Real Life is the debut studio album by English post-punk band Magazine. It was released in June 1978 by record label Virgin. The album includes the band's debut single "Shot by Both Sides", and was also preceded by the non-album single "Touch and Go", a song from the album's recording sessions.
The album was written over the preceding year by the band with Howard Devoto providing all of the lyrics. The two earliest songs "Shot by Both Sides" and "The Light Pours Out of Me" are co-written with Devoto's former Buzzcocks bandmate Pete Shelley. The majority of the material on the album was written by Devoto in collaboration with guitarist and founding member John McGeoch. "Motorcade" was co-written with the group's keyboardist Bob Dickinson, who played with the group in mid-1977 before being dismissed. The music for album's final track "Parade" was written by Dickinson's replacement Dave Formula with bassist Barry Adamson.
Having toured much of the album through 1977 and early 1978, the group's then line-up of Devoto (vocals), McGeoch (guitar and saxophone), Adamson (bass), Formula (keyboards) and Martin Jackson (drums) recorded the album in sessions using the Virgin Mobile and at Abbey Road Studios between March and April 1978. The album was produced and engineered by John Leckie.
The original artwork and monoprint for the album was designed by Linder and the photography was by Adrian Boot.
Real Life has been critically acclaimed since its release. Melody Maker declared "no one that has the slightest interest in the present and future of rock 'n' roll should rest until they've heard Real Life".