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Queen overtake the Beatles as most successful albums act in UK history

Discussion in 'Music' started by Michael Allred, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. Michael Allred

    Michael Allred Well-Known Member

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    According to the guardian.co.uk
    Owen Gibson, media correspondent

    Twenty years after they stole the show at the original Live Aid concert, and 14 years after the death of Freddie Mercury, Queen have been crowned the most popular UK band of all time.

    The group, currently on a critically acclaimed comeback tour with former Free singer Paul Rodgers taking on vocal duties, have overtaken the Beatles and Elvis Presley as the artists who have spent the longest time on the British album charts.

    According to the compilers of the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles and Albums, Queen have spent 1,322 weeks on the chart, compared with the Beatles' 1,293 weeks.

    Roger Taylor, the group's drummer, said yesterday he was staggered by the news. Speaking from Lisbon, the latest leg of Queen's European stadium tour, he said: "We were always incredibly ambitious. But we never expected to see a list that read Queen, then the Beatles, then Elvis."

    The band's first number one album, A Night at the Opera, came out in 1974. But James Bradley, the assistant editor of the Guinness book, said Queen's achievement had taken a comparatively short time: Elvis Presley first charted in 1956 and the Beatles first made the chart in 1963.

    Queen's two greatest hits albums, the first of which spent 450 weeks in the charts and sold more than 4m copies, have accounted for much of their success. Endorsements from newcomers such as the Darkness have contributed to steady album sales, and the West End show We Will Rock You has also kept the band in the public eye.

    In a nod to Mercury's show-stealing performance at Wembley in 1985, Robbie Williams played We Will Rock You at Saturday's Live 8 concert in Hyde Park.

    Queen toured earlier this year for the first time since 1986, when Mercury fell ill. He died of an Aids-related disease five years later, at the age of 45.

    "We never thought we would tour again," said Taylor. "Paul came along by chance and we seemed to have a chemistry. Paul is just such a great singer. He's not trying to be Freddie."

    UK top 10
    1 Queen (1,322 weeks)
    2 The Beatles (1,293)
    3 Elvis Presley (1,280)
    4 U2 (1,150)
    5 Dire Straits (1,136)
    6 Simon and Garfunkel (1,114)
    7 Madonna (1,032)
    8 David Bowie (1,005)
    9 Elton John (989)
    10 Michael Jackson (966)



    **Mon 04 Jul 05**
    QUEEN OVERTAKE THE BEATLES AS THE MOST
    SUCCESSFUL ALBUMS ACT IN UK CHART HISTORY

    according to the book of BRITISH HIT SINGLES & ALBUMS!

    New research by the team behind the most popular music annual in the world, The Book of British Hit Singles & Albums, has revealed that Queen have overtaken the Beatles as Official UK Album Chart champions, having spent more weeks on chart than the fab four.

    According to British Hit Singles & Albums’ unique database of official UK chart statistics, Queen have spent an incredible 1,322 weeks on the UK albums chart (29 weeks more than the Beatles). With sales figures notoriously unreliable in the 50s, 60s and 70s, the ‘weeks on chart’ figure represents the fairest, most accurate method of ranking acts.

    30 years since their first UK No.1 album ‘A Night at The Opera’, Queen have overtaken the Beatles in this Top 10 for the first time.

    Top 10 Most Successful Acts of All Time on the UK Albums Chart

    1. Queen (1,322 weeks)
    2. The Beatles (1,293 weeks)
    3. Elvis Presley (1,280 weeks)
    4. U2 (1,150 weeks)
    5. Dire Straits (1,136 weeks)
    6. Simon and Garfunkel (1,114 weeks)
    7. Madonna (1,032 weeks)
    8. David Bowie (1,005 weeks)
    9. Elton John (989 weeks)
    10. Michael Jackson (966 weeks)

    David Roberts, editor of the book of British Hit Singles & Albums also known as the ‘Professor of Pop’, commented, “Given that Queen’s chart career has been much shorter than those of The Beatles and Elvis, this is an incredible achievement. They’ve long been written about with reverence in the pages of the book of British Hit Singles and Albums, and this just serves to cement their legendary status.”

    And if any proof of Queen’s continued status as one of the world’s greatest live bands were needed, the band wind up their current 32-date European tour with Free/Bad Company singer and musician Paul Rodgers this week, performing in London’s Hyde Park this Friday, July 8.

    The date, which sees the band joined for the concert by Razorlight, Peter Kay and special guests Justin and Dan Hawkins of The Darkness, sees Queen return to the site of one of the most historic of their earlier concerts; performing a free concert in Hyde Park almost 29 years ago (September 18, 1976) Queen attracted a record audience of over 150,000 to the park.

