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View Full Version : Two major releases from Freddie Mercury this September!


Michael Allred
07-13-12, 09:17 AM
Eagle Rock Entertainment are proud to announce the release on 24 September 2012 (US release, September 25th) of the Freddie Mercury DVD and Blu-ray, “The Great Pretender.”

Created by the same team behind last year’s widely acclaimed “Queen: Days of Our Lives” BBC documentary, “The Great Pretender” in similar vein presents a compelling insight into its subject matter, unearthing previously undiscovered or rarely seen footage and presented for the first time in Hi Definition.

Produced and directed by Rhys Thomas, life-long Queen fan and expert (to the extent that Rhys famously broke the Mastermind all time record points score with a specialist subject of Queen), Rhys has this time turned his attention to the Freddie archive, going back as early as 1976 in search of vintage gems which reveal more than ever before the inside story of Freddie’s life and career and the solo projects he worked on outside of Queen.

The extensive archive footage is drawn from rare interviews with Freddie, concerts, video shoots and personal material, much of it being seen for the first time, along with newly filmed contributions from fellow Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor, Queen manager Jim Beach, soprano Montserrat Caballé, composers David Arnold and Mike Moran, lyricist Tim Rice, comedian and lifelong fan Matt Lucas and many more.

From it emerges a portrait of a man who was very different to his flamboyant onstage public persona.

Among the treasures to be anticipated, “The Great Pretender” includes for the first time ever Freddie and Rod Stewart singing their demo for “Take Another Piece of My Heart”, an unreleased song from 1984, a snippet of the unreleased Michael Jackson / Freddie Mercury collaboration “There Must Be More To Life Than This”, and Freddie with the Royal Ballet 1979 – never seen in full before.

Rhys, whose extensive scouting for lost material turned up a copy of the band’s first TV appearance among the belongings of late comedian Dick Emery, brings to the light Freddie’s earliest filmed interview from 1976 unearthed in Australia and another unseen interview from 1976 filmed by NBC in the USA.

Rhys also found 10 cans of Freddie’s 39th Black and White birthday party in Mrs Henderson’s nightclub in Munich in 1985. Originally filmed for the video for “Living On My Own” and promptly banned by Freddie’s record company because of its cross-dressing theme, there’s much to be enjoyed in watching Freddie and his friends go full out in their efforts to help Freddie celebrate his last birthday before turning 40.

On top of this, “The Great Pretender” has a feast of outtakes from the video shoots for “I Want To Break Free”, “One Vision”, “Days of Our Lives”, “I Want It All”, “A Kind Of Magic”, “Princes of the Universe”, “Living on My Own”, Born To Love You”, “Great Pretender”, “Made In Heaven”, and “Who Wants to Live Forever”.

As bonus features [that will not make up part of the version to be broadcast by the BBC] the programme includes “Freddie Mercury Goes Solo” and an extended interview with Montserrat Caballé

Coinciding with the release of “The Great Pretender” DVD will come the release of the new new book, also entitled “The Great Pretender” with matching artwork, in September. The Savoy Hotel hosts the second “Freddie For A Day” charity event on September 3 in aid of The Mercury Phoenix Trust – Fighting Aids Worldwide and there is a special premiere of “The Great Pretender” film at BAFTA on September 6.

Freddie Mercury was one of the most charismatic, complex and fascinating characters in British rock music. A generous, caring, thoughtful man with a self-deprecating sense of humour and a genuine passion for music. Freddie Mercury touched the lives of millions through his career both with Queen and as a solo performer and this new programme is sure to delight and inform his legions of fans as never before.

www.freddiemercury.com www.freddieforaday.com

-------

Island Records announce the release on 3rd September 2012 of a special 25th Anniversary edition of Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé’s classic ‘Barcelona’ album.

Barcelona Special Edition EPK - http://youtu.be/k1Umy0azDV0

“I’m moving into opera now. Forget rock and roll”. Freddie Mercury. 1987.

25 years after the original release of the lead single, Queen singer Freddie Mercury’s most self-defining and personal work, his ‘Barcelona’ album recorded in collaboration with Spanish operatic soprano Montserrat Caballé, is to have a special re-release in an entirely newly orchestrated re-working.

The special anniversary version of the album ‘Barcelona – The Special Edition’ is released September 3, coming around what would have been the singer’s 66th birthday.

