John Norum and Toni Niemistö had been together in the band DRAGONFLY. Later, in 1978, Peter Olsson (bass player) created a new band, WC, where John Norum (guitarist and singer) and Tony Reno (drums; he changed his last name, Niemistö) entered also. The band will take the name of FORCE. Very soon Joey Tempest (the new singer, his real name was Joaquim Larsson) joined them, leaving his old band (Roxanne). In 1981 Peter leaves FORCE, and Joey had to play the bass until John Leven entered in the group. But Ingwie Malmsteen makes an offer to John Leven. FORCE and Ingwie Malmsteen changed their bass players: Marcel Jacobs becames a FORCE member and John went with Ingwie Malmsteen. But the experience didn't like to John, and he and Marcel changed again.
In 1982 Thomas Erdtman (later EUROPE manager) organizated the
greatest rock competition ever held in Sweden. Joey Tempest's
girlfriend convinced FORCE to record a demo tape and participate.
They recorded 5 songs: "Rock on" (later called "Farewell"), "Seven
doors hotel", "Boyazont", "The king will return", "Children of this
time". But the tape didn't convinced them and they rechaced to
participate. Joey Tempest's girlfriend sended the tape without the
knowledge of the group, and they were selected for the second phase
of the contest. FORCE worked hard for the competition. During the
competition, FORCE began to call themselves EUROPE. Compiting against more than 400 bands, they won the contest. And Joey and Norum won the best singer and best guitarist prices.
Their price for being the best group was the recording of their first album, called as themshelves: EUROPE. This album was produced by EUROPE. It was released in 1983. The album sold good on Sweden. By chance, the album arrived to Japan, and it also got success there, specially "Seven doors hotel".
In 1984 was released WINGS OF TOMORROW, the second album, produced by Leif Mases.
Mic Michaeli (called really Gunnar Michaeli), of the band Avalon, was introduced as the keyboards player of the band. Tony Reno
didn't work like the other members wanted and he was replaced by Ian Haugland.
The group acted in the swedish movie "On the loose" in 1985. Joey
wrote 3 songs for the original soundtrack: "Broken dreams", and
"Rock the night" and "On the loose" first versions.
That year, Joey wrote and sang in the non-profit single "Give a helping hand" with SWEDISH METAL AID. It was produced by Kee Marcello. Tone Norum, John's Sister, also sings in it.
Joey wrote the album "ONE OF A KIND" for Tone Norum. Joey, John Norum, Ian and Mic played on it. It included the track's "Stranded" and "Can't you stay".
And in 1986, the definitive album comes: THE FINAL COUNTDOWN, produced by Kevin Elson. It was number one on the world with the hits "The final countdown", "Rock the night", "Carrie"... It sold more than 8 millions of copies. But John Norum left the group. Kee Marcello (real name Kjell Lövbom) was the new guitarist.
OUT OF THIS WORLD, the fourth album, was recorded in 1988. It was produced by Kevin Elson. Near 2,5
millions of copies were sold.
In 1989 EUROPE wrote material for their fith album, but their record
company rechaced it originally because they considered it hard. The
band decided act under the "LE BARON BOYS" name to see if people
would like those themes: Stranded; Bad blood; Seventh Sign; Little bit of lovin'; Homeland; Break free; Long time comin'; Sweet love child; Yesterday's news; Here comes the night; Mr. gobernment man; Talk to me; Blame it on me; Don't know how to love no more; Wanted man; Rainbow warrior; Wild child. EUROPE wrote more songs, and finally 18 songs were recorded, and 12 were included in the album. The 6 other songs are "Yesterday news", "Long time comin", "Break free", "Sweet love child", "Here comes the night", and "Mr. Government Man". This fith album, PRISONERS IN PARADISE, was published in 1991. It was produced by Beau Hill. It sold 1 million of copies.
In the following year, some of the members (like Kee) want to stop, but not Joey. Joey colaborated with John Norum in the single "We will be strong" and in the album FACE THE TRUTH. Joey proposed to Norum returning to EUROPE, but he didn't want. EUROPE decided take a break.
In 1993 was released "1982-1992", the first EUROPE compilation.
All EUROPE members continued working on music. Even some of them
worked together again (John Norum maked his first solo album -TOTAL CONTROL- with Marcel Jacobs, and Joey participated in the second -FACE THE TRUTH-; John Norum colaborates with Joey on "A PLACE TO CALL HOME"; Ian, Mic, and John Leven entered in the band BRAZEN ABBOT and later in SHA-BOOM, and Ian and John Leven did the same also in CLOCKWISE; John Leven toured with John Norum in 1999; Mic colaborated in Joey's third album; John Leven and Kee Marcello colaborated in the non-profit single from UNITED "Where is the fire"; Ian Haugland, John Leven, Kee Marcello, Mic Michaeli and Marcel Jacobs participated in SHA-BOOM album "The race is on" in 2005).
In the year 1999 Joey and Mic participate in the "The final countdown" dance remix with Brian Rowling and Gary Miller: "The final countdown 2000".