Flash Gordon (soundtrack)

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Flash Gordon
Queen Flash Gordon.png
Soundtrack album / Studio album by Queen
Released 8 December 1980 (UK)
25 January 1981 (Japan)
February 1981 (US)
27 June 2011 (Remaster)
Recorded February – March 1980, October – November 1980
Studio The Town House in west London,
the Music Center, and
Advision Studios in west London.
Genre Rock
Length 35:01
Label EMI / Parlophone (Europe)
Elektra (1980) / Hollywood (1991) (US)
Producer Queen, Mack
Queen chronology
The Game
Flash Gordon
Hot Space
Singles from Flash Gordon
  1. "Flash"
    Released: 24 November 1980
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
Chicago Tribune 1/4 stars[2]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 2/5 stars[3]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[4]
Record Mirror 5/5 stars[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2/5 stars[6]

Flash Gordon is the ninth studio album, and first soundtrack album by the British rock band Queen. Released on 8 December 1980 in the UK, it 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.[7][8] 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, including Brian Blessed's (playing the character Prince Vultan) signature cry "Gordon's Alive!". 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, although most feature dialogue sampled from the film. 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").

All tracks are recorded from October through November 1980 except two tracks ("Football Fight" and "The Kiss") which were recorded in February through March 1980 during some time as The Game sessions.

In popular culture[edit]

"Flash's Theme", "Football Fight", "Battle Theme" and "The Hero" are played in the 2012 comedy film Ted, which uses the Flash Gordon film as a key subplot.

Japanese pro wrestler Mitsuhiro Matsunaga used "Flash's Theme" as his theme music, while British pro wrestler Mark Rocco used "Football Fight" as his theme, while under the masked persona of Black Tiger.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Flash's Theme" Brian May 3:30
2. "In the Space Capsule (The Love Theme)" Roger Taylor 2:21
3. "Ming's Theme (In the Court of Ming the Merciless)" Freddie Mercury 2:53
4. "The Ring (Hypnotic Seduction of Dale)" Mercury 0:58
5. "Football Fight" Mercury 1:29
6. "In the Death Cell (Love Theme Reprise)" Taylor 2:26
7. "Execution of Flash" John Deacon 1:06
8. "The Kiss (Aura Resurrects Flash)" Mercury, Howard Blake 1:47
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Arboria (Planet of the Tree Men)" (listed as "Man" on the 1982 US LP, 5E-518-B) Deacon 1:41
2. "Escape from the Swamp" Taylor 1:44
3. "Flash to the Rescue" May 2:47
4. "Vultan's Theme (Attack of the Hawk Men)" Mercury 1:15
5. "Battle Theme" May 2:20
6. "The Wedding March (Instrumental)" ("Bridal Chorus" Instrumental)) R. Wagner, Arr. May 0:56
7. "Marriage of Dale and Ming (And Flash Approaching)" May, Taylor 2:04
8. "Crash Dive on Mingo City" May 1:01
9. "Flash's Theme Reprise (Victory Celebrations)" May 1:39
10. "The Hero" May, Blake 3:31



Additional personnel

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1980/81) Peak position
Austrian Albums Chart[10] 1
Canadian Albums Chart[11] 10
Dutch Albums Chart[12] 7
German Albums Chart[13] 2
Norwegian Albums Chart[14] 25
Swedish Albums Chart[15] 29
UK Albums Chart[16] 10
U.S. Billboard 200[17] 23


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Poland (ZPAV)[18] Platinum 20,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[19] Gold 100,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "Flash Gordon (soundtrack)". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  2. ^ Kot, Greg (19 April 1992). "An 18-record, 80 Million-copy Odyssey". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 19 April 2016. 
  3. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. p. 2248. ISBN 0-85712-595-8. 
  4. ^ Petridis, Alexis (15 December 2011). "Queen: Jazz; The Game; Flash Gordon; Hot Space – review". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 19 April 2016. 
  5. ^ "1980.12.13 – Record Mirror – UK – Wham! Bam! Thank you Ma'am! - QueenCuttings.com – Welcome on board!". QueenCuttings.com. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  6. ^ "Queen: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-06-11. 
  7. ^ "Press Release: Second Five Albums Re-Issued on 27th June". Queen. 5 April 2011. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  8. ^ Second Set of Re-issues: Out This Week! Queen. Retrieved 7 July 2011
  9. ^ May, Brian (22 April 2003). "Jena, Lady Mercy, Playing piano on early albums, Mr Pavarotti". Letters. Retrieved 26 July 2007. Flash and The Hero (Flash Gordon) (plus organ on the WEDDING) 
  10. ^ Steffen Hung. "Soundtrack / Queen – Flash Gordon". austriancharts.at. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  11. ^ "Results – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  12. ^ Steffen Hung. "Soundtrack / Queen – Flash Gordon". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  13. ^ "charts.de". charts.de. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  14. ^ Steffen Hung. "Soundtrack / Queen – Flash Gordon". norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  15. ^ Steffen Hung. "Soundtrack / Queen – Flash Gordon". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  16. ^ "Queen – Flash Gordon". Chart Stats. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  17. ^ "Queen – Charts & Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  18. ^ "Polish album certifications – Queen – Flash Gordon" (in Polish). Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. 
  19. ^ "British album certifications – Queen – Flash Gordon – OST". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Flash Gordon – OST in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search

External links[edit]