The Opus Pocus Story
I. The foundation phase
The future chart-stormers were formed in 1973 in the original version: Kurt Rene Plisnier (keyb.), Ewald Pfleger (guit.) and ex-singer boy Walter Bachkönig (bass).
The garage band at that time met for regular sessions. In addition to cover versions of Deep Purple and Colloseum, among others, the first original compositions are rehearsed: "Opus Null". Besides there are also rock versions of the little night music or the sabre dance. With this repertoire they give their first concerts in Burgenland and Styria.
With Günther Grasmuck on drums they are already one step closer to the significant Opus - Sound.
Hans Palier gives a 6-year guest performance on the guitar before he changes to the White Stars. During this time he also has his first big success at the Styrian Band Competition. A milestone for the entire Austrian music scene was probably the Austria Rock Festival organized by Opus in 1978, which later became something of an institution.
In autumn 1978 Opus moved to the longtime "Bandheim" in Rötz 15 in Judendorf/ Graz.
In 1979 the voice of Herwig Rüdisser was found in a newspaper advertisement, which made the band sound almost as good as it does today.
II. the first record deal
In 1980 Opus is available on record for the first time. They record their first album "Daydreams" with producer Peter Janda in Hilpoltstein/ Germany, which is released on Phonogramm. Daydreams is both the first and last album that still has an affinity to classical music;
and Opus change in 1980: Walter devotes himself to classical music, Niki Gruber joins the band as a new bassist, who was also found in a newspaper ad.
III. success is on the way
In 1981, Opus worked for the first time with star producer Peter Müller, a cooperation that turned out to be extremely fruitful. The LP "Eleven" (ok Musica) is presented on 11.11.1981 with sparkling wine and stew in the Rötzer Heimat.
With "Eleven" Opus also create their first "Golden". The singles "Eleven" and "Flyin' High" become top hits in Austria.
AMA takes over the management of Opus. Together with Christopher Cross and Lou Reed they perform in the Arena di Verona.
In 1982 they receive the Austrian Journalism Prize for "Eleven".
In autumn the " Yellow Fellows" present the concept album "Opusition". On 22 November '82 they will perform in Germany at the show "Auf los los geht's los", which also seems to have paved the way across the Austrian borders.
In 1983 Opus enthused over 100.000 fans in 65 concerts. A milestone in the band's history is certainly the Ö3 - Open Air in Vienna's Weststadion, where they appear on stage with Wolfgang Ambros and Reinhard Fendrich for the first time. For the first time albums of Opus are also released abroad: Germany, Switzerland, Benelux - countries, Sweden, Italy and Singapore....
1984 the fourth album " Up and Down" is released after three months of studio work with Peter Müller. Afterwards the five "up and down" tour through Austria and Germany. The meanwhile characteristic Opus - choir is engaged by Falco for the LP "Junge Römer".
IV. The World Hit
On 2.9. 1984 Opus celebrate their 11 - year - festival in the Oberwarter stadium in front of some thousand fans, to whom the new title "Live Is Life" is dedicated.
"Live Is Life" becomes a mega - seller in Austria and goes 85/86 also around the rest of the world. Opus can be heard in Top Of The Pops/GB, Solid Gold/USA, MTV and other renowned music shows and stations around the world.
They play in the hippodrome of Ibiza as well as on the Bosporus, also in Central and South America. In Canada they receive the coveted Juno Award for the best single production of the year.
"Opus und Freunde" enthuses 25,000 fans in Graz-Liebenau.
In autumn "Solo" is released by the new company partners Polygram and is awarded gold.
Opus tour the USA with Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks. As a contrast, they also play concerts in the former GDR, CSSR and in Bulgaria. They receive a lot of "precious metal" at home and abroad and also take South America by storm.
You will receive the MIDEM - Trophy from the hands of Desirée Nosbusch and you are one of three Austrian performers who are available at the New York "Tower Records" ( Falco and Anton Karas).
"Rock On The Rocks" is a cool concert experience on the Kitzsteinhorn.
V. Opus International
In 1987 the seventh album "Opus" is produced in Austria, Germany and Holland by Yes producer Eddie Offord, Peter Müller and Ewald Pfleger . The single "Whiteland" becomes the second most successful after "Live Is Life".
A six-figure sum from the royalties is transferred to "Greenpeace".
Opus sell out three times the Olympic Stadium in Moscow. Over New Year's Eve 87/88 Opus shoot a commercial for the Olympic Games in Calgary.
