“Carrie” by Europe
Europe is the name of an actual rock band that has been around since the late 1970s, originally coming out under the moniker Force. This act has proven enduringly popular in their homeland of Sweden, where its albums are unwaveringly critical successes.
The group’s signature song is “The Final Countdown” (1986), a track Americans especially, even if unfamiliar with Europe, likely heard before due to it being regularly played at sporting events.
“Carrie”, which Epic Records put out during January of 1987, also sprang from this band’s heyday of the late 1980s. The song was written by Mic Michaeli and Joey Tempest. These songwriters are respectively, to this day, Europe’s keyboardist and frontman.
Indeed guitarist John Norum, bassist John Levén and drummer Ian Haugland, who also participated on this recording, have likewise remained members of the band throughout the decades. That said, it should be noted that Europe went on hiatus for the better part of 1990s and into the early aughts.
Meanwhile, this song was produced by Kevin Elson, a tenured behind-the-scenes’ man who interestingly was one of the survivors of the fateful Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash of 1977.
“CARRIE”, ONE OF EUROPE’S FEW INTERNATIONAL HITS
Even though Joey Tempest and the boys can be considered mainstays as far as the Swedish music industry is concerned, their international success has been limited. But that said, “Carrie” is one their bigger successes. “Carrie” was so big that it was a top-10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. It actually made it to number 3 on this chart. Up until now, this is the highest the band ever scored on the Hot 100.
This song also represents one of the handful of times that Europe made it onto the UK Singles Charts. Here, it was a top-40 hit. In Poland, “Carrie” reached number 1.
“Carrie” also saw success in these countries:
Additionally, this track is from Europe’s “The Final Countdown” album, which by far stands as their most-successful album. And as for the project’s previously-noted title track, the director of its music video, Nick Morris, was also enlisted to serve that role for “Carrie”.
SO WHO THE HECK IS “CARRIE”?
First of all, it should be noted that Joey has verified that Carrie is not a real person. Instead, with him and the crew being “young then” (i.e. in their early-to-mid 20s when this track came out), this character acts as a personification of “the normal breaking up and finding a new girlfriend” kinda thing. Or put differently she is the addressee, albeit not a literal one.
To note, concerning that above explanation, there isn’t anything in this song directly pointing to the vocalist having found a new lady. Instead what he appears to be doing, most simply interpreted, is dumping Carrie.
It can be easily gleaned that doing so is not easy for Joey. For example, as far as the verses go, they seem to not only revolve around him trying to break the news as compassionately as possible but also, it can be said, not comprehending why his feelings have changed.
Indeed, as far as the chorus goes, the vocalist basically chalks his sentimental transformation (i.e. having now fallen out of love with Carrie) to sort of a que-sera-sera type of philosophy – complete with conclusively putting forth an ambiguous statement like “maybe (they’ll) meet again”.
Things they change, my friend, whoa
Maybe we’ll meet again
THE VOCALIST FAILS TO KEEP IT REAL
If this song is in fact about a guy “finding a new girlfriend” and therefore breaking up with his current one, then obviously the vocalist is not being completely honest with the addressee. The way his argument is fashioned is as if his feelings have changed. But with Joey’s explanation in tow, we know that that’s not the case. What’s being expressed is actually supposed to be predicated on him having become smitten with someone else.