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Flash Gordon (Soundtrack)

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  • Oh my. To say this Queen album was full of good cheezy fun is quite the understatement. In essance, this album typifies the big budget movies of the late 70’s/early 80’s quite well with it’s hugely dramatic and sprawling guitar riffs akin to that of some kind of electrified opera. It’s as if their hit BOHEIMIAN RHAPSODY had spawned an entire album, or more to the point, it’s as if it was THIS album that actually produced it, because most of the music on this album is just that kind of kitschy, grand drama that we loved as kids of the time period. We loved that about Queen… ready to do opera at a moment’s notice, if only someone would give the fat lady a Fender electric guitar.This soundtrack is of the type i love most… the muscial score trimmed with bits of dialogue from the film itsself. It’s like listening to a condensed version of the film, with all the good stuff left in. In fact, when I was a young lad, I had actually recorded parts of the movie on my old boombox for listening later, and was VERY surprised to find that in comparison, both my recording and the actual soundtrack were damn near IDENTICAL. Perhaps the album contains the most interesting bits of the film after all?I have to admit, to fully enjoy this Queen offering, you really do have to like the movie. If you don’t, you will simply be bored to tears.The best tracks for me are “In The Space Capsule” with a driving drum beat, “In The Death Cell” with it’s dream like simplicity and any of the tracks dealing with the battle scenes at the end of the film. I admit, it’s kinda hard to describe this album in terms of tracks, because any individual track doesn’t seem to stand up on it’s own as a song, and isn’t terribly interesting to listen to out of sequence or without knowledge of the film’s storyline.Even when Freddie Mercury makes a vocal appearance on the album it feels like a last minute thing, like somehow it’s being revealed that Queen was indeed the providers of music. It’s not his best…even the “Boheimian Rhapsody”-ish “The Hero” is just a gentle rip-off of the far superior source material.This album was re-released on cd in 1991 with a bonus track by Mista Lawnge, which if you ask me, is totally pointless and totally uniteresting. If we needed a bonus track for this album why didn’t we include the Queen single “Flash Gordon” which did get airplay and was what got me interested in the movie in the first place? It’s nowhere to be seen. Personally, I have programmed my cd player to skip the Mista Lawnge offering with minimal effort.Basically, this album is probably for either total Queen-philes or anyone who really enjoyed the goofy movie… of which I am both. You may want to weigh this before purchasing.

    Posted on February 26, 2010