Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A very prolonged countdown

The hit song "The Final Countdown" by the Swedish group Europe was released in 1986, reaching the top of the charts in 25 countries. It's still frequently played on many radio stations.

It's also become the basis for a whole raft of parodies of the song. Here are a few that have made me laugh out loud over the years.

First, there's the "Kazookeylele" version - a miniature (i.e. toy) grand piano, fitted with strings and a kazoo. If the combination makes you blink, wait till you hear it!

Not to be outdone, the Icelandic group Hundur í óskilum (which, freely translated, means "dog gone missing") decided to record The Final Countdown as they imagined it might be performed by the guitar group Gypsy Kings, if they should have a Turkish oboe player accompanying them. Confused? Me too . . . particularly since the 'Turkish oboe player' sounds suspiciously like another kazoo! Anyway, here's the only recording I could find of this unique (!) rendition that was generally available. (The two kids in this video clip have nothing whatsoever to do with the song, so please ignore them completely and just listen to the soundtrack!)

It's certainly . . . well . . . different, isn't it? Not to be outdone, cello trio Melo-M recorded their own, more classical version of The Final Countdown with the Symphony Orchestra of Liepaja in Kipsala.

Equally different in its visuals is a version cobbled together from video clips of the Nickelodeon childrens' program, Spongebob Squarepants, in a rendering called 'The Final Spongedown'. The soundtrack appears to be the standard Europe recording, or something very similar. Embedding is disabled for this video, but you can view it by clicking on the second link above.

Finally, here's what's been described as 'the worst cover ever' of The Final Countdown. It's allegedly by some group called Deep Sunshine, about whom I've been able to find out nothing at all. Beware - this may make your ears bleed!

This is by no means an exhaustive list of covers of The Final Countdown. UpVenue has a useful list of many more. One can only wonder if Europe ever foresaw their music being destroyed developed along these lines when they first released this song?



Bob@thenest said...

Peter, how DO you come up with this stuff?!!!!! One just never knows what will show up next in your seemingly endless range of ideas, interests, and posts.

And that's why I keep coming back every day.

WV: "inati"

Morris said...

Nope, 'destroyed' WAS the right word, Peter :)

Grace Bridges said...

Those two kids may not have anything to do with the song, but I'd say they do have a lot to do with the ensuing hilarity!

Don said...

I was a big fan of Europe back in my teens, and always loved that song. The cello version was an outstanding homage to the original.

If you like those sorts of remakes (reimaginings?), check out the band Children of Bodom's remake of The Imperial March from Star Wars. It's available on YouTube as well.