Queen
Flash Gordon


2.0
poor

Review

by Necrotica USER (194 Reviews)
May 24th, 2013 | 22 replies


Release Date: 1980 | Tracklist

Review Summary: What the hell happened?

Chapter IX: A Bizarre Diversion

Queen's eighth record The Game proved to be a massive success, primarily due to the popularity of the funk/dance single "Another One Bites the Dust." While this song (and the album, for that matter) saw Queen showing a less-bombastic side to their sound, the traditional campy sound of their old records at least remained somewhat intact. So when they got called to do the soundtrack to the 1980 sci-fi action movie Flash Gordon, it seemed like a match made in heaven. A bombastic rock group playing for a cheesy science fiction thrill ride" What could possibly go wrong with that" Well, almost everything went wrong.

This is nearly the opposite of what you'd expect from a Queen record; Freddie Mercury only sings on two tracks, and the other members are barely involved when it comes to instrumental contributions. Much of the record consists of desolate, eerie synthesizer arrangements that are frankly awkward and boring to listen to. When that isn't going on, we get laughably outdated synthpop songs that wouldn't even make it on the worst Depeche Mode or Erasure album. To be fair, there are some great tunes on here; the most memorable track is the popular "Flash's Theme." You know the one: the pounding piano/bass buildup that leads to the harmonized vocal chant, "FLASH!!! AAAAHHHHH!" The dialogue clip in the song's intro is wonderfully devious-sounding, and every time a climactic moment with Brian May's harmonized guitar work comes in, it just sounds so triumphant and sublime. "The Hero" is also a fun number, providing listeners with a hard rocking epilogue and being the most "70s Queen" song on the entire record. It's a great throwback to their previous decade of work and integrates a reprise of the Flash Theme into its runtime splendidly.

Unfortunately, the rest of the tracks comprise a hit-and-miss -- and mainly miss -- affair. Most of this music is just too unpleasant and barren-sounding for a Queen record. Yes, it is indeed a soundtrack album, but this still sounds unusually dark and bizarre. "Ming's Theme" in particular exudes a very unsettling atmosphere with extremely wavy synthesizer sounds and a drawn-out ambient passage (with dialogue supplied over it) in the middle. "Arboria" also plays out in this vein; John Deacon's sole writing contribution is largely comprised of just one flute-sounding synthesizer effect and sparse dialogue. Stuff like this just doesn't flow well, especially when heard without the film. Then there are tracks which are completely unnecessary and ridiculous; despite the wedding scene that goes on in the film, the theme in the soundtrack could have easily been omitted. It's just a guitar variation of the traditional wedding song by Richard Wagner, and it seems completely unneeded despite the scene's importance in the film. On top of all this, the Flash Theme makes way too many reprises on this record. It'd be fine to possibly have a reprise near the end for a triumphant scene, but the soundtrack uses it at least three or four times after the original theme. One positive aspect of this record, however, is that some of the faster tunes help pick up the slack after so many disappointing tracks. The battle theme is suitably entertaining and layered in guitar work by Brian May, while the energetic "Football Fight" sounds like something out of an old-school shooter game like Mega Man. It's cheesy, but a hell of a good time.

Still, those aren't really enough to save this record. Synthesizers and drum machines would become the norm for this band during much of their 80s discography, and this appears to be the album that started the trend. Do yourself a favor and pick up the Flash Gordon movie instead of this weak soundtrack; the movie's a lot of fun, but the Queen record lacks the film's energy and sense of campy entertainment (with a few tracks being exceptions, of course). Of course then, we all know where Queen were headed with their next record... THE DANCE ERA!



Recent reviews by this author
Kendrick Lamar To Pimp a ButterflyYanni In My Time
Kelly Clarkson Piece by PieceJohn Legend Get Lifted
Tijuana Sweetheart Under the GunLightning Bolt Lightning Bolt
user ratings (299)
Chart.
2.4
average
other reviews of this album
gblackman (2.5)
Right after completing their big hit album “The Game;” Queen straight away started compiling mus...



Comments:Add a Comment 
Necrotica
May 24th 2013


10583 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Well, at least I got the shittiest album out of the way :]





ButteryBiscuitBass
May 24th 2013


11425 Comments


POS'd

FLASH! AHH!

breakingthefragile
May 24th 2013


3104 Comments


I hold very fond memories of my Queen fanatic friend and I laughing for hours on end over this album.

tempest--
May 24th 2013


20626 Comments


I haven't even seen the film :-[

NightProwler
May 24th 2013


7005 Comments


Great review once again. I haven't even heard this album, nor have I seen the movie. But I hated the follow-up to this record. I guess I'll just pick up the film instead, as you suggest.

Titan
May 24th 2013


19088 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Flash's Theme is incredible

manosg
Staff Reviewer
May 24th 2013


11269 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The movie is quite lame but fun. On the contrary the OST is lame but not fun unfortunately. Great review once again Brendan.

Digging: Winterstorm - A Coming Storm

TheNotrap
May 24th 2013


9215 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Flash's Theme ftw.



Digging: Gama Bomb - Speed Between The Lines

SitarHero
May 24th 2013


7001 Comments


FLASH! AAAH! [2]

I loved the movie when I was a kid. Queen shows up on the soundtrack to some pretty odd movies. But they're never anything less than epic.

Brostep
Emeritus
May 24th 2013


4379 Comments


FLASH! AAAH1 [10000]

Dreamflight
May 24th 2013


1760 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I can't even take this serious apart from the main theme. Nice review as usual bro.

ZackSh33
May 24th 2013


680 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

He'll save every man every woman every child ahhhh flash



The movie is so campy its awesome.

Cygnatti
May 24th 2013


32586 Comments


He's a hero.

Digging: Mid-Air Thief - Crumbling

deslad
May 24th 2013


621 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Great review indeed. The majority of the songs are kinda like narrating the film; this is why this album is so boring imo. The main soundtrack is awesome of course.

Digging: Bill Withers - Bill Withers' Greatest Hits

Necrotica
May 24th 2013


10583 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I'm determined to replace every gblackman review on here no matter what :P

Spec
May 24th 2013


35506 Comments


Everyone watched Ted obviously.

Tyler.
May 24th 2013


15245 Comments


FLASH AHHHHHH

MrSirLordGentleman
August 29th 2013


11864 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

At least Hot Space had Under Pressure

MrSirLordGentleman
August 29th 2013


11864 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Queen always need it

MrSirLordGentleman
August 29th 2013


11864 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

it appears as the main review for me, lol



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy