Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Barcelona re-release - What the @#8! did they do????

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Posted: 31 Aug 12, 10:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

La Japonaise at 4.18.
Some of the end vocal creeps briefly in and sticks out BADLY like a sore thumb.
Was this intentional or a major cock up?
Either way it's extremely jarring.

As for the rest of the album, well it's quite delicate on the whole and by that I mean that in quite a few parts where the listener is expecting "OOMPH", there's sadly a whimper instead.

The Fallen Priest, however, is superb and I'm glad about that as it's always been my favorite track.

I've approached this with an open mind (Wouldn't have bought it otherwise) and so desperately wanted to give it praise but I'm sorry, I can't as it fails in a number of places for me: by that what I mean is it jars me when it shouldn't.
I suspect I'll ultimately end up sticking with the original, but I've only listened the once andit may grow on me yet.

Now. Can you please cater for the fans and remaster the original like you did for the Queen albums and make it shine ?



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Posted: 31 Aug 12, 10:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

How can somebody have it already ? Amazon is not fair :-(

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Posted: 31 Aug 12, 11:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Probably he many times listened to Barcelona sampler, you know :-)


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Posted: 31 Aug 12, 13:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The deluxe 4-disc edition has arrived today and I have to say that I like it very much.

But...

The quality of the DVD is not exactly what I was expecting. My hope was that the little documentary which was also on the youtube channel would be on the DVD in a longer format.

On the other hand the orchestra has done a good job and is a good replacement for the synthesizers !

I'm not really an audio expert, and hope read here some more critics (good or bad) about this release.

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Posted: 31 Aug 12, 13:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Got my copy today (jpc.de) - and like it a lot! Sounds great on a decent hifi system. And it has dynamics. Sometimes it seems strange, but I guess that's because my ears got used to the original sound. I'll listen again...

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Posted: 31 Aug 12, 13:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

someone share your copies on other resource please


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Posted: 31 Aug 12, 14:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

We'll get it from Rutracker. Stay tuned since September 3rd.


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Posted: 31 Aug 12, 16:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I got my copy from Amazon today and spent the whole evening listening.

I think that the orchestra versions of most songs are done quite well. The sound is clear and deep and the orchestra music is true to the orignal arrangements. Unfortunately the voices are drowned in some places which ruins some delicate parts, most notably in "La Japonaise" and "The Fallen Priest".

For some reason "Ensueno" was not given the orchestra treatment but is still mainly a piano -voices song like the original. Instead they added "Exercises in Free Love" which was not on the original album being the same song. Now we have Ensueno with piano and "Exercise" with a mighty orchestra which makes it a very odd song interchanging Freddie's "yahoo, yahoo" with Swansea-like orchestra which does not fit at all in my opinion. Why they did not "re-orchestra" "Ensueno" is everybody's guess but the album simply does not need the same song twice.

Which brings us to the bonus track: "How Can I Go On" with David Garrett. Now David Garrett is definitely an undisputed great violinist but sadly he is also one of these modern sell-out artists who play anything and anywhere if only their faces are on TV. On "How Can I Go On" he plays a violin solo and additional violin which sound like a Vienna coffehouse violinist from the turn of the century. I do not know whose idea it was but the person who came up with the idea cannot possibly ever have listened properly to the song which is full of sadness, loneliness and dispair. In fact it would have been enough to have listened to the other version of the song on the same album to realise that this kind of violin simply contradicts the whole mood of the song. Lost are the delicate vocals by Freddie and Montserrat. Luckily the so-called bonus is the last song and can very easily be skipped. Imo the album would be much better if the bonus and "Exercises" had been left out or at least relegated to a bonus CD. There was no need to destroy the original dramatic flow of the songs.

Disc 2 has the rarities and demos. It is very cool that finally "Exercises" with Montserrat's vocals - b-side to the Barcelona single - has been released. It was missing on the Freddie box for no reason (other than it was probably forgotten), so I am very happy it was included this time. The other demos have all been already released on the rarities 2 disc of the Freddie box but many newer fans do not own the box and the selection is quite good. They give a good first impression of the fantastic work Freddie could do in a studio.

The best part of Disc 3 - the DVD - is the Ku Club version of Barcelona although they did not have a real good copy. It is always better to have a bad copy than none imo.

Disc 4 is the orchestral version of the original album with no bonus and I have not yet listened. I have to admit that I am not much interested in a Freddie-less Freddie album but I will check if "Ensueno" is the same arrangement as "Exercise" on disc 1. Surely I am not complaining about an additional CD only because I do not care about it. Until today I never listened to the "instrumental mixes" of the Freddie box, either :-)

Another thing I have to criticize is the chaos in the liner notes, mainly the credits and lists of studios which are apparently all lumped together for the original album and the new release.

Actually, I was very sceptical about the whole project, it always makes me suspicious when someone claims that they act on behalf of Freddie's artistic legacy and not for profit. Certainly Freddie would have used an orchestra if he had wanted to but he must have had good reasons to record the album the way he did it. However, these new songs are definitely worth to listen to, much is done very well and there is always reason for criticism, mainly from old fans with very long standing listening habits.


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Posted: 31 Aug 12, 22:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

What do you mean by a "Freddie-less" Freddie album? Or am I confused by what the contents are...I can't recall at the moment sorry. Also the reason the original studio l.p. was probably recorded with keyboards was that it did not make as much sense financially to record with a real orchestra at the time. I can't imagine that this release at the time did all that great in sales...though I certainly could be wrong. I love it all though so don't get wrong in any way!

