Barcelona is the second and final studio album by Freddie Mercury and the eleventh studio album by Montserrat Caballé, released in 1988 through Polydor Records. It is the follow-up to Mercury's 1985 debut solo album Mr. Bad Guy. The album is best remembered for the Title Track, which was written as the theme song for the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. Spanish opera singer Montserrat Caballé was approached to write a song for this event since she was born there. Since she knew Mercury was a fan of her work she asked him to write the single with her. Out of these collaborations grew the idea of recording an entire album. "Barcelona" became a big hit and reached even higher chart notations when the 1992 Olympic Games finally came about. Sadly, Freddie would never experience it himself since he died about a half year before the event happened.
A special edition of the album was released in 2012, with the synthesizer instrumentals being replaced by a full orchestranote .
- "Barcelona" (5:37)
- "La Japonaise" (4:49)
- "The Fallen Priest" (5:46)
- "Ensueño" (4:27)
- "The Golden Boy" (6:04)
- "Guide Me Home" (2:49)
- "How Can I Go On?" (3:51)
- "Overture Piccante" (6:40)
If God is troping, friends until the end! Viva.... Barcelona!
- Alternate Album Cover: The original 1988 release depicts a photo of Mercury and Caballé seated against a gray backdrop, framed by a beige border. The German cassette release and the 1992 reissue depict the pair performing on-stage, framed by a dark teal border on cassette copies, with the original cover art instead appearing in the liner notes. The 2012 special edition, meanwhile, removes the duo's likenesses from the front cover and instead sports a painting of brightly colored squares with "BARCELONA" scrawled atop.
- Bilingual Bonus: "Barcelona" has lines both in English as well as Spanish. "La Japonaise" has lines in ... well, Japanese!
- Call-Back: "Overture Piccante" quotes pieces from the Title Track and all the other songs on the album.
- Careful with That Axe: Freddie and Montserrat's vocals reach incredible heights.
- Classical Music: This album is one of the more famous crossovers between rock and classical music.
- Cold Open: The first word in the Title Track is "Barcelona!"
- Crapsack World: "How Can I Go On?"Where can I be safe, where can I belong in this great big world of sadness?
- Crossover: On this album Freddie Mercury collaborated with famous opera singer Montserrat Caballé.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life:
How can I go on, from day to day?Who can make me strong in every way?Where can I be safe, where can I belong in this great big world of sadness?
- "How Can I Go On?"
In the hands of Gods who roll the diceSearching for an earthly paradiseSo hard to findWe are mortalWe are victims of our weaknesses and passionWe are reaching for the heights(I am falling, I am falling from the heights)
- "The Fallen Priest"
- Epic Rocking: The 6:04 "The Golden Boy" and 6:40 "Overture Piccante".
- Face on the Cover: Freddie and Montserrat are seen in a frame.
- Genre Mashup: This album saw pop/rock singer Freddie Mercury work together with an opera singer and the music on this album reflects this fusion between Classical Music and pop.
- George Lucas Altered Version: The 2012 special edition.
- Gospel Choirs Are Just Better: "Golden Boy" ends in a grand gospel finale.
- Gratuitous French and Gratuitous Japanese: "La Japonaise".
- Gratuitous Spanish: Naturally, since Caballé is Spanish, but Freddie too uses some Spanish loanwords here and there. The track "Ensueño" is entirely sung in Spanish.
- Hidden Depths: Montserrat actually wrote the lyrics to "Ensueño". They're not bad.
- Impossible Task: At some point while scoring the orchestra, Fred wanted the cellos to play a certain note, which his collaborator Mike Moran (himself classically trained) argued was outside that instrument's range. Freddie dismissed Mike's protestations by saying there was no rule that a synth cello couldn't play that.
- Let's Duet: Mercury and Caballé sing a lot of duets on this album, but their vocal parts were recorded separately as they often had conflicting schedules. "Ensueño", however, was recorded by both of them at the same time.
- Location Song: "Barcelona", where the protagonist met his lover and thus the city will always remind him of their love at first sight.
- Love at First Sight: "Barcelona".The moment that you stepped into the room you took my breath away
- One-Man Song: "The Fallen Priest" and "Golden Boy".
- One-Word Title: "Barcelona" and "Ensueño".
- Opera: Duh!
- The Power of Love: "Barcelona" is about two lovers who have beautiful memories about meeting one another for the first time in this Spanish city.
- Questioning Title?: "How Can I Go On?".
- Record Producer: Freddie Mercury, Mike Moran and David Richards.
- Self-Backing Vocalist: Freddie sang most of the backing vocals, but he also managed to get Montserrat to harmonise with herself, something she never thought she would do.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Freddie on the album cover.
- Solo Side Project: This album was released while Mercury was still a member of Queen. Queen bassist John Deacon plays his instrument on "How Can I Go On?".
- Special Guest: Lyricist Tim Rice note wrote the lyrics for "The Fallen Priest".
- Subliminal Seduction: "Overture Piccante" has a few lines played backwards:eurt eb dog fo namnam a ma I, nam a ma I
- There's No Place Like Home: "Guiding Me Home"Who will find me, take care and side with me?Guide me back safely to my homeWhere I belong, once more
- Title Track: "Barcelona".
- World Music: "La Japonaise" makes use of traditional Japanese musical instruments.