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Queen released “Life Is Real”

, 19 April, 1982, Queen released “Life Is Real” as the B-side to “Body Language” Both songs are included on their tenth studio album, “Hot Space.”

The tragic death of John Lennon on 8th December 1980 shook the world of music. Queen often cited him and The Beatles, as one of their main influences, and when they learned of Lennon’s assassination the morning after, they incorporated his 1971 hit ‘Imagine’ into their set list at London’s Wembley Arena that night.

Therefore, it was inevitable that a tribute to the former Beatle would be written. Freddie Mercury wrote ‘Life is Real (Song For Lennon)’ as a dedication to him two years after his death. He composed a song which emulates different John Lennon song styles. This track is related to the Lennon lyric “Love is Real” from his beautiful song, “Love.” It’s Freddie’s best John impression. His falsetto mimics Lennon’s.

“John Lennon was larger than life, and an absolute genius. Even at a very early stage when they were The Beatles, I always preferred John Lennon’s things. I don’t know why. He just had that magic… to be honest, I would never like to put myself on a par with John Lennon at all, because he was the greatest, as far as I’m concerned. It’s not a matter of having less talent, just that some people are capable of doing certain things better than anybody else, and I feel that I’m not equipped to do the things that Lennon did. I don’t think anybody should, because John Lennon was unique, a one off, and that’s the way it is. I admire him very much…..When I heard that Lennon was dead, I was shocked and dumbfounded. Words failed me, to be honest. There was shock and disbelief.”

“Sometimes a lyric will get me started. ‘Life Is Real’ was one of those, because the words came first. I just really got into it, pages after pages, all kinds of words. Then I just put it to a song. I just felt that it could be a John Lennon-type thing. It was my tribute to him. There is no parallel between anything he did, and what I did. It was just a little gift to him, you know.”

Freddie Mercury

Here’s the clip for ‘Life is Real (Song for Lennon)


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