesome, easily the best song off PIP.
    That said, I’m still waiting for you to review Out Of This World… ;-)

    On the Dokken subject, I think Up From The Ashes had some good tracks on it but the production was too laid back and mawkish. With a drummer like Mikkey Dee and guitar players like Norum and Billy White it’s a mystery that the album didn’t held more attack and life. I think the trilogy Tooth And Nail, Under Lock And Key and Back For The Attack totally owns UFTA.


    1. I think Lynch Mob and Up From The Ashes totally outline the division between Don and George at the time. Don clearly wanted to do more ballads and George wanted to go heavier. That doesn’t make Up From The Ashes bad but it’s definitely light. And with Mikkey Dee and Billy White and Peter Baltes I was surprised that it wasn’t heavier.

      Out Of This World will come! One day! I calculate it will take me a decade to finish reviewing my collection alone.


  3. One of my floormates in University couldn’t stand Bohemian Rhapsody or Stairway to Heaven because it bothered him that those songs almost became bigger than the bands. People thought the song was fully indicative of what you could expect from the group and that angered him.

    I wondered if Europe fans felt the same about the Final Countdown – it’s nice to hear there’s much more to the group. Though hopefully Europe fans appreciate the Gob/Arrested Development tie-in for the big anthem!


    1. Maybe some Europe fans do feel that way. (Jon?) I appreciate the GOB tie-in though. I laughed so hard the first time he pulled The Final Countdown out of the hat for a magic trick.


      “I blew it up Michael!”


      1. I hate to be a stickler, but it’s not a trick Michael, it’s an illusion!

        I think there was another episode where he finished it with….or candy, couldn’t find the clip alas!


      2. Thing is, we were all so proud of what Europe achieved with that song that I guess many of just didn’t care. Yes, the song became bigger than the band, but Europe are in another place now and the song has turned out to be just another one of their hits. It’s still bigger than the band in many ways, but as Europe are now more of bluesy classic hard rock band, the 80’s isn’t representive of what the band is all about anymore.

        So for you who hasn’t already, then check out their newer albums like Last Look At Eden and Bag Of Bones. They have never sounded better.


        1. I think Start From the Dark is also really, really good. But Almost Unplugged is pretty much an easy gateway into “new” Europe. I find it an easy album to love.


Rock a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s