The single "Faster and Faster" becomes the motto of the Austrian Olympic athletes.
In July, the army for guitarist Ewald and drummer Günther can no longer be postponed.
In 1989 Erwin Musper, the producer of the Scorpion world hit "Wind of Change" is hired for the album "Magical Touch".
"When The Night Comes" is already the fourth clip that Opus produces with the video - gurus Dolezal & Rossacher. The single "A Night In Vienna" is a tribute from Opus to the Viennese waltz.
1991 is the year of radical changes for Opus: new record company (Dino Music), new agency (Scheibmayer) and bassist Niki leaves the band.
1992 Ewald Pfleger produces "Walkin' On Air". During the video - shooting for the title number there is a plane crash without any injuries. With the first single - release
"Gimme Love", there is a top ten placement in the domestic charts, but also international releases with considerable resonance.
1993 OPUS perform at the "Vienna Ball" at the MIDEM in Cannes.
Opus celebrate "Twenty's A Plenty - Jubilee" at the Orpheum in Graz with a recording of the live CD "Jubilee".
1996 after almost three years the single "Just For Fun" is released as a harbinger of the new CD "Love, God and Radio". The philosophy for the new work is a combination of "sound of the sixties" on the one hand, and the well-known
OPUS - ingredients on the other hand, which were brought together in a modern mix to a live - sound corresponding to Opus.
1997 - New single "Hands In The Air" is released throughout Europe. Appearances in various Austrian and German television shows. Furthermore there is an Open - Air in Moscow in "Gorki Park" in front of 15.000 spectators.
1998 Opus support the "Österreichische Sporthilfe" on the occasion of the soccer - world championship with the sports anthem "VIVA AUSTRIA" and reach gold status with 30.000 sold single CDs.
1999/2000: A series of performances at TV shows in Germany (ZDF Milleniums Party), Portugal, Italy, Brazil and Austria. Release of a newBest of OPUS "Flyin' Higher" with 10 ! new "Live Is Life" versions
VII The New Millennium
The new millennium starts with a giant show on German ZDF on New Year's Eve in Berlin, hosted by Thomas Gottschalk.
2002, after a longer break Opus gives again live concerts in Austria, Germany & Italy, now in a line-up with two additional drummers from "Studio Percussion" from Graz, who of course strengthen the rhythm section enormously.
One product of this collaboration is "The Beat Goes On", the title song of the new studio album 2004 "The Beat Goes On" is released. This 12th opus is produced by Tato Gomez together with the band.
Various TV shows, live concerts, festivals + events take place in London, Lisbon, Paris, Cannes, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Sofia, Padua, Milan, Munich, Hamburg, Vienna, Graz, ...
2008 is the release year of "Back To Future", a "best of" album with 5 new recordings and three new tracks with the new contractual partner Sony Austria. A new recording of "Live Is Life" will be released as a single. "Live Is Life 08", a reagge version of Opus feat. Jerry reaches place 16 in the Austria Top 40!
There were also numerous concerts and TV shows throughout Europe, one of which was a festival in Paris, at the Stade de France on 17 May. 2008 in front of 50.000 enthusiastic fans!
In 2009 there is an anniversary to celebrate: 25 years of "Live Is Life"!
This year alone our hit will be presented in three international film productions: In "Der Knochenmann" (with Josef Hader in the cinemas from March onwards), in the TV comedy "Das Seniorenheim schlägt zurück" (with Joachim Fuchsberger and Bibiane Zeller on TV in autumn) and in the Hollywood comedy "Young Americans" in American cinemas from January 2010.
2009 - The absolute concert highlight of the year is the performance at the Graz Opera House, together with an Opuspocus StringOrchestra, conducted by Christian Kolonovits. The live recording of "Tonight At The Opera" is available on DVD and a special CD/DVD, which was presented on ORF in April 2010.
In 2011 there will be a remake of the concert at the opera, where again all proceeds will go to a school in Ethiopia, built by "Menschen für Menschen".
The proceeds from the first Christmas single of Opus "Melkam Ganna - Merry Christmas" will also go to the organization of Almaz & Karlhein Böhm.
In 2013, we celebrated 40 years of Opus with open-air events in Judendorf/Straßengel, our location for 35 years and the place of its foundation, Stegersbach in Burgenland. On this occasion a CD/DVD of the legendary openair "Opus & Friends - Graz Liebenau 1985" was released with Ambros, Falco, STS, EAV, Wilfried, KGB, Austria for Africa & Maria Bill as guests.