The original Barcelona album, named after the Spanish city who would host the Olympics in 1992 and for which Mercury had been asked to write the theme song, was to become the final solo work Mercury would complete.

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.

But the album gave 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.

One of the most audacious, and groundbreaking musical collaborations of the 80’s, ‘Barcelona’ was for Freddie the embodiment of his long held fantasy of combining rock and opera and realizing his dream of collaborating with the woman of whom he said after first seeing her performing at London’s Royal Opera House in 1981, "I have now heard the best voice in the world".

Freddie had gone to the Opera House to see Luciano Pavarotti in Verdi’s ‘Un ballo in maschera’. Freddie had heard him on record but never seen him live. However, as impressive as Pavarotti clearly was, it was the mezzo soprano who blew Freddie away. He was later to play his manager Jim Beach a record of Montserrat Caballé. “I wish to record with her”, Freddie told an astonished Jim. “Please arrange it.”

Beach arranged a first meeting, at the Ritz hotel in Barcelona.

Freddie took with him pianist / arranger, Mike Moran, together with a demo recording they had prepared for Montserrat entitled “Exercises in Free Love” which Freddie had sung in falsetto imitating her voice. Freddie’s team had arranged for a massive PA system to be installed in the garden at the Ritz where they met and Freddie played his demo to Montserrat the moment she arrived. “Could I sing it next Sunday at my recital at Covent Garden?” Montserrat asked on hearing it. They rehearsed it then and there and the album Barcelona was born.

Nicely completing the circle between that first encounter between Freddie and Montserrat, this new edition brings to the album for the first time as an extra track 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.

The ‘Barcelona’ Special Edition album will be at the centre of a new groundswell of interest in the work of the late singer who died in November 1991 and in whose memory his birthday is now marked each year with the HIV AIDS fundraising day, ‘Freddie For A Day’.

Arriving at the same time will be a major new documentary “The Great Pretender” and a freshly authored and illustrated book, “Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender - A Life in Pictures” which is released on September 3rd (Goodman,£25).

The re-created Barcelona album is being hailed as the version Mercury would have wanted to make at the time had he felt able to work with a full symphony orchestra

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

Called on to transcribe and re-orchestrate the Mercury and Montserrat Caballé tracks which featured on the original album was arranger and music director Stuart Morley whose connection with Queen and Mercury lie in his MD role of the band’s hit musical We Will Rock You. Morley is at the heart of this new special edition of the album; alongside Queen sound engineer Kris Fredriksson, Morley is also its producer.

Morley set about creating a new score by “basically listening to the album over and over in short sections and noting down the harmonic structure, lead orchestral lines and instrumental voicings along with the vocal lines. I then proceeded to expand into making a full orchestral score (with a 2B pencil, ruler and erases –the old fashioned way) working at the piano and constantly referring back to the original recordings to make sure the work I was doing remained faithful to Freddie and Mike Moran’s original intentions.”

Morley also cites as important references along the way: “Rimsky Korsakov's treatise on orchestration as well as various orchestral scores including Tchaikovsky's 4th symphony, Scheherzade and Dubussy's La Mer. It was important to me,” he says, “that the re-orchestration was constructed and voiced in an authentic classical style whilst remaining faithful to the sound world of the original album.”

After months at the pencil and eraser, Morley arrived at the first day of recording in Prague. “I remember feeling a mixture of nerves and excitement when I made the short walk from the hotel to the studio. Hearing just over 80 people tune up before striking the first notes when the conductor gives their first downbeat is always slightly nerve racking for an arranger, but these feeling were amplified ten-fold because of my knowledge, respect and admiration of the original album and its creators."

“I'll never forget the wave of emotion that hit me later on that day when I was handed the headphones while we were recording one of the tutti sections from ‘The Fallen Priest’ (which was incidentally the biggest and most challenging orchestration to complete) and I felt the sheer power of the orchestra giving it their all, with Freddie and Montserrat soaring over the top of it. That was the moment I knew that we were a part of something really special.”

In addition to the orchestral score performed by the Prague FILMharmonic Orchestra, 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.

‘Barcelona - The Special Edition’ is finally the album it should have been. The world will undoubtedly rediscover and fall in love with it all over again. The only downside is that the visionary behind this masterpiece is sadly not around to hear it too.

The album will be available in CD & Deluxe CD and Digital formats to include bonus audio and DVD extras. See track listings.

