The Golden Boy

uDiscoverMusic.com brings you exclusive editorial for each single included in the Messenger Of The Gods:

‘The Golden Boy’ [Single Edit]/‘The Fallen Priest’ [B-side Edit] (1988)

The Barcelona album, a collaboration between Freddie and the Catalan soprano Montserrat Caballé, opened doors for both singers. Just as her duet with Freddie on the monster smash title track introduced opera singer to a new audience, so did it allow Freddie to explore the dramatic style that he’d first dabbled with on Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.

“With the Barcelona album I had a little more freedom and a bit of scope to try out some of my crazy ideas,” Freddie later recalled. “Montserrat kept telling me that she found a new lease of life and a newfound freedom. Those were her own words and I was very taken by it.”

‘The Golden Boy’, the second single taken from Barcelona, begins with Freddie and Montserrat telling the story of a young man and girl whose lives intertwine, as they meet and fall in love. The first section features a strong narrative in the operatic style, leading into a tender second part: an intimate love song in which each takes turn to tell the other the reasons for their infatuation. “I love you for your silence, I love you for your peace,” Freddie proffers, to which Montserrat responds: “I love you for your passion, I love you for your fire.” At this point, gospel choirs and chords explode; in the accompanying video, shot on stage in front of a live audience in 1988, Caballé can barely contain her ecstasy at the energy of the piece.

Like a true tragic opera, just as it seems as though there might be a happy ending, it all comes crashing down, as the opening section is reprised and revised to recount how the couple eventually fell apart: “The words that made them happy once now echoed – echoed as a curse.”

Paul McGuinness