Flash (Queen song)

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"Flash"
Flashusa.jpg
Single by Queen
from the album Flash Gordon
B-side"Football Fight"
Released24 November 1980 (UK)
January 1981 (US)
Format7" vinyl
RecordedOctober 1980
GenreHard rock[1]
Length2:48 (single version)
3:29 (album version)
LabelEMI, Elektra
Songwriter(s)Brian May
Producer(s)Brian May, Reinhold Mack
Queen singles chronology
"Need Your Loving Tonight"
(1980)
"Flash"
(1980)
"Under Pressure"
(1981)

"We Will Rock You"
(2000)

"Flash (Vanguard Mix)"
(2003)

"Reaching Out"
(2005)
Music video
"Flash" on YouTube

"Flash" is a song by the British rock band Queen. Written by guitarist Brian May, "Flash" is the theme song of the 1980 film Flash Gordon.

There are two versions of the song. The album version ("Flash's Theme") is in fact the start to the movie, with all the dialogue from the first scene. The single version contains dialogue cut from various parts of the movie, most memorably, Brian Blessed's character exclaiming "Gordon's alive?!" This version was also included on the Greatest Hits compilation from 1981.[2]

Flash is sung as a duet between Freddie Mercury and Brian May, with Roger Taylor adding the high harmonies. May plays all of the instruments except for the rhythm section. He used an Imperial Bösendorfer Grand Piano (with 97 keys instead of 88, having an extra octave on the low range), Oberheim OBX synth (which he plays in the video) and his homemade Red Special electric guitar.

On the U.S. charts, "Flash's Theme aka Flash" reached #42 on the Billboard Hot 100. It peaked at #39 on the Cash Box Top 100.[3] It fared much better in Europe, where it was a Top 10 hit in most nations, including #1 in Austria.

Music video[edit]

The video for the song was filmed at Anvil Studios, London, in November 1980 and directed by Don Norman and shows the band performing the song to a screen showing clips from the film. An alternate version broadcast during the Concert for Kampuchea in 1981 with different clips included on the Flash Gordon 2011 iTunes edition.

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1980–81) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[4] 16
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[5] 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[6] 19
Canada RPM Top Singles[7] 24
Germany (Official German Charts)[8] 3
Ireland (IRMA)[9] 10
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[10] 13
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[11] 32
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[12] 17
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[13] 10
US Billboard Hot 100[14] 42
US Cash Box Top 100[15] 39

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[16] Silver 250,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Vanguard remix[edit]

  • In 2002, German producers Vanguard released a single in collaboration with Queen, The Official Club Mixes.[17] The single peaked at #15 on the UK Singles Charts at that time.[18]

Live recording[edit]

In other media[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Flash's Theme - Queen | Song Info". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Queen: Greatest Hits". Allmusic. Retrieved 12 May 2012
  3. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Singles, February 21, 1981". Archived from the original on 13 February 2017. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  4. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 243. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  5. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Queen – Flash" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Ultratop.be – Queen – Flash" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  7. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 21 March 1981. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Queen – Flash". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  9. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Flash". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  10. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Queen – Flash" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  11. ^ "Charts.nz – Queen – Flash". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  12. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Queen – Flash". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  13. ^ "Queen: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  14. ^ "Queen Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  15. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Singles, February 21, 1981". Archived from the original on 13 February 2017. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  16. ^ "British single certifications – Flash". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Flash in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  17. ^ "Vanguard Discography & Songs". Discogs.
  18. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums. London: Guinness World Records Limited
  19. ^ "The Flash FINALLY Uses the Song We've Waited Five Years For". CBR. 8 October 2019. Retrieved 9 October 2019.

External links[edit]