‘Barcelona- The Special Edition’ album release is accompanied by a brand new TV/DVD documentary ‘The Great Pretender’ (Eagle Rock) focusing on Freddie’s solo career and life outside Queen produced and directed by Rhys Thomas. The documentary features never-before-seen footage of Freddie, including hilarious and emotional interviews re-discovered in the Queen archives for the first time recently. ‘The Great Pretender’ is released on DVD & Blu-ray on September 24. Pre-order here on Amazon.co.uk.

The illustrated book ‘Freddie Mercury The Great Pretender: A Life In Pictures’ (Goodman) containing captivating shots of Freddie and revealing the many sides of his colourful life is published September 5. The book package also includes additional CD of a rare interview by Mary Turner in which Freddie candidly discusses his life of stardom. Pre-order here on Amazon.co.uk.

http://www.freddiemercury.com / http://www.freddieforaday.com

BARCELONA FORMATS - CD & Deluxe CD and Digital

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

DELUXE ALBUM – 3 CD DISCS & 1 DVD

Disc 1 – 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: 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 Disc

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: – Barcelona – The Special Edition Album Orchestral Instrumental Version

BARCELONA – The Special Edition

Credits:

Orchestrations by Stuart Morley. Based on the original arrangements by Mike Moran and Freddie Mercury.

FILMharmonic Orchestra, Prague.

Conducted by Adam Klemens.

Music Contractor: Petr Pycha.

except ‘Exercises In Free Love’ Conducted by Stuart Morley.

Produced by Kris Fredriksson and Stuart Morley.

Original production by Freddie Mercury, Mike Moran and David Richards, except ‘Exercises In Free Love’ original production by Mike Moran.

All songs written and composed by Freddie Mercury and Mike Moran except lyrics on ‘Ensueño’ by Montserrat Caballé and lyrics on ‘The Fallen Priest’ and ‘The Golden Boy’ by Tim Rice.

Michael Allred
07-13-12, 09:18 AM
It should be noted that no US release for the new "Barcelona" album has yet been announced.

cungar
07-13-12, 12:18 PM
How much do you get paid to promote Queen on this forum?

Drexl
07-13-12, 12:53 PM
How much do you get paid to promote Queen on this forum?

He's just excited that there's news about Queen that doesn't involve a replacement singer.

arminius
07-13-12, 06:21 PM
It would be funny if this "Queen" became popular and eclipsed the Freddie Queen.

auto
07-13-12, 11:02 PM
How much do you get paid to promote Queen on this forum?

What's the problem man? For someone so concerned about the "dying" Music forum you would think you'd be happy that someone posts about their favorite artists.

I post a lot about R.E.M. and Mike Patton. Are they cool enough or should I expect snide comments?

benedict
07-14-12, 06:50 AM
I, too, am mightily tired of the snide comments, cungar. You've demonstrated that you're not part of the solution.

Anyone else tempted to come in and disrupt a thread please give some serious thought to your actions and their likely consequences.

Michael Allred
07-14-12, 11:00 AM
Man alive, it seems I cannot do anything here without certain folks targeting me for some strange reason. Sorry, these were two major announcements this week that I figured *some* folks might have wanted to learn of. I will continue to do so in a manner that is in keeping with forum rules. If certain people don't like it, please ignore me entirely in the future. I think that will keep everyone happy.

Mr. Salty
07-14-12, 01:03 PM
Man alive, it seems I cannot do anything here without certain folks targeting me for some strange reason. Sorry, these were two major announcements this week that I figured *some* folks might have wanted to learn of. I will continue to do so in a manner that is in keeping with forum rules. If certain people don't like it, please ignore me entirely in the future. I think that will keep everyone happy.

:thumbsup: Even though I don't post much in your threads, or Music Talk at all for that matter because of the negativity, I appreciate and read your threads. Queen was the first band I listened to when I started buying albums in high school. (On vinyl, pre-CD days.) In fact, "The Game" was the first rock album I ever owned.

Michael Allred
07-14-12, 02:37 PM
:thumbsup: Even though I don't post much in your threads, or Music Talk at all for that matter because of the negativity, I appreciate and read your threads. Queen was the first band I listened to when I started buying albums in high school. (On vinyl, pre-CD days.) In fact, "The Game" was the first rock album I ever owned.

"The Game" was my intro to the band actually. Still wish I could own the mirror finish vinyl.