Amigos Para Siempre

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"Amigos Para Siempre (Friends for Life)" or "Amics per sempre" is a song written for the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. The music was composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The lyrics, written by Don Black, are in English, except for the title phrase which is repeated in English, Spanish and Catalan.

Original version[edit]

"Amigos Para Siempre"
Amigosparasiempre.jpg
Single by José Carreras
& Sarah Brightman
Released 1992
Genre Classical crossover, Operatic pop
Label Polydor
Writer(s) Andrew Lloyd Webber
Don Black
Sarah Brightman chronology
"Something to Believe In"
(1990)
"Amigos Para Siempre"
(1992)
"Captain Nemo"
(1993)

Sarah Brightman and José Carreras performed the song during the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games.[1] The duet was also released worldwide as a single to coincide with the Games. It peaked at number 11 on the UK Singles Chart and reached number 1 in Australia.[2] It was one of two musical themes for the event. The other, simply titled "Barcelona", was sung by Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé, and reached No. 2 in the UK.

A remixed version of the original, with less vocal reverb and modified balancing, was included on the compilation album Andrew Lloyd Webber: Now and Forever (2001).

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Amigos Para Siempre"
  2. Live Opening Ceremony Barcelona Olympic 1992 Games
  3. "Amigos Para Siempre" (Spanish version)
  4. "Amigos Para Siempre" (Seat Anuncio 60 aniversario) – Marujita

Chart performance[edit]

Country Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[3] 1
Belgium (VRT Top 30)[4] 44
Ireland (IRMA)[5] 16
Norway (VG-lista)[6] 10
Sweden (Topplistan)[7] 36
UK Singles Chart[8] 11
Preceded by
"Hazard" by Richard Marx
Australia ARIA Singles Chart
August 15, 1992 - September 19, 1992 (6 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Humpin' Around" by Bobby Brown

Cover versions[edit]

In Spain, the most famous rendition of this song was made by Spanish group Los Manolos with rumba arrangements and Spanish lyrics, except for the chorus. It reached number 3 in the Spanish charts.[9] It was later covered by Effie and Norman Gunston and reached the top 30 in Australia at the time.[10]

In one of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group's concerts in Beijing, China, a Chinese version of this song was performed with approximately half of the lyrics in Mandarin and half in English. In this version, Amigos Para Siempre was replaced by "永远的朋友", which is "Friends Forever" in Chinese. A fully Cantonese version was sung by George Lam.

This song was also used for the Shanghai 2007 Special Olympic Games, performed again by José Carreras and a Chinese soprano.

On Sunday, 17 August 2008 at the Don Black 70th birthday tribute concert Lyrics by Don Black, Amigos Para Siempre was performed by Jonathan Ansell and Hayley Westenra. The evening took place at the London Palladium featuring performances of Black's songs by a selection of guest artists, hosted by Michael Parkinson and was recorded by BBC Radio 2 Friday Night is Music Night and broadcast on Friday, 22 August 2008.[11]

It was the favourite song of Juan Antonio Samaranch, president of the International Olympic Committee from 1980 to 2001, and was played at his funeral in Barcelona in April 2010.[12]

In 2016, Marina Prior and Mark Vincent covered the song on their album Together

References[edit]