Department S (band)
Department S are a British post-punk/new wave band formed in 1980, who took their name from the 1960s TV series Department S. They are best known for their debut single, "Is Vic There?", released in December 1980 and reached No. 22 on the UK Singles Chart the following year. Their latest album, When All Is Said and All Is Done, was released in 2016. Department S evolved from a previous punk/ska combo, Guns for Hire, fronted by Vaughn Toulouse and featuring former Madness drummer John Hasler. Mike Herbage joined them on guitar and wrote Guns for Hire's only single, "I'm Gonna Rough My Girlfriend's Boyfriend Up Tonight", released on the Korova record label; the group became Department S with the addition of bassist Tony Lordan, drummer Stuart Mizon and keyboardist Eddie Roxy. They debuted at the Rock Garden in London on 24 September 1980. Demon Records released their debut single, "Is Vic There?", in December 1980. It was produced by former Mott Overend Watts; the B-side, a cover version of T. Rex's "Solid Gold Easy Action", featured Thunderthighs on backing vocals."Is Vic There?" began to climb the UK Singles Chart, reaching No. 22.
The single's initial success led to the better-equipped RCA Records reissuing the single in March 1981. This edition, featuring a remix by David Tickle, reached No. 67 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart, the band appeared on Top of the Pops. The group defied easy categorisation, but recorded a session for John Peel on 3 December 1980; the tracks featured were "Is Vic There?", "Age Concern", "Ode to Cologne" and "Clap Now". In early 1981, Roxy was replaced by Mark Taylor; the band's second single, "Going Left Right", was issued on 19 June 1981 on Stiff Records and failed to chart as high, although it received positive reviews. Stiff released "Is Vic There?" in the US. Department S began recording a debut album, Sub-Stance, in 1981 with Tickle producing, but the sessions were divisive and Lordan left, replaced partway through by Jimmy Hughes. A third single, "I Want", was released by Stiff in November 1981. Modest sales as well as differences of opinion with the label resulted in the band being dropped by Stiff, but not before £50,000 was reputedly spent on the unreleased album, which Stiff refused to part with.
After a London concert on 18 March 1982, Herbage left, the band split several months later. Toulouse worked as a DJ under the name the Main T, in 1983, as the Main T Possee, he released the single "Fickle Public Speaking" which reached No. 89 on the UK charts. He recorded as part of the Style Council's 1984 miners' charity project the Council Collective, released a solo single, "Cruisin' the Serpentine", in 1985, he died in 1991 from an AIDS-related illness. The tracks from Sub-Stance were first released by Mau Mau Records in 1993 as the compilation album Vic There?, which included several B-sides. The album was issued under its correct title in 2002 by LTM, with several B-sides and live tracks appended. In February 2007, a reunited Department S recorded their first new single in 26 years, a cover version of Alvin Stardust's 1973 hit "My Coo-Ca-Choo", with guest musicians Mark Bedford of Madness on bass, Terry Edwards on brass and Michelle Brigandage on backing vocals, it was released on Sartorial Records in October.
Several other new tracks were recorded at that time, including "Wonderful Day" and "God Squad Saviour". In August 2008, Mizon left the band due to family commitments, but returned to the fold in early 2009. In June 2009, former keyboardist Taylor rejoined the band on bass. Guitarist/songwriter Sam Burnett joined on a full-time basis; the "Wonderful Day" EP was released by Sartorial in August 2009. In February 2010, the band made their live comeback at London's 100 Club, with more gigs undertaken throughout 2010, including appearances at the Rebellion Festival and Sinners Day Festival in Belgium; the "God Squad Saviour" single was released in June 2011, followed by the album Mr Nutley's Strange Delusionarium on 3 October, both issued by Sartorial. The band played at the Hertals Rocks Festival in Belgium in October 2011, at the 2012 Festival Internacional de Benicàssim in Spain. In April 2014, Pete Jones joined on bass guitar. In 2015, original drummer Mizon, original guitarist Herbage and guitarist Burnett all left the band and were replaced by drummer Alexander Lutes and guitarist Phil Thompson, leaving Roxy as the sole original member.
