Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé – Barcelona
“Barcelona” raised great expections even before being released, in October 1988. For many reasons, people talked a lot about it. Maybe it wasn’t really a wonderful song. They mixed world class elements, but the outcome in my opinion didn’t meet the expectations.
The producers tried other times to merge pop and opera. Just think of all the duets with Pavarotti. I mean, it could work, to merge a world class pop star like Freddie Mercury and a lady of the opera like Montserrat Caballé, for a passionate tribute to the town of Barcelona.
Freddie Mercury appreciated raids into the opera world. He had been very clear on this since the times of “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Montserrat Caballé really needed no introduction, yet.. yet it did not work. Music writers and critic welcomed the song with great warmth, but id didn’t break people’s hearts, and it did not climb the charts.
Complicated song, with an opera-like structure; Montserrat Caballé was really everything but pop, in this song (Pavarotti really was much, much more pop in every duet). Freddie Mercury seems worried to appear at the level of Mrs Caballé. And the song itself, I mean, could really be more accurate and closer to people’s tastes. Honestly, it couldn’t work.
Yet we talk about it, and we remember it for a couple of reasons. Four years later, the olympic committee will choose this song as the anthem for Barcelona Olympics in 1992. I guess that maybe this was the only real purpose of the song. But this was also the last time that Freddie Mercury recorded a song. Freddi will enter studios again to record tracks and a new album, but he will not finish, due to his medical conditions getting worse.
As we know, Freddie left us three years later, in November 1991. Montserrat Caballé left us few days ago, in October 2018.
Freddie Mercury on Wikipedia