"The Final Countdown" by Europe (music review)

After discussing “The Final Countdown” by Europe with my buddy, I decided to take a deeper look into the lyrics and the music video.

My buddy started off with the thesis: “Is ‘The Final Countdown’ celebrating total nuclear annihilation? It sounds like they are fist pumping to imminent death and destruction.” This sounds perfectly logical to me. “The Final Countdown” was recorded in 1985 and released in 1986, which is prime Rocky IV country, if you follow me.

This does not remind you of today’s headlines. At all. Everything in the world is SUPER.

Anyway, “The Final Countdown” has interesting lyrics in the sense that there are barely any at all.

We’re leaving together,
But still it’s farewell
And maybe we’ll come back,
To earth, who can tell ?
I guess there is no one to blame
We’re leaving ground
Will things ever be the same again?
It’s the final countdown…
We’re heading for Venus and still we stand tall
Cause maybe they’ve seen us and welcome us all
With so many light years to go and things to be found
I’m sure that we’ll all miss her so.

That’s all of them. Not what you were expecting? Me neither.

According to the folks at Wikipedia, “The Final Countdown’s” lyrics were inspired by David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” and the signature keyboard riff was something that song author Joey Tempest had written years earlier and just left in a box until he found a place for it. Huh.

See, I thought that showing the video control room and the helicopter shot of the landscape was the video’s way of launching and showing the flight path of a missile… but I guess they meant they were launching a spacecraft… that never leaves earth… I dunno. The video is pretty damn cheap, I’ll say that without hesitation. They just filmed the band live maybe two or three times, shot those cheap control room bits and the helicopter flyover probably stock footage. There’s just no imagination in the footage, but at least the editing pace keeps you engaged. I’ve seen worse music videos.


About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on August 7, 2014, in music review, what the hell is this song about anyway and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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