First [a]Thin Lizzy[/a] (sort of), now [a]Ryder[/a] does his own version of [a]Barcelona[/a]...

Shaun Ryder has recorded a version of 'Barcelona', the song made famous in 1987 by Freddie Mercury and MONSTERRAT CABALLE.

The Happy Mondays frontman recorded the song last year with a tenor opera singer, described by a source close to Shaun[/b] as "the British equivalent of Pavarotti". It's thought the song will be released later this year.

Meanwhile, a close friend of Shaun has told NME how he reacted to last week's April Fools Day story that he was to join a reformed Beatles to replace the late John Lennon.

Shaun and friend heard the 'news' on Jo Whiley's Radio One show while they were driving along the motorway.

The friend said: "We looked at each other and thought 'What the fuck's that all about' and the next thing we know we've got Simon Moran (SJM promoters boss and Mondays manager) ringing up asking us why we didn't tell him.

"Shaun's all like 'Am I fuck' so he rings Simon back and says 'It's an April Fools, you wouldn't understand because you haven't got a sense of humour."

As previously reported, Shaun also rang former NME editor Steve Sutherland in a state of some bewilderment, concerned that he may have made a promise that he couldn't remember during the NME Premier Awards party where he met Sir Paul McCartnery or that NME may have been hoodwinked by an imposter.

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