A digital single, "On My Own", was released in 2015 by J. A. M. UK. A new Department S full-length album, When All Is Said and All Is Done, produced by Jones, was released by Westworld Recordings on 27 May 2016. In 2017, Alan Galaxy replaced Lutes on drums. In 2017, the band released the 45 Revolutions: Singles 1980 - 2017 compilation on Westworld. Current Eddie Roxy – keyboards, vocals Phil Thompson - guitar, backing vocals Former Vaughn Toulouse – vocals Mike Herbage – guitar Tony Lordan – bass Stuart Mizon – drums Mark Taylor – keyboards, bass 2009–2014) Jimmy Hughes – bas
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans; the City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of the London Assembly. London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities and has been termed the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, sustainable, most investment friendly, most popular for work, the most vegetarian friendly city in the world. London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, education, fashion, healthcare, professional services and development, tourism and transportation.
London ranks 26 out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP, it is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. It is the leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games. London has a diverse range of people and cultures, more than 300 languages are spoken in the region, its estimated mid-2016 municipal population was 8,787,892, the most populous of any city in the European Union and accounting for 13.4% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census.
The population within the London commuter belt is the most populous in the EU with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. London was the world's most populous city from c. 1831 to 1925. London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London has numerous museums, galleries and sporting events; these include the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world. "London" is an ancient name, attested in the first century AD in the Latinised form Londinium. Over the years, the name has attracted many mythicising explanations; the earliest attested appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. This had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.
Modern scientific analyses of the name must account for the origins of the different forms found in early sources Latin, Old English, Welsh, with reference to the known developments over time of sounds in those different languages. It is agreed; this was adapted into Latin as Londinium and borrowed into Old English, the ancestor-language of English. The toponymy of the Common Brythonic form is much debated. A prominent explanation was Richard Coates's 1998 argument that the name derived from pre-Celtic Old European *lowonida, meaning "river too wide to ford". Coates suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through London. However, most work has accepted a Celtic origin for the name, recent studies have favoured an explanation along the lines of a Celtic derivative of a proto-Indo-European root *lendh-, combined with the Celtic suffix *-injo- or *-onjo-. Peter Schrijver has suggested, on these grounds, that the name meant'place that floods'; until 1889, the name "London" applied to the City of London, but since it has referred to the County of London and Greater London.
"London" is sometimes written informally as "LDN". In 1993, the remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the south foreshore, upstream of Vauxhall Bridge; this bridge either reached a now lost island in it. Two of those timbers were radiocarbon dated to between 1750 BC and 1285 BC. In 2010 the foundations of a large timber structure, dated to between 4800 BC and 4500 BC, were found on the Thames's south foreshore, downstream of Vauxhall Bridge; the function of the mesolithic structure is not known. Both structures are on the south bank. Although there is evidence of scattered Brythonic settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans about four years after the invasion
The Beat (British band)
The Beat (known in the United States and Canada as The English Beat and in Australia as The British Beat, are a band founded in Birmingham, England, in 1978. Its music fuses Latin, pop, soul and punk rock; the Beat, consisting of Dave Wakeling, Ranking Roger, Andy Cox, David Steele, Everett Morton, Saxa a.k.a. Lionel Augustus Martin, released three studio albums in the early 1980s: I Just Can't Stop It, Wha'ppen? and Special Beat Service, a string of singles, including "Mirror in the Bathroom", "Save It for Later", "Too Nice to Talk To", "Can't Get Used to Losing You", "Hands Off, She's Mine", "All Out to Get You". The Beat was formed in Birmingham, England, in 1978, during a period of high unemployment and social upheaval in the United Kingdom. Ranking Roger, one of the band's vocalists, added a Jamaican vocal flavour to the band's sound with his toasting style. Jamaican saxophonist Saxa added a Jamaican ska instrumental sound. Saxa had played saxophone with Prince Buster, Laurel Aitken, Desmond Dekker in the first wave of ska.
