The Final Countdown (5:09)

Cover of The Final Countdown

From The Final Countdown and 592 other releases

“The Final Countdown” is a hard rock song by Europe, from their 1986 breakthrough album of the same name. The song’s musical-style and production were heavily inspired by , and from the . Released as the album’s first single, the song entered the top five on the majority of the charts it appeared on. It is arguably the band’s most recognizable and popular song.

The song was based on an old keyboard riff that vocalist Joey Tempest had composed as early as 1981–82. In 1985, bassist John Levén suggested that Tempest should write a song based on that riff. The lyrics were inspired by David Bowie’s song “Space Oddity”.

It continues to enjoy notable popularity in many sports arenas and stadiums; public address booths have often played the opening keyboard riff to rally the home crowd. It has also become a staple of high school and college pep bands for this same purpose.

The song has been covered by various artists, both local and famous; including Dannii Minogue, Gigatron, Geoff Downes, Laibach, Norther, Dispatched, the Toy Dolls, Immolation, Furillo, Vision Divine, The Delegates, and the Latvian cello band Melo-M. Contrary to popular belief, the melodic death metal band Children of Bodom has never done a cover version of the song — the wrongly credited versions are usually those by Norther and Dispatched.

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