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Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballe / Barcelona: Special Edition

Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé / Barcelona: The Special Edition25 years after the original release, BarcelonaFreddie Mercury’s collaboration with Spanish operatic soprano Montserrat Caballé – is to have a special reissue on 3 September 2012 in an entirely newly orchestrated re-working.

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.

However, the album did give Freddie 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.

As well as a single CD release, a four-disc deluxe set will include a CD of early demos and a couple of alternative takes including 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.

Full symphonic orchestral score

Mercury recorded his original album almost entirely on keyboards. This 2012 special edition replaces his and co-writer and producer Mike Moran’s synthesised 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).

In addition to the orchestral score performed 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.

Book and Blu-ray

Freddie Mercury / The Great Pretender DVD and Blu-rayArriving at the same time will be a major new documentary The Great Pretender (24 September) and a new book, Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender – A Life in Pictures (3 September). As well as containing captivating shots of Freddie and revealing the many sides of his colourful life, the book package also includes additional CD containing a rare interview by Mary Turner in which Mercury candidly discusses his life of stardom.

Pre-order:

Track listings:

Standard single CD release

CD: Barcelona – The Special Edition Newly 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 Edition – 3CD+ 1DVD

Disc 1: (CD) 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: (CD) 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)

  • 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: (CD) Barcelona – The Special Edition   Album Orchestral Version

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5 responses to Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballe / Barcelona: Special Edition

  1. Lazlo Nibble says:

    Interesting idea for a reissue…but NONE of the original album tracks? Even on the four-disc version? Is there some kind of licensing weirdness going on here or what?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Yeah, you’d think they’d have included the original with the 4-disc version. You have early demos, new orchestral but not the actual 87 released version. Strange.

  2. Ron says:

    Not to mention that the demos etc were already released in 2000 on his Solo box set compilation.
    I think I will still buy it though :)

  3. Paul Kent says:

    I’m actually looking forward to this. The thing that always distracts me on the original album is the synth strings/orchestra, so to have a new issue with full orchestral backing will be great. Single disc for me, though, as I have the 10-disc, 2-DVD box from 2000 with all the demos already.

  4. Catweazle says:

    Did anyone buy the ridiculously-priced 200-only “Barcelona” Deluxe Box Set containing the vinyl LP, a lot of rubbish like “exclusive art prints”, a T-shirt and the like, plus a numbered red vinyl 7″ of “Exercises” (exclusive to this box set)? Well I did (because I’m a fool), but after Brian May’s horrible collaborations with that musical chick (Kelly Erris?) and Roger Taylor’s “The Lot” debacle I think I’ll bow out until they choose to release something decent again.

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