Home | Disclaimer

 

Starmus Festival
Thu, Apr 11th, 2024

Starmus Festival with special guest Brian May, Bratislava, May 12 2024.
Read more...


Uk Convention Update
Tue, Mar 19th, 2024

We are more than excited to announce a very special convention guest! A man who worked alongside both Smile and Queen for many years – Mr JOHN HARRIS!
Read more...


Queen Rock Montreal
Fri, Mar 15th, 2024

“Live and Dangerous in 1981”. Following record-breaking IMAX Event Cinema worldwide release, Queen to release Queen Rock Montreal
Read more...


 

News of the World

BARCELONA - Special edition press release.
Tue, Jul 10th, 2012

 

 

 

EPK here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1Umy0azDV0&feature=youtu.be

Island Records announce the release on 3rd September 2012 of a special 25th Anniversary edition of Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé’s classic ‘Barcelona’ album.

“I’m moving into opera now. Forget rock and roll”. Freddie Mercury. 1987.

25 years after the original release of the lead single, Queen singer Freddie Mercury’s most self-defining and personal work, his ‘Barcelona’ album recorded in collaboration with Spanish operatic soprano Montserrat Caballé, is to have a special re-release in an entirely newly orchestrated re-working.

The special anniversary version of the album ‘Barcelona – The Special Edition’ is released September 3, coming around what would have been the singer’s 66th birthday.

The original Barcelona album, named after the Spanish city who would host the Olympics in 1992 and for which Mercury had been asked to write the theme song, was to become the final solo work Mercury would complete.

The title was also a tribute to the home city of his beloved recording partner Montserrat Caballé with whom Freddie was captivated and had planned to perform the title song with at the opening of the 1992 Olympics opening ceremony. Sadly Mercury passed away eight months before this could happen.

But the album gave Mercury a million selling record and posthumously a chart topping single when the song Barcelona was chosen by BBC TV as its title music to its coverage of the Olympics.

One of the most audacious, and groundbreaking musical collaborations of the 80’s, ‘Barcelona’ was for Freddie the embodiment of his long held fantasy of combining rock and opera and realizing his dream of collaborating with the woman of whom he said after first seeing her performing at London’s Royal Opera House in 1981, ‘I have now heard the best voice in the world’.

Freddie had gone to the Opera House to see Luciano Pavarotti in Verdi’s ‘Un ballo in maschera’. Freddie had heard him on record but never seen him live. However, as impressive as Pavarotti clearly was, it was the mezzo soprano who blew Freddie away.

He was later to play his manager Jim Beach a record of Montserrat Caballé. “I wish to record with her”, Freddie told an astonished Jim. “Please arrange it.”

Beach arranged a first meeting, at the Ritz hotel in Barcelona.

Freddie took with him pianist / arranger, Mike Moran, together with a demo recording they had prepared for Montserrat entitled “Exercises in Free Love” which Freddie had sung in falsetto imitating her voice.  Freddie’s team had arranged for a massive PA system to be installed in the garden at the Ritz where they met and Freddie played his demo to Montserrat the moment she arrived.  “Could I sing it next Sunday at my recital at Covent Garden?” Montserrat asked on hearing it.  They rehearsed it then and there and the album Barcelona was born.

Nicely completing the circle between that first encounter between Freddie and Montserrat, this new edition brings to the album for the first time as an extra track Freddie’s original vocal performance of ‘Exercises in Free Love’ which Montserrat heard in the garden of the Ritz and formed the seed of their collaboration.

The ‘Barcelona’ Special Edition album will be at the centre of a new groundswell of interest in the work of the late singer who died in November 1991 and  in whose memory his birthday is now marked each year with the HIV AIDS fundraising day, ‘Freddie For A Day’.

Arriving at the same time will be a major new documentary “The Great Pretender” and a freshly authored and illustrated book, “Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender - A Life in Pictures” which is released on September 3rd (Goodman,£25).

The re-created Barcelona album is being hailed as the version Mercury would have wanted to make at the time had he felt able to work with a full symphony orchestra

Mercury recorded his original album almost entirely on keyboards. This 2012 special edition replaces Mercury and co-writer and producer Mike Moran’s synthesized arrangements with a full symphonic orchestral score performed by the eighty piece FILMharmonic Orchestra, Prague, one of the most sought after recording orchestras in Central  Europe, featuring leading members from Czech foremost orchestras (Czech Philharmonic, Prague Symphony).

Called on to transcribe and re-orchestrate the Mercury and Montserrat Caballé tracks which featured on the original album was arranger and music director Stuart Morley whose connection with Queen and Mercury lie in his MD role of the band’s hit musical We Will Rock You. Morley is at the heart of this new special edition of the album; alongside Queen sound engineer Kris Fredriksson, Morley is also its producer.

Morley set about creating a new score by “basically listening to the album over and over in short sections and noting down the harmonic structure, lead orchestral lines and instrumental voicings along with the vocal lines. I then proceeded to expand into making a full orchestral score (with a 2B pencil, ruler and erases –the old fashioned way) working at the piano and constantly referring back to the original recordings to make sure the work I was doing remained faithful to Freddie and Mike Moran’s original intentions.”

Morley also cites as important references along the way:  “Rimsky Korsakov's treatise on orchestration as well as various orchestral scores including Tchaikovsky's 4th symphony, Scheherzade and Dubussy's La Mer. It was important to me,” he says, “that the re-orchestration was constructed and voiced in an authentic classical style whilst remaining faithful to the sound world of the original album.”

