In the grand tradition of Nelson Riddle's BATMAN TV score, SMOKEY & THE BANDIT, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN and AIRPLANE! comes Queen's FLASH GORDON score, an overblown, pompous, mind-boggling piece of magnificence interspersed with off-kilter dialogue from a film that, with just a BIT of tinkering, could have taken itself a LOT more seriously. While at least 10 times better than the 1979 update of BUCK ROGERS, the 1980 FLASH GORDON nevertheless hardly compares to the source material, or the 1935 & 1940 serials it spawned (don't even MENTION the '38 botch-job...). There are, however, at least 3 incredibly impressive things about the film: it was made (from idea to release) in UNDER a YEAR (Dino got the idea when his company distributed the '79 Filmation cartoon feature-film); it has a STELLAR cast including Melody Anderson, Topol, Max Von Sydow, Timothy Dalton, Peter Wynegarde, Brian Blessed & Ornella Muti (hubba hubba!), all of whom can be heard on the soundtrack; and a QUEEN score that just won't quit. Among my faves: "Flash's Theme" (but WHY didn't they include the really loony single version as a bonus?), "Battle Theme" (I used to tune in on HBO over and over just to see & hear this bit) and "The Hero". (Incredibly, the 1st time I heard the finale was when I bought the LP; some halfwit theatre manager CUT the film off just before it in a rush to get the crowd for the next show in!!).
The only other thing missing, and many Queen fans may be unaware of it, are the portions of the soundtrack actually composed by someone else-- namely, HOWARD BLAKE. Fortunately, after all these years, HIS part of the score (and it was considerable) has finally been issued on CD, coupled with his score for AMITYVILLE 3D-- although I believe it's a limited-edition affair, so be prepared to search! (Perhaps someday both "halves" of the soundtrack might appear together? Right now that might be like hoping to someday see a truly "accurate" adaptation of Alex Raymond's original 9-YEAR-LONG epic storyline...!!!)