KEE MARCELLO – Redux : Europe
Kjell Hilding Lövbom, most known as KEE MARCELLO, the guitarist who replaced John Norum in the Swedish band Europe back in 1986, released in Sweden “Redux : Europe“, featuring own new tracks alongside modern, harder-sounding re-recordings of Europe and Marcello’s previous band Easy Action hits.
When asked why he chose to re-record Europe songs, Marcello said, ” *Redux* is Latin for ‘reclaim’ or ‘take back,’ and that’s what I’m doing here. These songs are part of my past and I wanted to bring them into the future.”
This is a controversial release for sure. But not the only one.
Marcello published as well his autobiographical book ‘The Rock Star God Forgot’, revealing some ‘dirty secrets’ (from his view) of his years as Europe member.
More than that, Kee has sparked a scandal in an interview with the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, revealing that he is suing Europe for one fifth of the revenue the band has earned since 1993.
According to Kee, he bought out John Norum when he replaced him in 1986 and therefore owns a fifth of the brand ‘Europe’.
“We tried to reach a settlement, one million Euros,” Kee said, “But they did not react to it and therefore we must take them to court. I bought all of Norum’s rights in 1987 when I joined the band, so in order to get them back, we have to make some kind of settlement.”
In the interview Kee also claimed he was promised to be a part of the 2003 reunion together with Norum, but their manager Petri H. Lunden ‘broke the promise’ and told Kee he was out of the band.
Let’s better talk about the music on “Redux : Europe”.
These Europe classic songs are untouchable, none can make better versions of these gems. Albums as “Out Of This World” and “Prisoners In Paradise” still rank between my favorites ever.
But seems Kee needed to re-record them in his own style. Most of them are pretty well versioned with a modern production, particularly the songs taken from ‘Prisoners In Paradise’ and the Easy Action (Marcello’s previous band) tracks.
Surprisingly, Kee sings well, with a rougher style, but in control. He isn’t able to reach Joey Tempest range, then the vocal parts were arranged to suit his voice, which works for the most part.
Of course, his melodic, terrific sustained guitar tone and technique is intact, and he shines specially on the good instrumental tracks featured here.
Listening “Redux : Europe” from an outsider perspective (not as Europe fan), this is a good rocking album, very well performed and produced.
A good song is always a good song, and there’s many here. Most of them works well.
But I don’t like some versions at all. In example, “The Final Countdown” was substantially changed here and Kee’s vocals are weak. “Mind In The Gutter” featuring (his daughter?) Hanna Marcello is terrible. On the other hand, a very difficult song to perform as “Carrie” was truly well rounded.
Anyway, as said, “Redux : Europe” is a good Hard Rock disc, with a remarkable good production and strong musical performances.
It depends on you if you like it or not…
01 – Redux : Europe
02 – Superstitious
03 – Seventh Sign
04 – Let The Good Times Rock
05 – Girl From Lebanon
06 – The Final Countdown
07 – We Go Rocking (Slight Return)
08 – Carrie
09 – Hammers Heart
10 – Bumble Kee
11 – Here Comes The Night
12 – Halfway To Heaven
13 – More Than Meets The Eye
14 – Mind In The Gutter (feat. Hanna Marcello)
15 – Open Your Heart
16 – Rock The Night
Kee Marcello: Lead Guitar, Lead Vocals
Jonny Scaramanga: Guitar
Ken Sandin: Bass
Paul White: Drums
The Unknown: Keyboards
Hanna Marcello: guest Vocals