"Life Is For Living" is arguably the most commercial song ever recorded by Barclay James Harvest, and was their biggest single success in Switzerland and Germany. According to issue 27 of the fanzine Nova Lepidoptera
, the song, which was written by Les Holroyd for the band's famous open air Berlin concert, reached number 3 in the German and Swiss singles charts.
According to issue 19 of the same magazine, it was also released on a twelve inch single in France on the Polydor label: FRENCH TOUR '82
which included "Berlin
", "Child Of The Universe
" and "Hymn
", all from the Berlin
album. It was previously released in France in 1980 as a regular single backed by "Shades Of B Hill".
Keith Damone of the band's website and fan club went into a bit more detail: '...there were different charts in Germany, as there were in the UK. In the same way that the NME
and Radio 1 used to use different methods of calculating sales for the chart rundowns, so did the German media. At the time that [Nova Lepidoptera 27
] was issued, we had been given different placings for "Life Is For Living", ranging between 1 and 3 in both countries, so I hedged my bets and wrote that it made the Top 3
(not necessarily number 3!). Subsequently, a series of books were published in Germany called Hit Bilanz
, which were equivalent to the Guinness Books Of British Hit Singles and Albums
, and these contain the official
music industry chart placings for all singles and albums in Germany. These place "Life Is For Living" at #2 in December 1980. The Swiss #1 comes from a web site for the official Swiss charts, hitparade.ch...'