Although many cynics may still harbour the incorrect notion that Europe begin and end with The Final bloody Countdown, the Swedes’ real recent story is one of miraculous creative rejuvenation.
Three laudably strong studio albums into a reunion that has gone far better than, you suspect, anyone involved ever anticipated, they have a new audience to go with the loyal old one and every reason to produce deluxe, self-congratulatory fan-friendly treats like this lavish photo book.
It comes replete with a vital and punchy CD of live tracks, including several recorded at Knebworth’s Sonisphere Festival in 2010, and a short but sizzling DVD culled from the band’s triumphant show at London’s Roundhouse venue that same year.
Denis O’Regan’s stylish, moody photos are the main attraction here, though, and although there are only so many pictures of drummer Ian Haugland thrusting a drum stick up his snout that a sane mind can handle, the sense that Europe are having an indecent amount of fun is writ large across every tastefully monochrome vista.
Meanwhile, Joey Tempest is definitely and noticeably getting younger by the minute. Eerie.