Live Is Life

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This article is about the Opus song. For the Noah and the Whale song, see Life is Life.
"Live Is Life"
Single by Opus
from the album Live Is Life/
Up and Down (U.S. version)
  • "Again and Again"
  • "Up and Down"
  • 1985
  • 2008
Format 7" single
Length 4:15
  • Polydor
  • OK
  • Ewald Pfleger
  • Kurt Rene Plisnier
  • Gunter Grasmuck
  • Niki Gruber
  • Herwig Rüdisser
Certification see below
Opus singles chronology
"Flying High"
"Live Is Life"
"Flying High" (live)

"Gimme Love"

"The Power of Live Is Life"

"Live Is Life 08"
Alternative covers
Austrian release

"Live Is Life" is a song originally recorded in 1984 by Austrian pop rock group Opus. It was a European number-one hit in the summer of 1985; in the Americas, the single also reached the top position in Canada and was a top 40 hit in the US in 1986. It was covered by many artists throughout the years.

Background and chart performance[edit]

"Live Is Life" is their second single, released in 1985, and achieved huge success, topping the charts of many countries, including Austria (eight weeks), Germany, France (seven weeks) and Sweden (four weeks). In France, the song is the 149th best-selling single of all time with about 857,000 units sold.[2]

The song was created during a concert in Oberwart, on 2 September 1984, while the group celebrated its eleventh anniversary. It is recorded in a live version with the audience singing along in the verses. In the lyrics, the song expresses "the enthusiastic attachment of the group to the stage".[3] The song was performed during the 1985 charity campaign, "Austria für Afrika".

In 1994, on the occasion of the 1994 FIFA World Cup, Opus published another version of "Live Is Life", which made it again into the top ten in Austria.[citation needed] The song was re-recorded once more by the group in 2008, both in a solo version and featuring Jerry.[citation needed]

Maradona's warming up[edit]

On 19 April 1989, during the warming up in Munich before the UEFA Cup semi-final return between FC Bayern Munich and S.S.C. Napoli, Diego Maradona did a keepie uppie exhibition while the song was heard on the stadium's loudspeakers. This has become a classic among football fans.

Some confusion persists by those who dispute that it took place in Munich. Among others Jürgen Klinsmann has been quoted claiming that it happened during the final in Stuttgart:

There were 70,000 people in the stadium and Maradona went on the field. We’re on the other side of the field, warming up like Germans: seriously, focused. There's music playing, the song "Live is Life", and to the rhythm of the song Maradona started juggling the ball. So we stopped our warm-up. What's this guy doing? He's juggling off his shoulders. And we couldn't warm up anymore because we had to watch this guy.[4]

However the Belgian sports anchor Frank Raes, whose video montage of the warm up has become a famed clip on YouTube and elsewhere (it is part of a documentary on Maradona), has always asserted that this warm up took place just before the semi final in Munich. According to Raes, this can easily be verified by visual cues in the clip, such as the advertisements around the pitch, for example the numerous Commodore boards which were one of Bayern's main sponsors at the time. The same advertisements can be spotted in the match summaries of the 19th April semi-final while the final in Stuttgart has distinctively different advertising.

By 2013, Frank Raes' Maradona video clip had garnered almost two million views on YouTube.[4] The 25th anniversary of Maradona's warming up was noted internationally, with newspapers commenting on his skills and on the transformative effect he had on Napoli and southern Italy.[5][6]

Track listings[edit]

1985 release[edit]

  • 7" single (1984 release)
  1. "Live Is Life" – 4:15
  2. "Again and Again" – 3:51
  • 7" single (1985 release)
  1. "Live Is Life" – 4:15
  2. "Up and Down" – 3:49

1994 release[edit]

  • CD maxi
  1. "The Power of Live Is Life" (Bingoboys radio mix) – 3:58
  2. "Live Is Life" (original version) – 5:06
  3. "The Power of Live Is Life" (Bingoboys club mix) – 6:33
  4. "Live Is Life" (radio version) – 3:16

2008 release[edit]

