The song was performed by Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballe, who Freddie declared to be one of the most beautiful women he ever met. Caballe requested that Freddie write a song about her hometown, and he did so, in Barcelona, a song about meeting a lover in a breathtakingly beautiful city. Mercury had befriended the operatic soprano Montserrat Caballe and had long admired her music. In 1987 and 1988 they recorded a whole album of pop-operatic material.
Suggestion credit: James - Vancouver, Canada
This was supposed to be the theme song for the 1992 Summer Olympic Games held in Barcelona, Spain; however, the organizers chose another song at the last minute due to Freddie Mercury's untimely death at the end of 1991 from AIDS, to avoid controversy. However, the song was still performed at the opening ceremonies, Caballe performing live to a backing track featuring Freddie's vocals.
This was originally released in 1987 peaking at #8 in the UK. When it was re-issued in 1992 to coincide with the Olympic Games in Barcelona, it reached #2.
Freddie Mercury wrote this song with Mike Moran, who is a musician and composer best known for performing in partnership with Lynsey De Paul on the UK entry in the 1977 Eurovision Song Contest. Their song "Rock Bottom" came second in the contest and went on to become a big hit throughout Europe.