EUROPE – Out Of This World [Rock Candy remastered & reloaded] (2018)
One of the greatest Melodic Hard Rock / AOR albums from the second half of the ’80s is without a doubt “Out Of This World”, EUROPE’s classic follow up to their monster hit ‘The Final Countdown’. Now Rock Candy Records has just remastered / reissued this essential record officially for the first time outside Japan.
There is no question that in 1986, Europe, almost out of nowhere, became undoubtedly the biggest hard rock band on the planet. Their all-conquering hit single ‘The Final Countdown’ shot the band not only to the top of the charts worldwide but also earned them a place in the hard rock pantheon as one of the few groups who managed to appeal to not only fans of the genre but also to the wider public.
It was with this tremendous uplift and, by consequence, pressure, that the band set about recording their follow-up album, a record that cemented not only their position but also their reputation.
But, it wasn’t a straightforward process, as immediately after the release of their breakthrough album lead guitarist John Norum quit the band, forcing them to recruit a replacement. The man chosen was fellow Swedish musician Kee Marcello, a hugely talented player who joined the band on their ‘Final Countdown’ world tour and took a leading role in crafting this follow-up album, ‘Out Of This World’.
It was a musical match made in heaven, helping the band to further focus their sound, injecting lashing of copious hard rock energy. Indeed, it sounded like the band had moved heaven and earth to secure their definitive stylistic foothold.
You need strong skills to create a new album to follow the blast success of The Final Countdown, but Joey Tempest & Co did wonders with “Out Of This World”.
All Europe albums have a distinctive sound, and “Out Of This World” is without a doubt their more ‘American’ styled melodic hard rock record, and their more AOR according to times.
Grand part of the huge, lush sound of this record should be credited to – in my humble opinion – the greatest producer of the decade: Ron Nevison, who also engineered & mix the recording.
“Out Of This World” is an ’80s AOR fan heaven: you have 7 awesome mid-tempo tunes in this vein, 2 polished melodic hard rockers and 3 superb emotional ballads.
Again, in my humble opinion, all killers / no fillers.
From the first single and opener ‘Superstitious’, you are on a treat for a glorious record. This cut remains one of Joey Tempest’s greatest compositions. It has it all: a soulful vibe, trademark Europe synths, an absolutely blazing guitar solo by Kee Marcello, and plenty of organ to go with its mellow classic feel.
The rest is terrific as well; ‘Let The Good Times Rock’, the arena-ready ‘Open Your Heart’, the rocking ‘More Than Meets The Eye’, the smoking ‘Ready or Not’, the sophisticated ‘Sign of the Times’, etc. All wonderful.
Of course there’s top class numbers in the somehow melancholic ‘Coast To Coast’ and – excuse me if you don’t agree – the greatest Europe ballad ever: ‘Tomorrow’, a very special song to me (and for many people around the world), so emotional, so perfect…
The songwriting shines through “Out Of This World”, as does the talent of the players and the immaculate production, elevating the band to previously un-scaled heights, never once taking their eye off prize.
This Rock Candy remaster by Jon Astley is great, more warm than the Japanese, with an updated punch yet balanced on all frequencies.
A MUST HAVE
Avoid fakes, this is the REAL one
01 – Superstitious
02 – Let the Good Times Rock
03 – Open Your Heart
04 – More Than Meets the Eye
05 – Coast to Coast
06 – Ready or Not
07 – Sign of the Times
08 – Just the Beginning
09 – Never Say Die
10 – Lights and Shadows
11 – Tower’s Callin’
12 – Tomorrow
Joey Tempest – vocals, rhythm guitar, piano
Kee Marcello – lead guitar, background vocals
John Levén – bass
Mic Michaeli – keyboards, background vocals
Ian Haugland – drums, background vocals
Keith Murrell – background vocals
BUY IT !