Opus — music group from Austria, created in 1973. Even though for a long time, the lineup consisted of five members, the band is known as a male quartet. The name of the band is a Latin word for a piece of classical music created by a certain composer.
Initially, Opus was an amateur cover band, the lineup of which included Ewald Pfleger (vocals, electric guitar), Kurt-Rene Plisnier (keyboard), Walter Bachkonig (bass), and Herwig Rudisser (vocals). In the early 1980’s Bachkonig left the band. Niki Gruber replaced him. The lineup changed often. It also included Gunter Grasmuck (drums) and Misha Kraus (bass). Niki Gruber left the group in 1991.
In 1978, the band started performing live in Austria with a special concert program. They decided to write lyrics in English in order to attract a larger audience.
In 1980, the band released its debut album, Daydreams, which didn’t make it into the charts. The next year, Opus signed a contract with the producer Peter Mueller, with whom the musicians released their second LP, Eleven, which turned out to be very successful. Their next album, The Opusition, which came out in 1982, also became very popular. Many fans wanted to book Opus for their events.
The peak of the band’s popularity occurred in 1984 when the musicians released the hit single “Live is Life” and an album with the same name. The song conquered the world charts. The single sold over 15 million copies all over the world. The track became Opus’ signature song and stayed such for decades. It should be noted that the single was recorded during a concert. The musicians were performing “Live is Life” together with the audience. The same year, the band released one more album, Up And Down, which charted well.
The song “Live is Life” is associated with a few interesting stories. It has its own Wiki page. In April 1989 during UEFA Champions League match in Munich, over 70,000 fans saw how the soccer legend Diego Maradona was stretching on the field and virtually dancing to that song, which was played on the stadium. The video of his dance appeared on YouTube and collected several million views. Other singers and bands often perform this single. For example, in 2002, The Hermes House Band and DJ Ötzi made “Live Is Life” a big hit in France.
The next two albums, Solo (1985) and Opus (1987) were successful and reached the 8th and 7th place on the Austrian charts accordingly. The next LPs Magical Touch (1990) and Walkin’ On Air (1992) were also popular, reaching fairly high spots on the Austrian Albums chart. In 1998, the compilation LP, The Power of Live Is Life reached the 3rd place of the Austrian chart thanks to the new version of the popular song.
Opus became a legend in the 1990’s and its popularity is not about to wane. The musicians receive invitations to many festivals, private events, TV shows, and MTV awards. The band is actively touring the world. The current lineup includes Herwig Rudisser (vocals), Ewald Pfleger (guitar), Kurt-Rene Plisnier (keyboard), and Gunter Grasmuck (drums).