12 Songs, 54 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

When Prisoners in Paradise was released in 1991, the hair metal trend that had made Europe famous had run its course. That’s a shame, because in a lot of ways Prisoners in Paradise has more to offer than the multiplatinum smashes that preceded it. The band had given up on the gauzy production of the '80s and chosen a more in-your-face sound. The tighter production makes it easier to see the punchy pop-rock of “Halfway to Heaven,” “Talk to Me,” and “All or Nothing” as extensions of the timeless stadium rock of the '70s (think Cheap Trick and Bad Company) rather than the dated hair metal of the '80s. Over time, fans of the band’s earlier hits came back to rediscover “I’ll Cry for You” and “Prisoners in Paradise,” two works that affirmed Europe’s mastery of the power ballad. Between Joey Tempest’s towering vocals and the rollicking guitar of Kee Marcello, Europe had everything that a band like Bon Jovi had, minus the massive fame. The AC/DC-inspired “Seventh Sign” even served to remind fans that there was a roaring rock band under all the pretty pop tunes.

EDITORS’ NOTES

When Prisoners in Paradise was released in 1991, the hair metal trend that had made Europe famous had run its course. That’s a shame, because in a lot of ways Prisoners in Paradise has more to offer than the multiplatinum smashes that preceded it. The band had given up on the gauzy production of the '80s and chosen a more in-your-face sound. The tighter production makes it easier to see the punchy pop-rock of “Halfway to Heaven,” “Talk to Me,” and “All or Nothing” as extensions of the timeless stadium rock of the '70s (think Cheap Trick and Bad Company) rather than the dated hair metal of the '80s. Over time, fans of the band’s earlier hits came back to rediscover “I’ll Cry for You” and “Prisoners in Paradise,” two works that affirmed Europe’s mastery of the power ballad. Between Joey Tempest’s towering vocals and the rollicking guitar of Kee Marcello, Europe had everything that a band like Bon Jovi had, minus the massive fame. The AC/DC-inspired “Seventh Sign” even served to remind fans that there was a roaring rock band under all the pretty pop tunes.

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