2014 the first Opus cruise in the Eastern Mediterranean was a great success, big open air on the 30th anniversary of "Live Is Life" in the stadium of Oberwart, LIPDUB world record with a 14-minute version of "Live Is Life" in Kapfenberg.
2015 TV-Shows in Germany, Paris, Openairs Cote d'Azur, Norway, Ibiza, Donauinselfest Vienna in front of 100.000 visitors (!), 4th "Tonight At The Opera 2015" again in the sold-out Opera Graz with special guests Willi Resetarits, Thomas Stipsits and others
2016 invitation film festival Cannes, Norway tour Oslo, Stavanger & North Cape
"Love Is The Name" by Sofia Carson - Disneystar from California uses parts of "Live Is Life" for her song
2017 tour in Lithuania & Latvia, festivals, TV and gigs in Austria (e.g. at Formula 1 Spielberg), Switzerland, Poland, Prague, Paris, special guests Viktor Gernot, Steinbäcker, Schiffkowitz, Michael Vatter & Monika Ballwein at "Tonight At The Opera 2017" - already the fifth time and already more than € 160.000.- for four schools in the highlands of Ethiopia.
2018 Meanwhile more than 100 million views on "Live Is Life" on Youtube & also on Sofia Carson's "Love Is The Name", our opera event again as a TV show on ServusTV, div. Performances and shows in Austria, Germany, Poland, Belgium, exhibition opening & concert on the occasion of the exhibition "40 years Austria Rockfestival Pinkafeld" in the Stadtmuseum Pinkafeld,
Huge success for "Best of Austria meets Classic" - many Austrian pop stars accompanied by an orchestra - conducted by Christian Kolonovits in the Wr. Stadthalle.
2019 Start of recordings for OPUS MAGNUM, single "Halfway Done" released, performance invitation by Prince Albert to Monaco on the occasion of the 80th birthday of his late mother Grace Kelly, "Best Of Austria" open air with Christian Kolonovits & Orchestra in front of Schönbrunn Palace, Opus plays the national anthem at the start of the Formula 1 race in Spielberg, at the 6th International Motor Show in Vienna "Tonight At The Opera" at the Graz Opera, this time Wolfgang Ambros, GAZEBO, and other special guests, € 35.000.- will again be handed over to "Menschen für Menschen" for school buildings in Ethiopia.
2020 Continuation of the recordings for OPUS MAGNUM at the Recorder Studio in Judendorf. With a few exceptions, all concerts in Germany and abroad fall victim to the COVID 19 pandemic. Open air at the Kasematten in Graz, where the MAGNUM album should have been presented live, and the Danube Island Festival Open Air, live on ORF III on TV can take place.
On 11.11.the final OPUS MAGNUM will also be released via Limited Fanbox.
Daydreams (produced by Peter Janda) "My Style"
Eleven (produced by Peter Müller) "Eleven", "Flyin' High"
Opusition (produced by Peter Müller) "Best Thing", "The Opusition
Up and Down (Produced by Peter Müller) "Positive", "Vivian"
Live Is Life (produced by Opus and Peter Müller) "Live Is Life"
Best of Opus
solo (produced by Peter Müller) "Idolater", "Rock On The Rocks"
Opus (produced by Eddy Offord, Peter Müller and Opus)
"Whiteland", "Faster And Faster", "Will You Ever Know Me"
Magical Touch (produced by Erwin Musper)
" When The Night Comes," "A Night In Vienna"
Walkin' On Air (produced by Ewald Pfleger)
"Gimme Love", "Walkin' On Air", "Crazy World"
Jubilee (produced by Ewald Pfleger)
Love God & Radio (produced by Ewald Pfleger) "Just For Fun
"When I Met You"
"Hands In The Air" (single re-release)
"Viva Austria" (Sports Aid Charity)
"The Beat Goes On" (produced by Tato Gomez + Opus)
Live Is Life" 2008 reggae version (produced by Fritz "Jerry" Jerey)
"Live Is Life" 2008 rock version (produced by Ewald Pfleger & Bernhard Thurner)
"Back To Future" (produced by Ewald Pfleger & Bernhard Thurner)
"Tonight At The Opera" (CD/DVD)
"Live Is Life" (digitally remastered)
Opus & Friends - "Graz Liebenau 1985" (CD/DVD)
"Live Is Life"-Lipdub Kapfenberg Worldrecord Version (single)
OPUS MAGNUM produced by Ewald Pfleger & Opus