After months at the pencil and eraser, Morley arrived at the first day of recording in Prague. “I remember feeling a mixture of nerves and excitement when I made the short walk from the hotel to the studio. Hearing just over 80 people tune up before striking the first notes when the conductor gives their first downbeat is always slightly nerve racking for an arranger, but these feeling were amplified ten-fold because of my knowledge, respect and admiration of the original album and its creators.

“I'll never forget the wave of emotion that hit me later on that day when I was handed the headphones while we were recording one of the tutti sections from ‘The Fallen Priest’ (which was incidentally the biggest and most challenging orchestration to complete) and I felt the sheer power of the orchestra giving it their all, with Freddie and Montserrat soaring over the top of it. That was the moment I knew that we were a part of something really special.”

In addition to the orchestral score performed by the Prague FILMharmonic Orchestra, other live instruments have been added for the first time. Naoko Kikuchi, one of the few koto players in the western world, flew especially to London to add the ancient oriental instrument to ‘La Japonaise’. Rufus Taylor, Queen band member Roger Taylor’s son, has replaced the drum machines on ‘The Golden Boy’ and ‘How Can Go On’ with live percussion. The latter song also boasts a new violin solo from classical violinist David Garrett joining Queen’s John Deacon’s original bass part.

‘Barcelona - The Special Edition’ is finally the album it should have been. The world will undoubtedly rediscover and fall in love with it all over again.  The only downside is that the visionary behind this masterpiece is sadly not around to hear it too.

The album will be available in CD & Deluxe CD and Digital formats to include bonus audio and DVD extras. See track listings.

‘Barcelona- The Special Edition’ album release is accompanied by a brand new TV/DVD documentary ‘The Great Pretender’ (Eagle Rock) focusing on Freddie’s solo career and life outside Queen produced and directed by Rhys Thomas. The documentary features never-before-seen footage of Freddie, including hilarious and emotional interviews re-discovered in the Queen archives for the first time recently. ‘The Great Pretender’ is released on DVD & Blu-ray on September 24.

The illustrated book ‘Freddie Mercury The Great Pretender: A Life In Pictures’ (Goodman) containing captivating shots of Freddie and revealing the many sides of hiscolourful life is published September 5. The book package also includes additional CD of a rare interview by Mary Turner in which Freddie candidly discusses his life of stardom.

www.freddiemercury.com www.freddieforaday.com

 

BARCELONA FORMATS

CD & Deluxe CD and Digital

BARCELONA – THE SPECIAL EDITION

NEW ORCHESTRATED ALBUM

1. Barcelona

2. La Japonaise

3. The Fallen Priest

4. Ensueno

5. The Golden Boy

6. Guide Me Home

7. How Can I Go On

8. Exercises In Free Love

9. Overture Piccante

Bonus Track

10. How Can I Go On Feat. David Garrett

 

DELUXE ALBUM – 3 CD DISCS & 1 DVD

Disc 1 – Barcelona – The Special Edition – New Orchestrated album

1. Barcelona

2. La Japonaise

3. The Fallen Priest

4. Ensueno

5. The Golden Boy

6. Guide Me Home

7. How Can I Go On

8. Exercises In Free Love

9. Overture Piccante

Bonus Track

10. How Can I Go On Feat. David Garrett

 

Disc 2: The Best of the Rarities & Session Out-takes

1. Exercises In Free Love (1987 B-side)

2. Barcelona (Early Version: Freddie's Demo Vocal)

3. La Japonaise (Early Version: Freddie's Demo Vocal)

4. Rachmaninov's Revenge (The Fallen Priest) (Later Version: Freddie's Demo Vocal)

5. Ensueno - Monsterrat's Live Takes

6.The Golden Boy (Early Version: Freddie's Demo Vocal)

7.Guide Me Home / How Can I Go On (Alternative Versions)

8.How Can I Go On (Alternative Piano Version)

Disc 3: – DVD Disc

1.Ku Club Ibiza Performance – Barcelona

2. La Nit Barcelona Performance - Barcelona (5m46s)

How Can I Go On (3m58s)

The Golden Boy (5m58s)

3. Barcelona – Classic Video 4m25s

4. Barcelona – The Special Edition EPK

5. Barcelona – 2012 edit by Rhys Thomas 4m49s

Disc 4: – Barcelona – The Special Edition   Album Orchestral Version

BARCELONA – The Special Edition

Credits (edited):

Orchestrations by Stuart Morley.

Based on the original arrangements by Mike Moran and Freddie Mercury.

FILMharmonic Orchestra, Prague.

Conducted by Adam Klemens.

Music Contractor: Petr Pycha.

except ‘Exercises In Free Love’ Conducted by Stuart Morley.

Produced by Kris Fredriksson and Stuart Morley.

Original production by Freddie Mercury, Mike Moran and David Richards, except ‘Exercises In Free Love’ original production by Mike Moran.

All songs written and composed by Freddie Mercury and Mike Moran except lyrics on ‘Ensueño’ by Montserrat Caballé and lyrics on ‘The Fallen Priest’ and ‘The Golden Boy’ by Tim Rice.

 


<< Back to News Main Page
 
 
No records were found!

  The Official International Queen Fan Club | P.O.Box 141 | West Horsley | Surrey KT24 9AS | +44 (0) 1483 281995 Site Powered by: GSL Technologies Inc.