This IS a rare album indeed. Take one Freddy Mercury - an accomplished songwriter with a flair for the dramatic - and one Montserrat Caballé - La Superba of the operatic world. Add them together and you have what can surely be described as a happy mix of two disparate entities.
Most will remember "Barcelona", the title-song of the '92 Barcelone olympics, with its combination of Mercury's kitsch Queen-esque close harmonies coupled with Caballé's running up and down of the scales. But "Barcelona" the album is more than that; it is a cohesive whole - with an almost through composed dramatic narrative (of Mercury and his co-lyricist Batt) concerning a doomed love affair between (if one reads between the lines) the rockstar idol played convincingly by Mercury and his starstruck fan/love interest played euphically by Caballé. The idea might sound ridiculous, but do give it a go. "Ensueño", a duet accompanied by Mercury alone at the piano, will break your heart. "Guide me home", arguably the CD's highlight point, will bring tears to your eyes. "How can I go on" cuts close to the bone, bearing in mind that at this time Mercury knew his end was drawing close as the AIDS virus took its grip.
This album is best listened to with a strong drink in one hand and a hanky in the other [...]