Great Metal Albums of 1988: Europe- Out of This World

If you thought Stryper had toned down their hard rock sound with the “In God We Trust” album, then you might really think Europe had gone even softer with their “Out of This World” album. I do not debate the ‘lite metal’ tag which was placed on them with this album. Then again, Europe were never a metal band as we would think of today. But that was the 1980s for you, where anything with a power chord was branded metal. Sorry if I keep repeating myself on that point.

“Out of This World” opens with one of their most noted hits, “Superstitious.” This melodic almost power ballad hit number one in several countries. If they had never recorded “The Final Countdown” this song would have been the one people would have identified most with the band. They do liven things up with “Let the Good Times Rock.” This track puts the metal in the tag which was placed on them. It shows that Europe could really rock out if they weren’t too caught up in chasing hits. Guitarist Kee Marcello puts his stamp all over the song as he just jams away with some cool solos and riffs. It was released as a single in the UK but only got to #88 in the charts.

With the album opening with all four singles, the next track is “Open Your Heart.” It starts off as a ballad but then rocks out more in the chorus and trades off back and forth throughout the song. I do like Marcello’s guitar work on the ballad parts. It is most noteworthy here. The fourth single, “More Than Meets the Eye” was only released in a few countries. This is an up-tempo rocker but the guitar is turned down too much and the keyboards turned up too much. In some places, it sounds that Europe were trying to attract the synth pop fans but it does rock enough on the rest of the song to not become a danger. Also, only four songs in and I’m getting quite impressed with the guitar work of Kee and rather impressed by the bass work of John Leven.

Getting past the singles, the search for the hidden gem begins. “Coast to Coast,” while a decent power ballad, isn’t it. This one puts the ‘lite’ in the tag given to the band. “Ready or Not” has that potential and it’s great that Europe haven’t forgotten they were a metal band with this one. Some might call it filler but I think it gets the blood pumping again after so many ballads. It also has another cool guitar solo for me to like.

When I hear the piano intro on “Sign of the Times,” my first impression is, “not another power ballad,” but it’s not the case. While not a total metal-fest, it’s a nice melodic rock song. It keeps the blood pumping. “Just the Beginning” proves that you can use keyboards effectively in a good metal song. They compliment the guitar, bass and drums very well. I do like Ian Haugland’s little drum roll.

It only took five songs to get to the hidden gem, “Never Say Die.” Okay, I am the first to admit there’s a bit of a “Rock the Night” vibe to it but that was my favourite track from “The Final Countdown” album. Each member of the band gets to shine on it and I particularly love how the keyboards solo goes straight into the guitar solo. Great work Kee and Mic! The rock-fest carries on with “Lights and Shadows.” This is yet another song which proved that Europe had the tools to rock when they wanted to. Further proof is with penultimate track, “Towers Callin.'” This song has a definite rock swagger to it with a strong bass line and another cool guitar solo. I won’t complain that the album closes out with another ballad because the piano on “Tomorrow” has a haunting effect which makes it a good way to end the album.

Track Listing:

  1. Superstitious
  2. Let the Good Times Rock
  3. Open Your Heart
  4. More Than Meets the Eye
  5. Coast to Coast
  6. Ready or Not
  7. Sign of the Times
  8. Just the Beginning
  9. Never Say Die
  10. Lights and Shadows
  11. Towers Callin’
  12. Tomorrow


Joey Tempest- lead vocals, rhythm guitar and piano on “Tomorrow”

Kee Marcello- guitar, backing vocals

Mic Michaeli- keyboards, backing vocals

John Leven- bass

Ian Haugland- drums, backing vocals

I honestly believe that if Europe weren’t so busy trying to chase hit singles, then the ‘lite’ to their tag of ‘lite metal’ would not have been applied. While there’s nothing wrong with the singles, I have always liked “Superstitious” and I highly rate “Let the Good Times Rock,” I think they were too singles obsessed because the more metal sounding deeper cuts are quite good.

Next post: Megadeth- So Far, So Good, So What

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14 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1988: Europe- Out of This World”

  1. Played it last week. I play it often, perhaps the most of all the Europe albums. I didn’t care for it back in 88.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Another big haired group from the 1980’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember Superstitious a little bit but I don’t think I’ve heard this whole album. Most of my memories of Europe are the song we all know good and well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m a big fan of this album. More so for the tracks that aren’t singles. Ready Or Not is a rocker alright. And your right about Tomorrow sounding haunted.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I like this one well enough. I haven’t played it in awhile though maybe need to pull it back out.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Sign of the Times,” no Harry Styles involved!

    Liked by 1 person

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