Sunday, January 10, 2016

CD (Fan) Review – Flash Gordon, by Queen

I am not at all a fan of Queen, but I have to give them props for having crafted one of the wackiest, most bonkers motion picture soundtracks ever committed to record.

Just like the 1980 film itself, the album is full of cheesy goodness, including snippets of dialogue and sound effects lifted directly from the movie. Brian Blessed’s exhilarating, maniacal intensity as Vultan, leader of the Hawk Men, is alone worth the price of purchase– for both the film and the soundtrack.

None of this insanity detracts from the music – in fact, it enhances it, and the music responds in kind. The lead vocals (on the iconic main theme and its reprise throughout), the screeching guitars, the crazy keyboards and synthesizers, the pulse-pounding drums, and the kinetic percussion all function simultaneously as both classic rock and classic kitsch – a rare feat.

I highly recommend the 1994 single CD version, which is the basic movie soundtrack; the 2011 double CD deluxe edition is really geared more toward die-hard devotees of Queen.

If you enjoy the movie, you’ll enjoy this soundtrack. If this is all new to you, but you just want to hear something totally weird and off the wall, you will not be disappointed.

--Raj Manoharan

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