Friday Song: Freddie Mercury & Montserrat Caballe

Did you know that Freddie Mercury recorded an album with famed opera singer Montserrat Caballe entitled “Barcelona”? I didn’t either. At least not until around 1995 when I chanced upon the disc at Amoeba. Am I an opera fan? Yes — when I like it. And I LOVE this amazing collaboration from 1988. Commissioned to write a song for the Summer Olympics to be held there, Mercury and Caballe got on so well together that he decided to fashion a whole album around their unique skills. Although Mercury’s famed band, Queen, was true operatic rock, he finally put himself on stage with a genuine powerhouse in the genre. Released in 1988, the eight track disc didn’t make a dent in America, although the single “Barcelona” was a giant international hit. Easy to hear why. This is one of my music treasures, a melodic soaring expanse of triumph and tragedy filtered through Mercury’s soulfull chops and Caballe’s angelic voice. I don’t think Mercury ever looked or sounded better, and it’s clear the unique duo adore each other as you can see in the video for one of my favored tracks, “The Golden Boy,” a gospelesque paen to the curse and power of Art. When “Barcelona” was re-released in 1992, a year after Freddie Mercury’s tragic death, it immediately flew into the US Top Ten — a fitting place for his final, most beautiful music. And Montserrat Caballe refused to perform the songs again without him. Opera, indeed.

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13 Responses to “Friday Song: Freddie Mercury & Montserrat Caballe”

  1. christian Says:

    LexG WAS Here.

  2. Seriously, Christian, if I had a blog I’d post all kinds of threads about Kirsten Dunst and Kristen Stewart and female toes and stuff

    You should add some of that, you’d get more hits.

  3. frankenbooth Says:

    If this pairing were a food, it would be a strawberry and olive casserole.

    • christian Says:

      I’m not sure that sounds too inviting…So what in Puccini’s name are you saying? That you don’t get goosebumps from the pop gospel opera fusion?

  4. Frank B Says:

    Hay, maybe I LIKE strawberry/olive casserole…

  5. Frank B Says:

    Hay, maybe I can’t spel.

  6. hay, maybe frankb has been out wandering the green fields amidst the cow patties with a little basket to hold a certain kind of fungi

  7. Frank B Says:

    Let’s just say that both the casserole and this project require very, um, specific palates and leave it at that.

  8. We love them , and we can see they loved each other a lot:) I miss you Freddie!

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