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How Can I Go on

12 October 1992 – Polydor re-issues a CD containing three songs from the ‘Barcelona’ album: ‘How Can I Go On’ the 7″ bw ‘The Golden Boy’ and ‘The Fallen Priest’ by Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé.

There’s no question, ‘Barcelona’ is quite simply, the greatest solo project a Queen member has yet released.

Undoubtedly, ‘How Can I Go On’ is one of Freddie’s most gorgeous songs. It’s a highlight, not only of ‘Barcelona’ but of his entire latter-day oeuvre. The song expresses the sentiments of a man searching for inspiration and guidance in the midst of emotional uncertainty. This is during a time when Freddie was thrown into inner turmoil and having to face his mortality. An extremely poignant song.

John Deacon plays bass on this song, very lovely.

‘How Can I Go On’ was remixed and reissued 12 October 1992, this time with ‘The Golden Boy,’ to capitalize on the success of the summer 1992 Olympic Games, and the consequential re-release of ‘Barcelona,’ which charted at an impressive #2 in the UK after being featured during the Olympic Games.

Unfortunately, ‘How Can I Go On’ didn’t achieve the same success, it didn’t chart at all in the UK the second time around. It’s still an incredible song.

The second song is ‘The Golden Boy’, inarguably not only of the best tracks from the ‘Barcelona’ album but also one of Freddie’s best songs he ever had a hand in writing (This track was written by Freddie Mercury and Sir Tim Rice). The Golden Boy is an epic typical of Freddie’s ambitious operatic style – love and temptation.

‘The lyrics for all these things were quite complex. Quite different. Fred and I were on this very intense writing mode. It was just full on, 7 days a week sometimes. With Montserrat, we recorded with different ways. Microphoning with opera singers is one thing, she had to stand close to the mike if singing a soft song, but yes, you tend not to mike opera singers too closely!’ ~ Mike Moran

“Freddie got in touch with me. I knew he was very into opera, I mean you could tell that from some of his work, but he was really into it. He knew the major melodies, he knew the divas and Montserrat was one of his favourite. We got on very well and then out of the blue he said to me one time: ‘Would you be interested in writing a couple of lyrics for me for the Barcelona album?’

And I was, hey, very flattered and very enthusiastic but also surprised because he writes such good lyrics himself and I thought ‘why would he want someone else?’ But perhaps he just wanted a slightly different look to one or two of the tracks. He played me the basic tracks of two of the songs. I think by then he had recorded a lot of the album already. And I said yes and I ended up doing lyrics for two of the songs for him and Montserrat (‘The Golden Boy’ and ‘The Fallen Priest’). ~ Tim Rice

Freddie was never afraid of breaking expectations in his solo career and his collaboration with opera singer Montserrat Caballé was the embodiment of this. It has the power to sooth; to haunt; to exite; to enthrall and most importantly, to connect!

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