This Special Edition of the Barcelona album was reworked in 2012 to replace the previous instrumental tracks with new, live symphonic orchestration and percussion, rather than synthesizers and drum machines used on the original album. Specially arranged by Queen orchestral arranger Stuart Morley, the 80-piece Prague FILMharmonic Orchestra now performs the symphonic score, while Rufus Taylor – the son of Queen's Roger Taylor – plays drums on "The Golden Boy" and "How Can I Go On," a track that also features John Deacon's bass guitar. The Special Edition of the Barcelona album is now waiting to be rediscovered by fans of Freddie and Montserrat.
Without question, Barcelona was one of Freddie Mercury's most ambitious, challenging and at once, courageous undertakings. He regarded it as one of the most rewarding projects of his career, and among those of which he was most proud. Working with Montserrat Caballé was the realization of a dream he never really expected to come to fruition. "Barcelona" (the song) was recorded in April 1987 and was first performed by Freddie and Montserrat at the Ku Club in Ibiza on May 30, 1987. It was the finale to the worldwide Ibiza 92 festival. The hugely emotional reception it received from the Spanish audience, spurred Freddie and Montserrat to push on with the project, and "Barcelona" became a fitting title track to the album which was to follow, and a worldwide hit.
The Barcelona album was recorded over an 18 month period between January 1987 and July 1988, at both Townhouse studios in London and Mountain studios in Switzerland, and was produced by Freddie, Mike Moran and David Richards. Barcelona is a truly unique collection. It is a greatly underrated piece of work, too often overlooked in preference to the more pop-orientated, in-vogue records Freddie made. In terms of sheer musicality and vocal virtuosity, it is unsurpassed. It remains a firm favorite among fans and is generally regarded as a Freddie Mercury showcase – a vocal, musical and lyrical tour de force. In addition to the title track, two other songs were issued as singles - "The Golden Boy" and "How Can I Go On."