This B-movie soundtrack isn’t necessarily unpleasant to listen to, but it’s short, interspersed with a pile of cheesy dialogue and sound effects, and only contains two full fledged Queen songs. ‘Flash’s Theme’ is the most well known piece from the album, making the following year’s Greatest Hits album, and it’s effective, feeding off a repetitive bass line.
The other song, ‘The Hero’, is also written by May, and it’s a solid and aggressive rocker – it’s worth hearing, even if the rest of the album is disposable. Most of the remainder of the album consists of reprises of the above two songs or [insert name of random Queen member] doodling on a synthesiser. Even at its worst, Flash Gordon is not un-listenable – its eighteen tracks are crammed into just over half an hour, meaning that it never really loses momentum, while the snippets of dialogue help to keep the pace up, even if they destroy its shelf life. Mercury does show a flair for cheesy soundtracks, and his ‘Football Fight’ and ‘Battle Theme’ both cram interesting melodic ideas into their short running times.
Flash Gordon does succeed in its aim of creating appropriate backdrops for a hokey movie, but I’d take a mediocre regular Queen album over a well-realised Queen soundtrack any day.