” Barcelona ” is by Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen and operatic soprano, Montserrat Caballé. Written by Freddie Mercury and Mike Moran, the record producer from Yorkshire England.
Both the song and the album were a collaborative project between the two great singers of different musical genres; the song was also added to Queen’s Greatest Hits III album.
Freddie had been a lifelong fan of Opera, one of his favourites was the singer Montserrat Caballé. In 1986 Freddie mentioned on Spanish TV that he’d like to see her in person.
Later they went on to meet in Barcelona ( the home city of Montserrat Caballé ) in 1987. She’d been tasked with producing a song for the city’s 1992 Summer Olympics and asked Freddie to help.
Freddie loved the idea and so the two set about working on the song ” Barcelona “, this needed to be completed by 1988 to be considered for the theme of the Olympics in the city.
Due to the tight schedule of Caballé, Freddie recorded the song along with her part and sent a tape ( remember those? ) to help her prepare for the forthcoming studio sessions.
So the duet ” Barcelona ” was born, and Freddie could indulge in his love of Opera along with a dream of working with an Operatic superstar which he much admired.
Music critics have described the song of a textbook example of how pop and Opera can be mixed, Freddie articulates his delivery while Caballé focuses more on the tone.
The resulting performance is one that shows the talent of the two singers, Freddie sings in English, and he expresses every word. Montserrat Caballé, on the other hand, focuses on the tone of delivery and also sings part English and part Spanish which makes it harder to comprehend the lyrics she sings.
With the original release in 1987, ” Barcelona ” was to be the biggest hit of Freddie’s career as a solo artist. The song proved a commercial success in the United Kingdom and went on to reach number eight and stayed inside the Top Ten for two weeks, in total the song remained on the UK Singles Chart for nine weeks.
After Freddie Mercury died in 1991, the song was used at the 1992 Summer Olympics. The song became a hit once again and climbed the chart to reach number two in the United Kingdom, also reaching the same chart position in the Netherlands and New Zealand.
BillBoard Highest Chart Position: N/A
UK Highest Chart Position: 2
Other Countries Highest Chart Positions: Ireland 3, Germany 47, australia 42, France 6, The Netherlands 2, New Zealand 2, Switzerland 8
Official Website: Queenonline.com
FaceBook Page: Facebook.com/Queen
Wikipedia Page: Wikipedia.org/FreddieMercury
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