Queen – Life Is Real (Song for Lennon)

I did not dislike Hot Space like some Queen fans and non-Queen fans. I would not rate it as high as The Game but it had some decent songs. The album peaked at only #22 in the Billboard Album Chart in 1982 after the hugely successful album The Game.

Queen incorporates a little of Lennon’s style in this one and Mercury’s voice sounds great in this song.

From Songfacts

Freddie Mercury wrote this song as a dedication to John Lennon. The music emulates different John Lennon song styles, and the lyrics are mostly about Freddie’s realization that John was dead, and how real life was. “Life is Real” is related to the John Lennon lyric “Love is Real.”

The death of John Lennon sparked Queen to play “Imagine” during concerts, something they did during their tour with Paul Rodgers.

This song took on a new life after Freddie Mercury’s death, and is now regularly performed as a tribute to Mercury as well as Lennon – particularly when performed by Kerry Ellis and Brian May on their tours (notably the Born Free tour) where a montage of Freddie Mercury images would play on screens behind the artists.

Life Is Real (Song For Lennon)

Guilt stains on my pillow
Blood on my terraces
Torsos in my closet
Shadows from my past
Life is real, life is real
Life is real, so real

Sleeping is my leisure
Waking up in a minefield
Dream in just a pleasure dome
Love is a roulette wheel
Life is real, life is real
Life is real, oh yeah

Success is my breathing space
I brought it on myself
I will price it, I will cash it
I can take it or leave it
Loneliness is my hiding place
Breast feeding myself
What more can I say?
I have swallowed the bitter pill
I can taste it I can taste it
Life is real, life is real
Life is real

Music will be my mistress
Loving like a whore
Lennon is a genius
Living in ev’ry pore
Life is real, life is real
Life is real, so real
Life is cruel, life is a bitch
Life is real, so real
Life is real, life is real, yeah
Life is real.

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

26 thoughts on “Queen – Life Is Real (Song for Lennon)”

  1. Not a bad song, and one I’d long forgotten about. I had the ‘Hot Space’ album, like you I found it to be quite good although not as good as ‘The game’ which was the onlyother Queen non-greatest hits album I’ve owned. Had both on LP in the day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It did have one big hit Under Pressure but I also liked Put Out The Fire.
      I have that greatest hits album that was released in the early eighties…I think it was the early eighties.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My cousin got the Hot Space album and that is the reason I heard it…I then got the album. Not great but ok. This song stuck with me for years…of all the Lennon Tribute songs not counting Here Today…Empty Garden would be one of my favorites.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I started listening to the Queen catalog this morning… Yes I’d rank those as my favorites also- I agree with you on Hot Space..Anything with Freddie singing on it has to be worth a listen at the very least.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Queen was different… that is for sure…they had campy stuff but it worked for them well. Mercury probably had the best range of any rock singer…I would rather hear Lennon or Morrison but as far as being able to sing anything…he could.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I think what really helped with Queen- is Freddie’s stage presence. A great frontman. I was listening out of curiosity this morning to Ariana Grande- she has a great voice but well sometimes you need more than a great voice. I think someone like Mariah Carey spends too much time showing off her voice- not a fan of hers for example.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Vocal gymnastics can get old really quick.

        Also Brian May’s sound…no one sounded like him and couple that with Mercury’s voice…plus 4 smart guys in that band.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. As great as Roy Orbison’s voice is- I have a box set of his- and there are some songs where that voice isn’t suited for the material he’s singing- but of course his hits- were perfect fits.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. They were like mini pop operas… yes I agree he had voice like no other…but I could not hear him singing some of Elvis songs and the other way around.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I do like that song also… the reason this one stood out is because I remember right after Lennon was killed this got some play. The album I remember was heavily criticized when it was released… it wasn’t their best but it was a good album.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That was the first Queen album I ever had. The thing about Queen that I liked so much was May’s guitar sound. At the time it was unique… The band is great but you can hum May’s solos and the sound is great.

        Liked by 1 person

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