  • CD single
  1. "Live Is Life 08" (reggae version) – 4:17
  2. "Live Is Life 08" (rock version) – 3:38
  • CD maxi
  1. "Live Is Life 08" (reggae version) – 4:17
  2. "Live Is Life 08" (rock version) – 3:38
  3. "Live Is Life 08" (reggaeton version) – 3:56
  4. "Touch the Sky" by Opus – 3:47

Charts and sales[edit]

Chart successions[edit]

Preceded by
"Do They Know It's Christmas?" by Band Aid
Austrian number-one single
1 February 1985 – 15 March 1985
Succeeded by
"You're My Heart, You're My Soul" by Modern Talking
Preceded by
"Alive and Kicking" by Simple Minds
Canada CHUM number-one single
14 December 1985 – 21 December 1985
Succeeded by
"Say You, Say Me" by Lionel Richie
Preceded by
"SOS Éthiopie" by Chanteurs sans frontières
French number-one single
20 July 1985 – 31 August 1985
Succeeded by
"Tarzan Boy" by Baltimora
Preceded by
"You're My Heart, You're My Soul" by Modern Talking
German number-one single
15 April 1985 – 27 May 1985
Succeeded by
"You Can Win If You Want" by Modern Talking
Preceded by
"Tarzan Boy" by Baltimora
Spanish number-one single
5 August 1985 – 14 October 1985
Succeeded by
"Part-Time Lover" by Stevie Wonder
Preceded by
"We Are the World" by USA for Africa
Swedish number-one single
31 May 1985 – 14 June 1985
Succeeded by
"19" by Paul Hardcastle
Preceded by
Self Control by Laura Branigan
German best-selling single of the year
Succeeded by
Jeanny by Falco
Swiss best-selling single of the year
Succeeded by
Adesso Tu by Eros Ramazzotti

Laibach versions[edit]

"Life is life/Opus Dei"
Single by Laibach
from the album Opus Dei
A-side Opus Dei/Life is life
B-side Germania
Released 1987
Format 7" single
Genre Industrial
Length 4:30
Laibach singles chronology
"Die Liebe"
"Life Is Life / Opus Dei"
"Geburt einer Nation"

Slovenian avant-garde band Laibach recorded two martial-style covers of the song in their 1987 album Opus Dei. The first version, "Leben Heißt Leben" was sung in German. The second version, "Opus Dei", was promoted as a single, and its promotional video (which used the title "Life is Life") was played extensively on American cable channel MTV.[41] Opus Dei retained some of the original song's English lyrics, but was delivered in a musical style that left the meaning of the lyrics open to further interpretation. Laibach's subversive interpretation turned the feel-good anthem into a triumphant, rolling military march. With the exception of the promotional video, the refrain is at one instance translated into German, giving an example of the sensitivity of its lyrics to context.

Hermes House Band version[edit]

"Live Is Life (Here We Go)"
Single by Hermes House Band featuring DJ Ötzi
from the album Today Is the Day
B-side Remix
Released 24 June 2002
Genre Electronic
Length 3:30
  • Klaus Biedermann
  • Jim Binapfl
  • Jake Buck
  • Mark Duran
  • John Lehmkuhl
  • Claus Marcus
  • Christian Seitz
Hermes House Band singles chronology
"Que sera sera"
"Live Is Life (Here We Go)"
"Those Were the Days"

The Hermes House Band and DJ Ötzi released a version of the song in 2002. The single had his highest peak position in France, where it reached number two for five weeks.[42] The song was used as a soundtrack for the German youth film Das Jahr der ersten Küsse.[43] As of August 2014, the song was the 23rd best-selling single of the 21st century in France, with 537,000 units sold.[44]

Track listings[edit]

  • CD single
  1. "Live Is Life (Here We Go)" (Here We Go/video mix) – 3:30
  2. "Live Is Life (Here We Go)" (jump mix) – 3:33
  • CD maxi
  1. "Live Is Life (Here We Go)" (Here We Go/video mix) – 3:30
  2. "Live Is Life (Here We Go)" (jump mix) – 3:33
  3. "Football's Coming Home" (three lions) (radio) by Hermes House Band – 3:48
  4. "Everytime You Touch Me" (fireplace mix) by Hermes House Band – 3:21
  5. "Hey Mama" by Hermes House Band – 3:10
  6. Enhanced Multimediatrack : "Live Is Life" – 3:30

Charts and sales[edit]