Flash's Theme

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Even as they watched their eighth album, The Game, become a surprising number one record in America (their first) behind the unexpected success of the funky "Another One Bites the Dust" single, as 1980 drew to a close, Queen was preparing to explore uncharted waters: their first movie soundtrack. Some months earlier, the band had been approached by acclaimed Italian director Dino de Laurentiis, who, though previously ignorant of most things rock & roll, had become a huge Queen fan in recent years. As always, Queen was not about to do anything half-assed, and as would befit a true soundtrack, the Flash Gordon album was comprised mostly of brief, instrumental vignettes (overlaid with colorful lines from the film), with only two songs, "The Hero" and main theme "Flash," featuring any vocals. Released as a U.K. single on November 24 and in the U.S. on January 27, 1981, "Flash" (backed with "Football Fight" on both sides of the Atlantic) was a Brian May composition (indeed, the whole soundtrack was really the guitarist's baby) using bombastic multi-tracked hard rock guitar symphonies in counterpoint to May, Freddie Mercury, and Roger Taylor's chorused vocals in the classic Queen tradition. And though the single fared especially well in the U.K. charts, reaching number ten, the Flash Gordon movie itself was an unqualified bomb when it arrived in theaters, only managing to redeem itself in decades to come as a cult classic.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Flash Gordon [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] 1980 EMI Music Distribution / EMI 3:29
The A-Z of Queen, Vol. 1 2008 Hollywood 2:51
Singles Collection, Vol. 2 2009 Parlophone 1:22
Queen 40: Limited Edition Collector's Box Set, Vol. 2 2012 Hollywood / Hollywood Records (UK) / Universal Distribution 3:29
Ted [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] 2012 Universal Republic 2:31