26 October 1981 – Queen released ‘Greatest Hits’. It’s packed with 17 of their biggest hits! Today it’s still the ultimate playlist, and the biggest selling UK album, ever.
“Queen’s “Greatest Hits” Becomes First Album To Reach 7 Million Sales in the UK”
By KLOS News (July 2022)
Four decades after its release, Queen’s ‘Greatest Hits’ album is just as relevant as ever. The record has spent over 1000 weeks on the UK Albums Chart, and has been certified 23× platinum with sales of over seven million copies, making it the best-selling album of all time in the UK as of July 2022
It was in 2014 when the album passed the six million benchmark. Worldwide, ‘Greatest Hits’ has sold over 25 million copies.
Queen’s ‘Greatest Hits’ was released on October 26th, 1981 and was destined to be a success with its favorable tracklist. The record extends from their first chart-topper of 1974 ‘Seven Seas of Rhye’ up until their 1980 smash hit ‘Flash.’ Within the six years of hits, ‘Killer Queen,’ ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ ‘Somebody To Love,’ and ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ are just a few of their other beloved tracks included.
‘Greatest Hits’ has not only been impactful in the UK, but also all over the world for the past 40 years. In the United States, the album has spent over 400 weeks on the Billboard charts and has been certified 9x platinum. It has also been certified 15× platinum in Australia, 10× platinum in New Zealand, and 3× platinum in Canada.
When the blockbuster Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody was released in 2018, a new wave of Queen popularity sparked about and created a whole new fanbase of all ages. The movie led the album back into the charts throughout the world.
This latest record of Queen proves their music will stand the test of time. It is certain rock and roll will last forever
“Every album we ever made, including the Hits albums, we thought ‘yeah, people are going to be putting this on their turntables’, as it was at the time, ‘and they will be listening to it in sequence’. And we want to give them a journey, the tracks have to work in sequence.”
“It’s amazing that we accrued that kind of catalogue of bona fide hits. This id all gold plated, chart material. I have to pinch myself. I have to say ‘yes, it is THE biggest album of all time in this country’, and I never realised it would get to this kind of height. 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.” – (Brian May)
The gorgeous album cover by Lord Snowdon:
“Lord Snowdon believed that the essence of a sitter for a portrait was to be revealed only in natural light. The four of us found ourselves at his house, our mission being to find the elusive ‘Group Shot’ – a four-fold portrait of a Rock Band, for the cover of an album. Snowdon was a delightful, thoughtful, modest and gentle man.
We all sat around awkwardly, sipping coffee, discussing what we were trying to achieve. We didn’t have a plan. We assumed that this accomplished photographer would bring a fresh approach. Snowdon told us that he didn’t want an overriding theme – he didn’t think we need to ‘try so hard’. He said he wanted us naturally filling the space, and he was absolutely insistent that the lighting would be natural too … only the daylight which pervaded his studio, again, Victorian style – more or less a glass-house. He would not use any artificial light.
We talked so much and drank so much coffee, that time passed and the light started to fade. He took some test shots and wasn’t happy. So he said something like … “I know what to do now, but we missed our slot. I’m not going to use studio lights – I want the quality of daylight in this shot. Can you come back tomorrow?” Strangely enough we could. And then it was all very quick. He took a few solo shots of us singly and then went for the cover shot of the four of us. He took a couple of dozen shots.
We said our goodbyes and left – and … that was it. The picture we wanted arrived a couple of days later, and it was perfect for what we needed – nicely balanced in composition, with all of us looking quite decent; understated, a little formal, yet not stiff, and beautifully lit by Nature herself, with a little help from Lord Snowdon” ~ Brian May