“The Final Countdown” by Europe

This song has a reputation as one of the legendary camp classics of Eighties Hair Metal, but it’s actually a more respectable song than most of its peers in that genre, like, say, “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”. Yes, it’s incredibly over-the-top, but it’s actually quite effective for what it’s trying to be. The stratospheric intensity and vaguely unearthly sound are well-suited to the subject matter, and the the opening synth motif is definitely one of the all-time great musical themes of the Hair Metal genre. The lyrics were apparently modeled after David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”, and if they don’t approach the haunting power of that song (and contain a couple of less-than-stellar rhyming choices), there’s still nothing in them remotely as silly as the idiotic similes in “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”. Frankly, I’d describe this as a ‘good’ song based on that synth riff alone, and while it is certainly extremely dated now, it’s not really as ridiculous as its reputation suggests.

Verdict: Pretty respectable as the lower grades of Hair Metal go, actually.

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