Flash Gordon (Original Soundtrack) [Deluxe Edition]
In 1979, the director Mike Hodges approached Queen about writing a soundtrack for his movie adaptation of the comic book Flash Gordon. The band members were game: Not only was this an opportunity for them to explore a new medium—it was also an opportunity to contribute to a mythology that at least a couple of the members had lived with since childhood. (In a clash that foreshadowed countless internet arguments to come, Hodges’ idea faced resistance from film producer Dino De Laurentiis, who thought Queen was too campy.) You wouldn’t mistake 1980’s Flash Gordon for a proper Queen album, but it continues the musical evolution the group had begun on The Game. That album had found Queen finally embracing the synthesizer—an instrument that plays a central role in Flash Gordon (“In the Space Capsule,” “Football Fight”). And, at a time when the band was exploring a more spontaneous approach, Hodges’ film gave Brian May plenty of room to shape, layer, and play with sound—as evidenced by a handful of instrumentals that weave in dialogue and effects from the movie itself (“Flash to the Rescue,” “Vultan’s Theme”). De Laurentiis may have been resistant to Queen coming aboard Flash Gordon, but anyone listening to the soundtrack now would have a hard time thinking of a band more perfectly suited for Hodges’ tongue-in-cheek epic. Queen was just as lighthearted, action-packed, and state-of-the-art as Flash Gordon itself—not to mention equally retro. Besides, the group had been making superhero music for years—tights and sequins and fate-of-the-universe grandiosity included. Flash Gordon just let them take it to another galaxy.