I think it's fair to say that in the UK the Beatles tend to be admired whilst Queen are loved. Bohemian Rhapsody et al get regular airplay on the radio, whilst Beatles songs are a relative rarity (certainly far less airplay than in the USA). There's a camp silliness and variety to Queen which appeals to the Brit mentality (I think it's worth adding that nobody takes Queen's songs seriously). When the Beatles tried to be silly, you got Maxwell's Silver Hammer. Enough said.
I think it's worth remembering a couple of other things. First, the Beatles, at least in their early days, could have recited the telephone directory and it'd have reached number 1. Queen always had a loyal following but could never rely on an uncritical mass market of teenage girls who'd buy anything by them. Second, it's worth taking a careful look at the 1960s charts in the UK. People tend to think that the big sellers were The Beatles, The Kinks, The Who, etc. In fact, there was a lot of MOR dross as well. Queen were arguably competing in a more like for like market against the likes of Bowie, etc.
I'm not denying that the Beatles have in objective terms more singles hits, but they arguably had less competition.
And before anyone starts the tedious argument, this doesn't mean that Queen are 'better' than the Beatles. The two bands were active at different times with different expectations and styles.
I've sometimes wondered what music some of the later pop stars would have produced if they'd started in an earlier era. In the case of Queen, I think they'd have ended up sounding like an amalgam of The Who and The Kinks.
Is this some kind of a joke? Because it isn't funny at all. Who the **** is Mael Brothers!? And they are more talented than who!? More talented than Freddie - the greatest singer in the history of mankind? More talented than Brian - one of the most intelligent, interesting and beloved guitarists ever? More talented than John - one of the most significant bass players in the world and in the same time certainly the most humble person in the whole history of rock? More talented than Roger - percussion perfectionist? And ALL FOUR of them are top class song-writers and what is even more important - wonderful human beings.
I've always thought this was what made Queen really stand out. Many groups do have better musicians (much as I am a May fan, he's not better than, say, Clapton or Hendrix), but I am hard pressed to think of any group where ALL the members were such talented songwriters, whether individually (as they operated in the earlier years) or in collaboration. Most other groups tended to be dominated by a pair of songwriters, or one or two individuals: the Beatles and Lennon & McCartney being the most obvious.
Hi Yee-Ming! Well, actually, althought most of the songs on the last few albums are credited as being written by 'Queen' - that was only some internal psychological thing of theirs. But in fact, with only few exceptions, they wrote individually even those later songs. (For me it's hard to imagine that several persons could write 1 song - I believe that's quite rare.) You have lots of sites dealing with that issue - who wrote what on Queen's later albums. You'll be surprised with some findings.
I never thought of Queen as four talented individuals. Maybe I haven't heard enough of the non-radio airplay songs for that to come across. But I would have to ask: Are they more talented than the original lineup of the Who? Were they beter live than the Who? I have serious doubts unless I see or hear something to change my mind.
Regarding Queen: http://starling.rinet.ru/music/queen.htm --> "One thing I must warn you about first: please, for Heaven's sake, pay no attention to Freddie Mercury and the others' lyrics. They are atrocious, horrendous, abysmal, some of the worst crap I've ever witnessed. Basically, lyrics are either supposed to mean something or just to sound cool, sometimes both. Well, Freddie and co. always wrote lyrics that did neither. The imagery in their songs is pretentious, senseless, pointless, not to mention that it's badly, oh so badly cliched - at least Jon Anderson of Yes (one of my main anti-heroes, as you probably know) did not rely so heavily on poetic formulas invented long before him, trying out his own word combinations. Freddie just seems like he's taking certain gothic poetry books off the shelf and randomly picking out quotations. Unfortunately, this unbelievably cheap trick also works for the fans - many take that great lyrical put-on for real. Only goes to show you... "
Records sales have very little to do with actual talent. Nirvana was more popular than the Pixies or Husker Du put together; Rage Against the Machine was more popular than the Dead Kennedys; Trent Reznor is much more well known than Brian Eno; David Bowie is 100 times more well known than Steve Harley; Radiohead has had more of the limelight than Joy Division ever had; Springsteen is held in much more esteem than Ray Davies; Tortoise>Neu; Depeche Mode were worshipped and Split Enz were forgotten, etc., etc.
Let me restate that I think that Ray Davies was a better songwriter than any individual Beetle. This is a hard comparison to make though when there are so many Beetles songs billed as "Lennon/McCartney." Keep in mind that Ray Davies was pretty much 90% of the heart and mind of the Kinks. His melodies weren't the greatest but they were better than Dylan's while his lyrics and themes came close to matching Dylan.