He joined The Beat to record their first single, "Tears of a Clown", a cover version of the Motown hit by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. Notable singles from the first album included "Can't Get Used to Losing You", "Mirror In the Bathroom", "Hands Off She's Mine" and "Best Friend"; the second Beat album, Wha'ppen? was supported by extensive touring, including a United States tour with The Pretenders and Talking Heads. The album yielded more UK hits, with "All Out to Get You", "Drowning" and "Doors of Your Heart", all of which broke into the Top 40 of the UK Singles Chart; the Beat received support from modern rock radio stations such as KROQ-FM in Los Angeles, the now defunct KQAK The Quake 99FM in San Francisco and KYYX in Seattle. Although The Beat's main fan base was in the UK, the band was popular in Australia due to exposure on the radio station Triple J and the TV show Countdown; the Beat had a sizable following in the US and Canada, where the band was known as The English Beat for legal reasons.
The Beat toured the world with well-known artists including David Bowie, The Clash, The Police, The Pretenders, R. E. M; the Specials and Talking Heads. Members of the band collaborated on stage with The Specials. During their early career, the band were associated with Birmingham-based cartoonist Hunt Emerson, who designed their'Beat Girl' icon and painted the mural, used on the cover of Wha'ppen? After the break-up of The Beat in 1983, Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger went on to form General Public and had a couple of hit singles in the US and Canada, while Andy Cox and David Steele formed Fine Young Cannibals with vocalist Roland Gift from the ska band Akrylykz. Drummer Everett Morton and Saxa formed The International Beat along with the Birmingham-based singer, Tony Beet, the band released an album titled The Hitting Line on Blue Beat Records in 1990; the album was produced by Ranking Roger and he guested with the band at some of their shows. The International Beat toured the UK and United States before calling it a day in 1992.
Ranking Roger briefly joined Mick Jones' post-Clash band Big Audio Dynamite and performed at several live shows with the band. However, the band broke up shortly after he joined when its last album was shelved by the record company. Meanwhile, "March of the Swivelheads", an instrumental version of the Beat's song "Rotating Heads", was used in the climactic chase scene of 1986's Ferris Bueller's Day Off. "Save It for Later" was featured on the soundtrack album to 1996's Kingpin, 2010's Hot Tub Time Machine and 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming. Everett Morton formed Beat Goes Bang and recruited vocalist Ross Lydon from 360, bass player Faisal Rashid, Lukasz Machometa on sax, former member of Citybeats and Urban Groove Syndicate. Roger released his solo debut, a reggae-oriented album entitled Radical Departure, in 1988. In the early 1990s, Roger joined members of The Specials to form Special Beat, which toured and released two live albums, they supported the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. In 2001, Roger released another solo album, Inside My Head, which included traditional reggae and ska with influences of electronica and dub.
Ranking Roger's son, Ranking Junior, has followed in his father's footsteps. In 2005, he appeared on The Ordinary Boys' single "Boys Will Be Boys" and is a current member of The Beat in the UK. Pete Townshend performed the song "Save It for Later" numerous times between 1985 and 1998; the Who performed the song twice on their 1989 Reunion Tour. The Wonder Stuff played "Save It for Later" featuring Ranking Roger on their "From the Midlands with Love" series in June 2012 Pearl Jam began playing "Save It for Later" in 1996 blending it into the end of "Better Man", it remained in the set list of their 2014 tour. In 2003, The Beat's original line-up, minus Cox and Steele, played a sold-out one-off gig at the Royal Festival Hall. In 2004, the VH1 show. In 2006, the UK version of The Beat, featuring Ranking Roger, recorded a new album, mixed by Adrian Sherwood, but it remains unreleased; the band featured Everett Morton and Mickey Billingham on keyboards a member of Dexys Midnight Runners and General Public.
