Thursday, November 22, 2018

"Live Is Life" by Opus

Song#:  2596
Date:  01/25/1986
Debut:  88
Peak:  32
Weeks:  16
Genre:  Pop, Reggae

Pop Bits:  This Austrian band first started to take shape in 1973. They spent the next few years honing their skills and trying to find a signature sound. They finally got a record deal in 1980 with Phillips and issued out the debut album Daydream. It was a mix of pop and prog rock with shades of classical thrown in. The album was a bust but the determined band moved over to RCA for their next effort, 1981's Eleven. The LP's more pop-oriented sound was a hit with listeners and the ballad "Flyin' High" made it to #5 on the Austrian chart. Although they were new hit makers, the band had been together for eleven years and as '84 rolled around, they decided to write a special crowd participation song specifically a celebratory concert that would be taped live. They came up with was "Live Is Life" and the fans responded well to the tune. It would serve as the title to the new live album and be issued out as a single in 1985. It raced up the chart and became a huge #1 hit in Austria. Other countries would send the song to #1 as well including France and Germany. It took a while for the song to find its way to the US shores, but it finally debuted on the Pop chart in '86. The tune lingered around for a long while and was able to crack the Top 40, but that was as far as it would go. It would be the band's only single to hit the US charts. They would remain popular back home and grab a few more hits over the years, but this song still remains as their signature hit.

ReduxReview:  This is one of those really annoying songs where the "nanana" chorus gets stuck in your head and just eats its way through every brain cell until you just wanna shove an ice pick in your ear. I gotta hand it to the band though. They set out to make a sing-a-long song and they accomplished that goal rather well. It was a huge hit most everywhere except for the US. I'm not sure why it didn't do better here and become one of those songs that brings everyone to the dance floor at wedding receptions. I wasn't a fan of the song back then and I'm still not. It's not as horrible as some other earworms, but it's nothing I need to hear again. However, I do wish that I had written and published it because the dang thing sold millions.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  According to the band's website, when they first performed this live at the concert, they ran out of recording tape and the full performance was not capture. To get the song on tape, they had to do it again. They waited until the end of the concert and then did another performance of the tune. With the crowd riled up from the show and now more familiar with the song, their participation was even more prominent that the first time around. While it may not have been as spontaneous as they wanted, the excitement of the crowd certainly helped sell the track.


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