Opus (Austrian band)

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Opus 20080510 performing on Krieau stage, Vienna.jpg
Opus performing in Vienna in 2008
Background information
Origin Graz, Austria
Genres Pop rock
Years active 1973–present
Labels Philips, OK Musica, RCA Victor, Polydor, Dino Music
Website opus.at
Members Herwig Rüdisser
Ewald Pfleger
Kurt-Rene Plisnier
Günter Grasmuck
Past members Walter Bachkönig
Hans Palier
Niki Gruber

Opus is a pop-rock group from Graz, Austria. Formed in 1973, the group remains active today. The band is chiefly known for its 1985 single release, "Live Is Life", which reached the Top 10 in several European countries.


In 1985, Opus released "Live Is Life," which topped the charts in many countries; it was a #1 hit in Canada for seven weeks in late 1985 and early 1986.[1] A live recording of the song made the Top 40 in the US in 1986. It reached #6 in the UK Singles Chart on August 3, 1985, and stayed in the charts for 15 weeks.[2]

Another standout track from Opus was the power ballad "Flyin' High" a live version of which appeared both on the Live is life album, and on their successful US release, Up and Down. At a concert in the mid-1980s, fellow Austrian rock star Falco joined Opus on stage for a rendition of "Flyin' High."

Opus remains active, "Live is Life" remaining its pinnacle release to date. The band also has had success with other songs in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

Principal members[edit]

  • Herwig Rüdisser (vocals)
  • Ewald Pfleger (guitar, backing vocals)
  • Kurt-Rene Plisnier (keyboard)
  • Günter Grasmuck (drums, percussion)

The group has had a series of bassists, with Niki Gruber, who joined after the first album and remained in the group throughout their most successful period (approx. 1981–1991) being the one perhaps most associated with the group.

In popular culture[edit]

"Live is Life" has been included in such ventures and projects as: the official goal-scoring song for the New York Islanders 2010–2011 season, the Current TV series Deadliest Journeys on the episode "Siberia", and the soundtrack to the 2011 film Take Me Home Tonight. It was also often played in the late 1990s at rallies of the Reform Party of Canada and for its leader, Preston Manning.

Cover versions of this song have also been performed by Stargo, Laibach, the Hungarian band Tormentor, the Estonian band Kuldne Trio ("Laip on Laip"), Axxis and Dolapdere Big Gang. Additionally, as a guest, DJ Ötzi released a version with the Hermes House Band in 2002, which reached #50 in the UK chart.[3]

The song was also the 'warm up' song, before kick off, for Napoli FC during the 1980s. Maradona played for Napoli during this time, and it is believed that he adored the song. Additionally, the song is played at the end of every New Hampshire Wildcats Men's Ice Hockey game played at the Whittemore Center.


Studio albums[edit]

  • Daydreams (1980)
  • Eleven (1981)
  • The Opusition (1982)
  • Up and Down (1984)
  • Solo (1985)
  • Opus (1987)
  • Magical Touch (1990)
  • Walkin' on Air (1992)
  • Love, God & Radio (1996)
  • The Beat Goes On (2004)

Live albums[edit]

  • Live Is Life (1984)
  • Jubileé (1993)
  • Tonight at the Opera (2009)
  • Graz Liebenau (2013)


  • Best of (1985)
  • Greatest Hits – The Power of Live Is Life (1998)
  • Flyin' Higher – Greatest Hits (Best-Of) (2003)
  • Back to Future – the Ultimate Best-Of (2008)


Year Title Top-Position
1982 "Flyin' High" 5 - 45 - - 5 - -
1985 "Live Is Life" 1 1 1 6 3 2 6 32
1985 "Flyin' High (live version)" ? - 37 - - 5 - -
1987 "Whiteland" 3 - - 39 - - -
1988 "Faster and Faster" 12 - - - - - - -
1992 "Gimme Love " 9 - - - - - - -
1994 "The Power of Live Is Life" 3 - - - - - - -


  1. ^ Lwin, Nanda. Top 40 Hits: The Essential Chart Guide (2000). Mississauga, Ont.: Music Data Canada
  2. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 408. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 251. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links[edit]