Dave Wakeling fronts the US version of the group as The English Beat, which adds a couple of General Public songs to the setlist. The singer and his band flew over to the UK in April 2011, to perform at the London International Ska Festival at the Clapham Grand music venue. The
Belinda Jo Carlisle is an American singer. She gained worldwide fame as the lead singer of the Go-Go's, one of the most successful all-female bands in history, went on to have a prolific career as a solo act. Raised in Southern California, Carlisle began her music career in 1977 as the drummer of the Los Angeles punk band the Germs, went on to join the Go-Go's as the lead singer after the band's formation in 1978. With their chart-topping debut release Beauty and the Beat in 1981, the group helped popularize new wave music in the United States, were the first all-female band in history who wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to achieve a No. 1 album. The Go-Go's have sold over 7 million records worldwide. After dissolution of the Go-Go's in 1985, Carlisle went on to have a successful solo career with radio hits such as "Mad About You", "I Get Weak", "Circle in the Sand", "Leave a Light On" and "Heaven Is a Place on Earth", among others, which were major successes in the United States, United Kingdom and internationally as well.
Her autobiography, Lips Unsealed, published in June 2010, was a New York Times Best Seller and received favorable reviews. On August 11, 2011, as a member of the Go-Go's, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Belinda Jo Carlisle was born in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California on August 17, 1958 to Harold Carlisle, a gas station employee, his wife, Joanne, a homemaker, her mother met her father, twenty years her senior, at age eighteen, Carlisle was born nine months later. She was named after Johnny Belinda. Carlisle was the first of seven siblings, with three sisters; when she was five years old, Carlisle's father abandoned their family, she has stated that she spent most of her childhood poor. As a teenager, she recalled owning "like, two outfits." According to Carlisle, her mother was religious, while her father was not. In an interview with Slash magazine, she described herself as a reject from a Southern Baptist household, her mother would remarry Walt Kurczeski, whom Carlisle says was an alcoholic, with whom she had a tumultuous relationship.
The family moved during her childhood, from Simi Valley to Reseda, before settling in Burbank when Carlisle was seven years old. At age ten, Carlisle began to express interest in music, recalled the Beach Boys, Cat Stevens, the Stylistics, the Animals as being early musical influences; the family relocated again during this time to Thousand Oaks, California. During her teenage years, Carlisle became rebellious: "By the time I hit fourteen, I'd gone wild," she said. "I ran away from home, smoked pot, dropped acid... you name it, I'd try it." After high school, Carlisle worked at a House of Fabrics store, as a photocopier at the Hilton Hotels Corporation in Los Angeles at age eighteen. She dropped out within the first year. At the age of nineteen, Carlisle left her parents' home to pursue a career in music. Carlisle's first venture into music was in 1977 as drummer for the punk rock band the Germs, under the name Dottie Danger, she was recruited into the band by Lorna Doom, whom she had met in an art class while a student at Thousand Oaks High School.
However, her time in the band was short due to her contracting mononucleosis, she never recorded or performed live with the Germs. According to Pat Smear, upon quitting, she introduced her friend, Donna Rhia, who became her replacement. Carlisle does appear on one recording introducing the band at a 1977 performance at the Whisky a Go Go, heard on the live album Germicide. Around this time, Carlisle did some back-up singing for the Metrosquad. Soon after leaving the Germs, she co-founded the Go-Go's, with friends and fellow musicians Margot Olavarria, Elissa Bello, Jane Wiedlin. Olavarria and Bello were soon out of the group and the new line-up included bassist-turned-guitarist Charlotte Caffey, guitarist-turned-bassist Kathy Valentine, drummer Gina Schock. All five women were untrained musicians, Carlisle recalls having to use tape as fret markers during their initial songwriting: " had to show us how to plug in our amps," she said; the Go-Go's would go on to become one of the most successful American bands of the 1980s, helping usher new wave music into popular American radio, becoming the first all-female band who wrote their own music and played their own instruments to achieve a No. 1 album and the Beat, which featured the hits "We Got the Beat" and "Our Lips Are Sealed".