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Posted: 31 Aug 12, 22:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

2AlexRocks:
There's no Freddie's voice on the intrumental version of the album from CD4, so it doesn't have any connection with him at all.

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Posted: 01 Sep 12, 02:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

AlexRocks - we do not know why Freddie did not use an orchestra but money was likely not the reason. Remember the recording of ANATO which was apparently very expensive at a time when the band was actually broke and had just bought out of the Trident contract with a very unsure future ahead. Somehow I do not believe that the 1987 Freddie was afraid that the investment would not pay. After all, he was about to risk the reputation he had worked so hard for, so I do not believe that money was such an issue but we will never know that.

I cannot imagine the Pablo Picasso estate commissioning a painter to repaint Picasso's work because colours and canvasses are so much better these days and Picasso could not afford such good material. There is always fine line when you mess with the art of a dead person and claiming he could not do what he ultimately wanted to do is a gross disrespect imo. I would feel better if the box contained the original album or a remaster of the original album to give a new audience a chance to compare the original as Freddie released it and the orchestra version which is certainly a good album but it would not exist if not for the genius and boldness of the creator of this music. I am not against this project per se, I am certainly against the way it is sold to the public.


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Posted: 01 Sep 12, 04:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Very good point about the 'Freddie-less' instrumental album - on a previous thread I compared it to one of those 'royal philharmonic plays the music of...' albums. Basically it's a bit pointless.

Do the sleeve notes say if Mike Moran's original piano parts have been retained on the new version, or have they re-recorded those for no reason at all?

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Posted: 01 Sep 12, 06:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

@YourValentine .

After reading Peter Freestone book it gave me the feeling that maybe Freddie was in a rush making "Barcelona" because he wanted to see it done , "capturing her voice", and let's remember that he was ill at the time, and if the album take long time to record maybe he wouldn't see it finished.


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Posted: 01 Sep 12, 06:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

YourValentine wrote:I cannot imagine the Pablo Picasso estate commissioning a painter to repaint Picasso's work because colours and canvasses are so much better these days and Picasso could not afford such good material.


Plus, for the analogy to be complete, the new paintings should be marketed as 'the way Picasso wanted them' or 'the way they should have been.'

YourValentine wrote:I am not against this project per se, I am certainly against the way it is sold to the public.


That's exactly my opinion on the matter; and on 'Made in Heaven' as well.


John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 01 Sep 12, 07:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Let's wait for the new Queen-album, "Mr. Bad Guy" to be released. Freddie would've wanted it that way.

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Posted: 01 Sep 12, 07:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Pim Derks wrote: Let's wait for the new Queen-album, "Mr. Bad Guy" to be released. Freddie would've wanted it that way.

Actually Brian's guitar and Roger's drumming would help the songs from the album :-)

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Posted: 01 Sep 12, 07:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



cmsdrums wrote: Very good point about the 'Freddie-less' instrumental album - on a previous thread I compared it to one of those 'royal philharmonic plays the music of...' albums. Basically it's a bit pointless.

Do the sleeve notes say if Mike Moran's original piano parts have been retained on the new version, or have they re-recorded those for no reason at all?


Mike Moran's contribution - it is not clear from the liner notes which recordings are new and which are not new. Apparently all old non-vocal tracks were removed and replaced except for John Deacon's bass on How Can I Go On - or not?

Look for yourself:

Original Barcelona liner notes:

All keyboards: Mike Moran
Bass guitar on 'How Can I Go On'
by John Deacon
Assisted on 'Barcelona' by:
Homi Kanga, Violin; Laurie Lewis, Violin;
Deborah Ann Johnston, Cello;
Barry Castle, Horn; Frank Ricoffi, Percussion.
Assisted on 'The Golden Boy' by:
Backing vocals:
Madeline Bell, Debbie Bishop,
Lance Ellington, Mirian Stockley,
Peter Straker, Mark Williamson,
Carol Woods

New liner notes:

All Piano and Hammond Organ by Mike Moran.
except Piano on 'How Can I Go On' by Stuart
Morley. Bass guitar on 'How Can I Go On' by
John Deacon. Drums on 'The Golden Boy' and
'How Can I Go On' by Rufus Taylor.
Koto by Naoko Kikuchi
All backing vocals by Freddie Mercury except
assisted on 'The Golden Boy' by Madeline
Bell, Debbie Bishop, Lance Ellington, Miriam
Stockley, Peter Straker, Mark Williamson, Carol
Woods.


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Posted: 01 Sep 12, 07:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I expect Mr Bad guy will be released by Island records next (they'll want to capitalise on re-releases as expected), but in what form?

Whilst I'll be over the moon for a deluxe set with remastered album, I'll also be mighty pissed at the fact they'd remastered that but not Barcelona...

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Posted: 01 Sep 12, 07:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

@ Ozz - the Barcelona album was recorded over approx 18 months, so time was perhaps not an issue. There can be many reasons why Freddie chose not to use a full orchestra. He may have wanted the full control at any time, he may have not been able to write the proper sheet music for an orchestra, he may not have wanted so many musicians involved - we do not know. The only thing that truly annoys me is that we are told that Freddie made a second rate album because he did not have the means to do it better. This means that it took Jim Beach and the musical director of the WWRY musical(!) to "lift what was already an outstanding record into a whole new stratosphere" (quoted Rhys Thomas from the Barcelona 2012 booklet). No disrespect to Mr. Morley but he is only a paid session musician standing on the shoulder of a giant.


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Posted: 01 Sep 12, 08:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think the reasons why Freddie chose not to use and orchestra have been commented by both Mike Moran and David Richards a number of times.


John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.