1986 (Remastered 2001)
One of the most glorious launches in history, the title track for the tres platinum Final Countdown is so bombastically brilliant, such glorious garbage, that this nuclear hair assault could only spew from the vacuous 80's. But full-tilt follow-up "Rock the Night" rules also: "You know it ain't easy, running out of thrills." Sure, "Carrie" comes off a consummate butane ballad, but her sales figures account for this reissue. Meanwhile, the rest of the disc packs so much power Swedish super heroes Europe get away with all the processed pretension. In fact, the lofty ambition of "Danger on the Track," "Ninja," and "Cherokee" (each as tasty as its title) combines with heated drive and hot delivery to meld the Final Countdown into a unique portrait of propulsive prog and a worthy addition to any hard rock collection (These pearls sound so refreshingly ridiculous in this cynical day and age). This is the story; this is the legend: The Final Countdown rings pure in every convention and hurtles through each perfectly. Honestly, the tacked-on carbon-copy live cuts won't change your life (all 80's reissues should have a video) and this is such a brilliant feat without 'em. Europe's big-boy Epic inaugural, Final Countdown deftly combines the Valhalla victory of Europe's heroic debut with the American poodle pomposity that devoured the band. You could live without the Final Countdown but why? Now we wait for the first to be remastered.
-STONE, Cheap Trash NYC