Friday, October 29, 2010

Queen Song of the Week: Flash's Theme

Last week I put a call out for suggestions on what album or concert I should feature next for my Queen Song of the Week series. I received one response: the Milton Keynes 1982 show which became the album release Queen on Fire: Live at the Bowl.

Since I know where my bread is buttered, I'm going to use that suggestion lest I lose the one Queen reader that I have!

There are a few repeats on this concert album, but since Queen is considered such an amazing live act, I think it will be interesting to post some of the live versions of previous discussed songs.

So let's start at the beginning: Flash's Theme was written by Dr. May. It appeared on the band's 1980 album Flash Gordon. It was released as a single and peaked at #10 on the U.K. charts and at #42 on the U.S. charts. Rather surprisingly, this single was one of the band's most popular, outselling both Under Pressure (reviewed here) and The Show Must Go On (reviewed here).

(Warning: There's one shot in this video that might not be appropriate for work or children.)

Video courtesy of queenofficial.

At this concert, played a recording of the opening lines of Flash's Theme before entering the stage playing The Hero (discussed here). To hear the full version of Flash's Theme, click here to see the official music video.

Dr. May played piano on this track, using a rather interesting technique (he claimed last year on his official website), but sadly the music video does not show the method used. The song contains Queen's recognizable harmonies and vocal layering and has been widely used in pop culture (even here in the States). Click here to see Flash's Theme used on The Family Guy and here to see it in Blades of Glory.

Flash Gordon, the movie, is practically unwatchable, but the one saving grace is the Queen soundtrack. It's hard not to smile when you hear the telltale signs of Dr. May's guitar or Freddie Mercury's voice regardless of what nonsense is going on in the film.

Happy Listening!


  1. I love Queen....such a unique sound:)

    Happy Friday hunnie!

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  2. OMG, I am ecstatic that you took my suggestion!!! This is my favorite concert DVD. But, fear not, you'd never lose me as a reader, even if you chose another album or concert. I am also VERY excited to learn that this song was used on the Family Guy; I LOVE that show, and somehow, I had no idea!!!
    I wish I did have a time travel machine to go back in time to see a Queen concert. I'd either chose this one, or their free Hyde Park concert in '76. What show would you want to see?

  3. Collette - Glad to hear it! I obviously love them too!

    Sarah - Family Guy has referenced Queen a few times (Peter's mustache episode is soooo funny!). Seth MacFarland must be a fan too! I have a soft spot for the Montreal show because I love the blu ray so much, but I wouldn't have wanted to attend since security kept telling the crowd to simmer down. Lame! I would have loved to see the Knebworth show in 86. I've heard there was just something in the air like everyone knew it was the last time. And supposedly the band were just on the top of their game! I still hope to see Brian/Roger perform someday!