REVIEW: Europe – “The Final Countdown 2000” (Single)

“Oh God!  What did I just listen to?” – J from Resurrection Songs

EUROPE – “The Final Countdown 2000” (1999 Sony single)

As we edge closer to the start of a new decade, it’s the perfect time to look back at the turn of the millennium, 20 whole years ago.   Sony decided that Europe’s “The Final Countdown” would make the ideal anthem for the millennium, and so had it remixed by the guy (Brian Rawling) who did Cher’s “Believe” a year earlier.  Joey Tempest was not amused, and tried to find another mixer without success.  Drummer Ian Haughland called the finished remix a “disaster”.

The full 5:45 remix was released as a single, while a 3:47 edit version was issued on a new version of Europe’s “greatest hits”, with title updated from 1982-1992 to 1982-2000.  At least the millennium led to a performance by a reunited Europe on New Year’s Eve featuring both guitarists John Norum and Kee Marcello.

The full length remix is the antithesis to rock music.  Sped up, with bouncy synth bass and drums, it was obviously calculated for dancing.  There are keyboards, weird sounds, and samples that have nothing to do with the song.  Of the original recording, Joey’s vocals remain, but the rest sounds completely digital.  It goes on, and on.  The edit is tolerably shorter, but barely.  “The Final Countdown 2000” is an affront to rock music and everything its fans enjoy.  It is pure pandering to people who would never have bought a Europe album in the first place.  Is that what Sony felt they had to do in order to make it a hit a second time?  Imagine if Europe recorded a new version with both guitarists instead.  The song was already pop enough to be a hit again on the wave of 80s nostalgia.  It didn’t need to be mutilated to fit into a dance remix.  It surely would have done better than this (#6 in Sweden, #36 in the UK).

As a consolation prize, this CD single includes a single edit of the original song.  All it’s missing is the countdown opening.  After hearing the dance version twice, it sounds strangely sluggish (even though it’s not).  It’s like taking an offramp from the highway into normal traffic.

Possibly the worst single I’ve ever bought.  And I’ve bought Puff Daddy.

0.5/5 stars

39 comments

  1. “It’s the perfect time to look back at the turn of the millennium.”

    The early 2000s sucked, at least for music. I can’t think of a worse time for music, including now. It’s evident when you watch movies from then, because the soundtracks are always embarrassingly awful.

    The beginning of the decade was pretty weird honestly, I liked it. Just an odd set of years. Like a bridge from the before times to the age of smartphones where everything has changed. It’s just not the same world anymore, not the same feeling. Seems like 2009 smartphones really got popular, and at the turn of the decade it was never the same. Kids born 2005 and after will never know what they missed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Luckily I was born in 1999. My least favourite times for music were (excluding the post 2000 trash that is so obviously so) punk and grunge, because they both killed off hard rock and heavy metal for a time

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m not a big punk or grunge guy, but I think glam metal killed hard rock and heavy metal more than anything in the ’90s. Crap like Shitny Fox, Trixter, Lillian Axe, etc. Grunge just seemed more honest (even though it burned out way faster because most of it sucked) for a few years before all the bad Nirvana clones surfaced. Honestly, I think Nirvana is just a bad R.E.M. clone, so is Pearl Jam to a lesser extent, particular when Eddie Vedder took over. Soundgarden and Alice N’ Chainz don’t belong to grunge though. They’re metal/hard rock.

        LeBrain and I were actually just (briefly) discussing R.E.M. I just bought all their IRS albums (the first five) on CD. They can all be had used for $1.99-$4.99. In American dollars. Since it was buy 2 get 1 for $1 I think I only ended up spending $15 for five great albums. Basically, I’m saying early R.E.M. is really good, and you should check it out. Murmur=#1, both chronologically and quality-wise. But you can’t go wrong with any of their first five studio albums.

        1. Murmur 5/5
        2. Reckoning 4.75/5
        3. Lifes [sic] Rich Pageant 4.5/5
        4. Document 4.25/5
        5. Fables of the Reconstruction/Reconstruction of the Fables 3.5/5

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I love glam metal. Britney Fox, Poison, Trixter, Lillian Axe, Kik Tracee, White Lion, Winger, Mr Big, Vixen, Slaughter, Black’n Blue, Enuff z Nuff, Warrant, Extreme and the rest. I loved it when hair metal ruled the world. I like nu-metal as well. I quess I’m beyond saving. I love Beavis and Butthead as well. Just got the a pair of Dr Martens with Beavis and Butthead on them.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I’m not gonna lie, I listened to it as a kid. Well, I never stooped to Britny Fox. But I did listen to hair metal. I like a couple of those bands still like Winger, White Lion, Enuff Z’nuff, and I love Extreme, but they weren’t really that hair after their first album.

          I just can’t connect with a lot of it anymore. No harm no foul. Some of the lyrics are laughable, but the music is usually of high quality pop variety. You’re perfect, KK!

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Soundgarden and Alice N’ Chains are both metal bands and I have maintained that since the 90s. Alice In Chains being the most sludgey and grungey of the two though, and most ear-fucky. In a good way. They (Layne) twisted songs around so that they failed to make musical sense…but they made it work. They were “progressive grunge metal” :LOL.

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    2. It seems like everything just exploded and nowadays there is so much of everything available to everyone that it’s difficult to find another person with the same taste or with same experiences. How did that bible story go where all the languages came from? Can’t recall the whole story but it’s like that has happened to almost everything and we can’t agree on anything anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I shall add it to the list of Holen recommendations. The last one was very good.

    Meanwhile LeBrain and I were discussing Blaze’s best gig with Maiden, that and Emperor Cashgrab and the new trailer.

    What are your thoughts on Blaze’s time with Maiden, I haven’t really heard you voice them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sort of lukewarm. I like them better than the two Priest records with Ripper Owens though. Some good stuff on the Blaze ones, but some fluff too.

      Like

        1. Fuck, I don’t know. People my age don’t seem to raise a stink about the words we use; it seems to be people much, much younger who don’t understand this thing called — CONTEXT.

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        2. You know what I personally hate? When people like me put on their twitter: “Pronouns: he/his” Call me what you want to — I’ll correct you if you’re wrong, but otherwise I do. not. give. a. fuck. what you think I am. I used to get mistaken for a girl when I had long hair, I know what it’s like.

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      1. I personally think Force Awakens was the one that ruined the sequel franchise, and I actually respect Rian’s attempts to take it somewhere else.

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  3. Flaming turd indeed!! I do like the original but I am so burnt on it that I have yet to buy the full album on vinyl to go with the rest that I have. I know I will get it to complete the set, but I am having a hard time pulling the trigger.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Go easy on Europe! That was my first thought and then I went to utube to listen to this mix and there are no words…. What were they thinking? I had no idea this mix existed. Wonder how well it would go down with their new blues orientated crowd? Imagine if BJ would have gone down this road too. I can just see Jon shaking his hips to the similar beat….

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. That’s it exactly. Don’t remix it…you will ONLY screw it up.

        I will say that Europe did an “Amost Unplugged” version a few years down the road with strings and it’s pretty good. But it came from THEN, not a remixer with no connection to Europe.

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    1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you had this reaction. It’s what I was hoping for. People clicking it, and thinking “Oh cool, I like that song.” And then reading and discovering the horror of this remix.

      Even Jon has never done anything this purely putrid.

      Like

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