Barcelona: The Special Edition of Freddie Mercury and Montserrat CaballÃ's Masterpiece
Barcelona is the name of the album and the song that marked the collaboration between two legendary artists: Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen, and Montserrat CaballÃ, the Spanish soprano. The album was originally released in 1988, but in 2012, a special edition was issued with new orchestral arrangements and bonus tracks.
In this article, we will explore the history and the features of this special edition, as well as the reasons why it is a must-have for any fan of Freddie Mercury and Montserrat CaballÃ.
The History of Barcelona
Freddie Mercury had always admired Montserrat CaballÃ's voice and opera skills. He first met her in 1986, when he attended one of her concerts in Barcelona. He was so impressed by her performance that he asked to meet her backstage. They soon became friends and decided to work together on a project that would combine their musical styles.
The project was named Barcelona, after the city where they met and where the 1992 Olympic Games were going to be held. They wanted to create a musical tribute to the city and its culture, as well as a showcase of their talents. They wrote and recorded eight songs, with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Mercury and Mike Moran. The songs ranged from classical opera to pop rock, with influences from Spanish folk and flamenco.
The album was released in October 1988, and received mixed reviews from critics and fans. Some praised the originality and the quality of the songs, while others criticized the use of synthesizers and drum machines instead of real orchestras. The album reached number 15 on the UK Albums Chart and number 25 on the US Billboard 200. It sold over three million copies worldwide.
The title track, Barcelona, was chosen as the official anthem of the 1992 Olympic Games. However, Freddie Mercury died in November 1991, before he could perform it live with Montserrat CaballÃ at the opening ceremony. She sang it alone, with a recording of Mercury's voice playing in the background.
The Special Edition of 2012
In 2012, to mark the 25th anniversary of the album and the 20th anniversary of Mercury's death, a special edition of Barcelona was released. The special edition featured new orchestral arrangements by Stuart Morley, who worked with Queen's musical director Spike Edney. The new arrangements replaced the synthesizers and drum machines with real instruments, giving the songs a more authentic and organic sound.
The special edition also included a bonus CD with rare and alternative versions of some songs, such as Exercises in Free Love (with Montserrat CaballÃ's vocal), The Golden Boy (with Freddie Mercury's demo vocal), and How Can I Go On (with violinist David Garrett). Additionally, a DVD with live performances and videos of Barcelona was included.
The special edition received positive reviews from critics and fans, who appreciated the improved sound quality and the additional material. It reached number 11 on the UK Albums Chart and number 47 on the US Billboard 200. It sold over one million copies worldwide.
Why You Should Listen to Barcelona
Barcelona is a unique album that showcases the talents and personalities of two extraordinary artists: Freddie Mercury and Montserrat CaballÃ. It is a fusion of different musical genres that creates a rich and diverse sound. It is also a tribute to a beautiful city that inspired them both.
The special edition of 2012 enhances the original album with new orchestral arrangements that make it sound more natural and elegant. It also offers rare and alternative versions of some songs that reveal more details about the creative process behind them. It also includes a DVD with live performances and videos that capture the energy and emotion of Barcelona.
If you are a fan of Freddie Mercury or Montserrat CaballÃ, or if you enjoy music that is original and innovative, you should listen to Barcelona. It is an album that will surprise you, move you, and make you appreciate the artistry of these two legends. 061ffe29dd