Joey Tempest On Making It Hard To License The Europe Hit, ‘We’re Protective’

In a recent interview with Ultimate Classic Rock, Joey Tempest talked about Europe’s approach to licensing their 1986 hit ‘The Final Countdown.’ He shared insights into the band’s protective attitude towards their hit song:

“Yeah, we’re a bit careful. To be honest, we get far more requests than come out with that song. [Laughs] There are sometimes requests that I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s not going to happen here.’ So we are kind of protective, but still, we want it to be enjoyed.”

The singer also mentioned different uses of the song over the years:

“It is used for many different things. In the ’80s, they used it for big boxing matches. I remember Sugar Ray Leonard [using it] and [also things like] Formula 1 [racing]. I was always really proud of stuff like that. Those connections are great. But you know, there’s a whole lot of things.”

How High Is The Song’s Price?

The topic of licensing ‘The Final Countdown’ came under the spotlight following remarks by wrestler Bryan Danielson about the song’s high price tag.

Danielson, known for using the track in his indie wrestling days but opting for ‘Ride Of The Valkyries’ during most of his WWE career, revealed its cost in a 2021 chat:

“Tony [Khan] and I talked about a couple of things. We had talked about ‘The Final Countdown,’ but that was way too expensive. I hate talking business stuff when I don’t exactly know what it was, but it wasn’t just the amount of money. They would only let [AEW] play it like 20 times a year or something like that. For several $100,000, you can play ‘Final Countdown’ 20 times a year. That doesn’t work for us.”

Tempest Sold Some Of The Copyrights To The Track

In June 2023, news broke that Primary Wave Music acquired part of Joey Tempest’s music catalog, including ‘The Final Countdown.’ It’s unclear if this will change the licensing cost, but the deal gave the company access to some of the singer’s most popular songs across five albums.

It also opened the way for Tempest to Primary Wave’s marketing and publishing resources, as he commented on the partnership by saying:

“As a songwriter, it’s a privilege to have part of my catalog in the same place as one of my heroes, Bob Marley. I feel my songs are in good hands and will benefit from the experience and expertise of my new friends in New York.”

You can read more about Joey Tempest’s recent words about ‘The Final Countdown’ here.