Queen reflects on unprecedented success of its 'Greatest Hits'

Publish Date
Thursday, 5 August 2021, 3:00PM

Perhaps the biggest testament to Queen's riotous and sustained success from the early-'70s to today is the fact that the biggest album of all-time in the U.K. is Queen's first Greatest Hits compilation.

First released in October of 1981, Queen's Greatest Hits is a bonafide celebration of the band's most successful material, including 17 gold-certified hit singles. The compilation reached No. 1 upon its initial release and spent over 956 weeks on the charts, returning to the Top 10 last year as the U.K.'s biggest-selling vinyl of 2020.

“It’s amazing, I have to pinch myself. I have to say ‘yes, it is the biggest album of all time in this country,’ and I never realized it would get to this kind of height," said Brian May. "I mean, it’s the ultimate compliment for an artist really to be sewn into people’s lives to that extent.

“So it feels great. And we all feel the same. We had that privilege of actually being triggers in people’s lives which will always be the case as long as this generation, all these generations, are around, that will be the case. So, I feel very proud.”

Queen sold millions of studio albums before 1981, yet fans still went out en masse (for 40 years) and purchased the greatest hits. Not only are Queen's fans loyal, they're everywhere.

The Greatest Hits has racked up approximately 25 million sales worldwide, including 6.75 million sales in the U.K. alone. It's estimated that there's a copy of it in 1/3 of every British household.

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This article was first published on iheart.com and is republished here with permission