Queen’s Greatest Hits becomes first album in Official Charts history to reach 7 million UK chart ‘sales’

Brian May and Roger Taylor “humbled and honoured” as they make the milestone

British rock legends Queen make UK chart history as they become the first act ever to reach 7 million UK chart ‘sales’ of an album, the Official Charts Company can confirm.

Queen break Official Chart records as they surpass the 7 million milestone with their 1981 Greatest Hits album. The Official best-selling album of all time in the UK, the record includes such classic tracks as We Will Rock You, Don’t Stop Me Now and the group’s top-selling behemoth Bohemian Rhapsody.

Greatest Hits reaches this record-breaking achievement through a combination of physical sales, downloads and streams.

Back in 2014, Queen’s Greatest Hits became the first album to ever surpass 6 million sales in the UK and, as pure sales (physical and digital download copies) of the collection continue to increase, the group’s back catalogue proves enduringly popular in the modern streaming age. Greatest Hits has accumulated an incredible 1.26 billion total UK streams to date, with the album’s most-streamed track being Bohemian Rhapsody, which boasts 240 million UK streams and counting.

The record also recently celebrated its 1000th week on the Official Albums Chart, with Queen becoming the first British act ever to achieve this landmark milestone.

Watch: Queen's Brian May and Roger Taylor thank fans as Greatest Hits marks milestone

Speaking to OfficialCharts.com, Queen guitarist Brian May says: “We’re here to bring you the joyous news that Queen’s Greatest Hits album has sold 7 million copies, which nobody has ever done before. No album has done this before in history. Thank you, we appreciate it.”

Queen’s Roger Taylor adds: “The British public and their infinitely-great taste have made this the biggest-selling album in history. Thank you very much; we’re humbled and honoured. We salute you!”

Martin Talbot, Chief Executive, Official Charts Company, comments: “It really is a fantastic achievement by Queen to become the first act to notch up 7 million sales of one album, with their legendary Greatest Hits.

"When it was released for the first time in 1981, career-spanning packages such as Greatest Hits were relatively rare, the preserve of only the very biggest acts. Queen’s Greatest Hits can claim to be in more than one-in-four UK households’ record collections today, and there is no doubt that its massive success has done as much as any other release to turn hits packages into the omnipresent album concept that they are today."

This comes as Queen + Adam Lambert announce Rhapsody Over London; a concert film available to stream live and on-demand later this month.

The exclusive concert spectacular, filmed live at London’s O2 Arena during the group’s sold-out European tour, will premiere live via Kiswe’s global streaming platform on July 24. The stream will also include a Q&A with Brian, Roger and Adam, speaking backstage from the penultimate show of their European tour.

Rhapsody Over London will give fans worldwide the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience Queen’s dazzling 28-song show, which honours the late Freddie Mercury’s enduring ethos that “too far is never far enough.” Find out more information here.

Video credit: Emma Donoghue

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Lancashire Anglo-Saxon


It's generally accepted that albums released before sales were logged via computer (ie the early 90s) are in many cases likely to have their sales listed as far less than they actually were. Since the early 90s it was virtually certain that every copy sold would be logged as a sale. Before this and especially before the early 1980s sales of many albums had large amounts of sales never added to their totals. As an insider in the business I can tell you that with although never approaching Queen's or Abba's 'Greatest Hits' sales the very biggest acts of the late 60s and the 70s when albums became the established medium they have remained until very recently (we are clearly in the dying days of the medium now with singles once again the dominant force and some number ones in the album charts these days having derisory fanbase only sales) many acts such as The Beatles sales were far greater than what they are listed as today. Sergeant Pepper's for instance is probably missing many many sales from its 55 years of existence and as recently as Brothers in Arms and Thriller the totals are almost certainly larger than recorded. All my knowledge relates to UK sales only of course as I am not privy tp insider knowledge of overseas practices.




This album was released in 1981, before CDs were introduced, and a lots of people, including myself, purchased it on vinyl and then again on CD at a later date.
The other best selling albums like Abba Gold, Adele 21, Oasis What’s the Story, etc were released on CD only and didn’t benefit from a double purchase.


Mark Wislen


As Alan Jones revealed in 'Music Week', (September 2009), 626,000 of 'Greatest Hits' Sales are from 2 other Queen Compilation 'Sets'. The 'Enhanced Sales' were added in 2006. There were 560,000 Sales added from 'The Platinum Collection'. (Triple CD from 2000). Plus - 66,000 'Sales from a 1994 Double Queen CD. Also - 'Greatest Hits II', (1991), got the 626,000 'Enhanced Sales'. 'Greatest Hits III', (1999), got 560,000 'Enhanced Sales'. So the 1st Queen 'Hits' Album, has not really sold 7 Million UK copies, as a 1981 'Stand-A-Lone' Album. It has really sold 7,000,000 - 626,000 = 6,374,000. Which is not that far ahead of 'ABBA Gold', which is on around 6,100,000 to 6,110,000 UK Sales.




Oh FFS stop nit picking and being so ana l, if it's good enough for the OCC then it's good enough for everyone. Congratulations Queen on a stunning achievement and let's not forget the price of their greatest hits album on cd is always at least twice the price that of ABBA gold. Also, let's not forget the fact both of their movie 'musicals' are played on an almost continuous loop on the ITV network providing priceless promotion. ABBA gold will probably never overtake QGH and thank F for that.


Bebbit Faux


The record labels' idea to bundle GH1 into compilation with its two successors was a bad one which has done it no favours - by common consensus GH1 is a bigger draw that GH2 so perhaps deserves more that 50% of the credit (and tally) or the sales of that two album bundle, but far worse is the so called Platinum Collection'. (Triple CD from 2000) which you mention. GH3 is a dreadful barrel-scraping exercise which should never have seen the light of day. the fact that GH1, the best reason to by the set, is accorded only a third of these sales does it a terrible disservice - of course it 'deserves' more - had it been kept as a standalone product all along it would have passed 7 million some time ago under its own steam rather than having some of its sales watered down in this way - a disgrace


Bebbit Faux


the album to benefit most from that surely would be Sgt Pepper, currently sitting pretty at #3 on the all-time list...but away from this case, i somehow doubt Adele 21, or Oasis What’s the Story are the sort of albums whose owners would have re-bought them a decade on from release in the wake of a format change - their appeal comes from a different place as being particular to a moment and the cultural phenomena which they became for a few short years. of course it is a huge achievement in such cases (which none of Queens albums ever managed) and greatest hits collections enjoy several obvious big advantages over natural studio sets such as these


Vytautas Macionis


I also don’t like this (OCC) method, that they divided Platinum collection’s (as example) (PC) sales into 1/3 parts and added to original albums of hits. I don’t agree with that. Better way - they had to add all the PC sales to Greatest hits 1, 2 and 3 albums separately, and don’t count Platinum collection as "another" album. Because PC is the same as Greatest hits + Greatest hits II + Greatest hits III albums, just together. So, in reality, Greatest hits sales are even much much bigger




On top of all that, I've always loved the cover.