The Swedish hard rock band Europe was originally formed in 1978 under the monicker WC by bassist Peter Olsson, guitarist John Norum and drummer Tony "Reno" Niemistö. Soon vocalist Joey Tempest joined them as well after he left his old band Roxanne and they changed their name to Force. In 1981 Peter left the band as Joey had "stolen" his girlfriend. A couple more line-up changes followed.
In 1982 Thomas Erdtman (later on the manager of the band) arranged a competition called "Rock-SM" (Swedish championships in rock). 4000 tapes were submitted to him and the winner of the entire competition was Force who now changed their name to Europe. The first price was a record contract which resulted in the band's first self-titled album.
The album was a big success despite the low-budget recording and Europe got to tour all around Sweden. A second album followed in 1984 which also sold very well. In May 1986 the band's most successful album "The Final Countdown" was released and sold 6,5 million copies. After a Japanese tour in September 1986 John Norum announced that he was to leave the band since he wanted to play heavier music like Scorpions or Dokken while the other band members were more into Toto and Journey. He did his last show with Europe on October 31st, 1987, in Amsterdam.
"The Final Countdown" was a huge success for the band and the single was No 1 in 26 countries. On the Billboard list it didn't climb higher than No 8 though. The Olympic Games in 1988 were ended with the song as well. Europe now moved from Sweden to Nassau, Bahamas, because of the high Swedish taxes and later on they moved to a house on an island in the West Indies called Tusk And Caicos. A new album and constant worldwide touring followed.
While writing their fifth album they parted with their manager Thomas Erdtman and hired Journey manager Herbie Herbert instead. The album "Prisoners In Paradise" was released in September 1991, produced by Beau Hill (Ratt, Warrant). After another tour in early 1992 the band took a long break and the band members started working on solo albums and other projects. In early October 2003 it was announced that Europe had reunited and was working on material for a new studio album.