The Go-Go's recorded two more studio albums on I. R. S. Records, including 1982's Vacation, which went gold. "Head over Heels", from their 1984 album Talk Show, made it to No. 11. In 1984, Carlisle made a foray into acting in the movie Swing Shift, starring alongside Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell; the Go-Go's disbanded in 1985 and Carlisle embarked on a solo career. Carlisle's first solo album Belinda was released in 1986 on I. R. S. Records; this album was successful in North America and was certified Gold in the United States and Platinum in Canada. Her summer hit "Mad About You" peaked at No. 3 in the United States, topped the Canadian Singles Chart, charted in the top 10 in Australia. "Mad About You" was followed by the Motown-influenced single "I Feel the Magic" written by Charlotte Caffey, by a cover version of the Freda Payne song "Band of Gold". All three songs were included on her debut album; the single "Since You've Gone", co-written by Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, was used only for promo
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Ace Records (United States)
Ace Records was a record label, started in August 1955 in Jackson, Mississippi by Johnny Vincent, with Teem Records as its budget subsidiary. Ace had the Vin label, its records were distributed independently until 1962 when a distribution arrangement was set up with Vee-Jay Records. Ace Records stopped; the label was relaunched in 1971 and sold in 1997 to the Demon Music Group in the UK. Ace recorded such artists as Earl King, Frankie Ford, Jimmy Clanton, Huey "Piano" Smith, Joe Tex, Scotty McKay, Bobby Marchan. Ace Records received a marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail. "Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu" by Huey "Piano" Smith and The Clowns "Don't You Just Know It" by Huey "Piano" Smith and The Clowns "Just a Dream" by Jimmy Clanton "Sea Cruise" by Frankie Ford "Go, Jimmy, Go" by Jimmy Clanton "Gee Baby" by Joe and Ann "Pop-Eye" by Huey "Piano" Smith and The Clowns "Venus in Blue Jeans" by Jimmy Clanton Ace Records List of record labels Ace Records artists with Wikipedia pages Donald J. Mabry, "The Rise and Fall of Ace Records: A Case Study in the Independent Record Business," Business History Review, 411-450.
Album discography Singles discography Rock'n Roll: An Interview with Johnny Vincent of Ace Records
Europe is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Since around 1850, Europe is most considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although the term "continent" implies physical geography, the land border is somewhat arbitrary and has been redefined several times since its first conception in classical antiquity; the division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural and ethnic differences which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The geographic border does not follow political boundaries, with Turkey and Kazakhstan being transcontinental countries. A strict application of the Caucasus Mountains boundary places two comparatively small countries and Georgia, in both continents.
Europe covers 2 % of the Earth's surface. Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million as of 2016; the European climate is affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization; the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and Spain, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas all of Africa and Oceania and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the subsequent French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic and social change in Western Europe and the wider world. Both world wars took place for the most part in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1949 the Council of Europe was founded, following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals, it includes all European states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation.
The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most used among Europeans. In classical Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess; the word Europe is derived from her name. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ "eye, countenance", hence their composite Eurṓpē would mean "wide-gazing" or "broad of aspect". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" or Phoenician'ereb "evening, west", at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Michael A. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia.
The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή. Martin Litchfield West stated that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is poor." Next to these hypotheses there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning "darkness", which produced Greek Erebus. Most major world languages use words derived from Europa to refer to the continent. Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu. In some Turkic languages the Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa; the prevalent definition of Europe as a geographical term has been in use since the mid-19th century. Europe is taken to be bounded by large bodies of water