    Queen hold a number of records officially recognised by Guinness World Records: the band are recognised for having the biggest selling Greatest Hits album in the UK with Greatest Hits 1 (now over 4 million) and Queen is also the only act to top the chart with the same single twice – Bohemian Rhapsody” – selling a million copies both times. The single, which celebrates its 30th anniversary later this year, was also voted the favourite single of all time in a poll conducted by readers of the book of British hit Singles & Albums. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is also the biggest selling non-charity single of all time.


    The Book of British Hit Singles & Albums is published by Guinness World Records Limited, a HIT Entertainment LTD company.
     
  2. andrew markworthy

    andrew markworthy Well-Known Member

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    Interesting post, Michael, though with respect I can't say I'm totally surprised. The beauty of Queen is that once you get into them, you want all their stuff. With Elvis, who these days would buy more than a greatest hits album? In the case of the Beatles, a lot of their 'failure' to continue dominating the charts is down to bad marketing. The red and blue albums are still extortionately expensive for what they are. Just think if they'd been combined into a single 2-CD album (the purple album? [​IMG]) and aggressively marketed. Instead we got a rather belated '1' album (which mangages to miss off Strawberry Fields) and that's it. Also, it's got to be said that the early Beatles albums don't sound all that good. The first few are barely thirty minutes long, mono, and a lot of the stuff is cover versions. What remains, with the exception of the hits, sounds very dated. [Please nobody flame me - I'm an avid Beatles fan, but also one able to look past the hype]. Plus, they are still being sold at full price. For the Beatles to regain their ascendancy would be easy. Re-master the albums, for the early albums put two albms per disc, and cap it all with a properly comprehensive greatest hits package. And market them properly. The albums would sell in their shed-loads.
     
  3. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Well-Known Member

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    So those of us who prefer early Beatles to late are just buying into "hype"? [​IMG] If anything, we go AGAINST the grain - most people reflexively accept that 1967-1969 was the golden era. I'll still take A Hard Day's Night over any subsequent albums. And not a cover tune on it! [​IMG]
     
  4. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    Dire Straits?!?!?!
     
  5. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    I think by "hype" he meant "all Beatles material is classic", not "early Beatles stuff is better than later stuff."

    Nothing wrong with liking their early material, but it is certainly dated.
     
  6. DaveRU

    DaveRU Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't surprise me at all, very popular over here [​IMG]

    I'm not ashamed to say i probably contributed to their place in the chart [​IMG]
     
  7. Carl Miller

    Carl Miller Well-Known Member

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    I read somewhere not too long ago that todays 20-30 year old parents are the first generation of parents which by and large didn't grow up listening to the Beatles.

    It took Queen being an active band for 31 years to overtake a band that was active for all of 7 years. I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner.
     
  8. Steve Meskell

    Steve Meskell Well-Known Member

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    Wow, one list where I like 90% on it [​IMG]
     
  9. Geremia P.

    Geremia P. Well-Known Member

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    Isn't "dated" the most meaningless word in criticism? Please Please Me sounds like 1963-64 just as Sgt. Pepper sounds like 1966-67... and A Night at the Opera, 1975.

    Perhaps you just don't like rock & roll from that particular era.
     
  10. Scott Merryfield

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    So, this happened 29 weeks (i.e. over half a year) ago and it's just now being reported?
     
  11. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    Never said I didn't like it! I have very wide-ranging musical tastes. [​IMG]
     
  12. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. They only had one or two hit albums stateside, IIRC.
     
  13. Phil A

    Phil A Premium
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  14. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC Well-Known Member

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    As a big fan of both bands, I have to congratulate them, although anything recorded without Freddie should not be included in the rankings.
     
  15. BrianB

    BrianB Well-Known Member

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    Same in the UK. Brothers In Arms is/was one of the longest running 'best sellers' in the UK.
     
  16. Geremia P.

    Geremia P. Well-Known Member

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    Yes, except for your argument to work, you must assume that the bubblegum or disco records sounded as good back in the day as The Beatles and Queen did... and I just don't buy it.

    We are talking taste here and to my ears, nothing in all of recorded music defines "classic" like the first half-dozen Beatles discs. But to each his own...

    p.s. Regarding Queen, are any of their albums even considered to be classics besides A Night at the Opera, their self-titled debut and perhaps The Game? Just curious.
     
  17. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    Maybe one or two. A Day At The Races, Sheer Heart Attack, Live Killers, News Of The World, Jazz, Queen II, Kind Of Magic, Innuendo. . . [​IMG]
     
  18. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    Dang. . .#5 on the all-time chart list based almost entirely on one album?!?!?! Impressive!

    So where the heck is Meat Loaf??? [​IMG]
     
  19. Marvin

    Marvin Well-Known Member

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    I would say that your last sentence applies more to Sgt Pepper than to their early stuff.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that.
     
  20. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Well-Known Member

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    IMO, I'd consider Queen II to be the pinnacle of their recorded output, although Innuendo is a VERY strong album, even moreso considering it was their last proper release...
     

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