Flash Gordon is the first soundtrack and the ninth studio album by British rock band Queen, and is one of the two film soundtracks they produced, along with Highlander. It is the album to the science fiction film Flash Gordon, and features lyrics on only two tracks. "Flash's Theme" was the only single to be released from the album, under the title "Flash". The album reached #10 on the UK charts and #23 in the US.
The album was reissued worldwide on 27 June 2011 (excluding the US and Canada, where it was released on 27 September 2011) as part of the band's 40th anniversary. The reissue adds an EP of related tracks.
There are two versions of the opening track. The album version ("Flash's Theme") is the start to the film, with part of the dialogue from the first scene. The single version ("Flash") features parts of the dialogue taken from various parts of the film. This version was also included on the Greatest Hits compilation from 1981. The single reached #1 in Austria. The track is noted for its pounding, repetitive bassline and the camp humour of the snippets of dialogue from the film that it contains.
All but two of the tracks on the album ("Flash's Theme" and "The Hero") are instrumentals. The album makes extensive use of synthesisers, which Queen had employed for the first time on their previous album, The Game, although to a much lesser extent.
Side A of the album, except for the opening track and Freddie Mercury's "Football Fight" (also chosen as a B-side for the "Flash" single), contains mostly synthesiser, vocal, guitar and drum soundscapes (accompanied by the movie dialogues), written and performed by Mercury, Roger Taylor and John Deacon. Side B, while starting with similar compositions by Deacon and Taylor, develops for the most part around the full-band rockier themes, mainly "Flash's Theme" and "Battle Theme", composed and arranged by Brian May. The last track, "The Hero", while an individual song, reprises both motifs. Different takes of the song were used for the end credits in the film and for the album finale.
The album contains mostly the score performed by Queen, and only two short, uncredited fragments of Howard Blake's orchestral score (appearing in "The Kiss" and "The Hero").