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Queen :: Charts & Sales History

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  • Thanks HUR.All the best buddy and happy holidays.

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    • Some great info there, thanks HUR!! how come the Rolling Stones have suddenly jumped to 190 million album sales? also I thought U2 would be a little higher by now. Good to AC/DC doing so well, but how come Frank Sinatra has sold so many records when he isn't on either of the albums or singles lists. Anyway, it was a great read, so thanks again!

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      • Originally posted by nucleardolphin
        Some great info there, thanks HUR!! how come the Rolling Stones have suddenly jumped to 190 million album sales? also I thought U2 would be a little higher by now. Good to AC/DC doing so well, but how come Frank Sinatra has sold so many records when he isn't on either of the albums or singles lists. Anyway, it was a great read, so thanks again!
        I have no real insight as to this but my impression was always that nobody really knows; that the sales figures from his early career in the 40's and 50's on Columbia and Capitol have been lost. Any totals for Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby are probably educated guesses in many respects.
        101 Albums | 501 Songs

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        • With both Greatest Hits 1 and Greatest Hits 2 released on January 3rd, how do you guys think it will sell/chart in the UK in its first week? After Christmas, all the albums out there at the moment will suffer huge falls.

          Both hits albums seem to be climbing steadily on most online stores charts so I predict at least top 40 placings for both albums.

          I will also stick my neck out on the line, but with Queen moving to Universal and all the promotion and anniversaries set for this year and the release of 'Forever Queen' (whatever that is) in November, I think Queen will sell approx. 1m albums just in the UK in 2011. Absolute Greatest sold nearly 600K on its own in 2009 so I think this is possible...Thoughts anyone??

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          • I think Sinatra has definately sold more than 100 million albums, singles I wouldn't know, same as Bing Crosby and Julio Inglesias, I really wouldn't know where to start!
            Im not sure that Queen will sell many albums this year in the UK unless this film is released. Absolute Greatest was released only a year ago in November, it seems a bit lame releasing ANOTHER compilation surely, I mean how many can they push out. However, when this film comes out I think it will help create a whole new generation of fans, I hope! I just pray that its good!

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            • Soundscan sales. USA numbers for two DVDs:

              We Will Rock You: 186,000
              Greatest Video Hits: 123,000

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              • Queen in the Dutch Charts
                Singles
                78 RE 4 Queen | Thank God It's Christmas (Week 52)
                89 78 5 Queen | Thank God It's Christmas (Week 1)
                Albums
                90 RE 21 Queen | Absolute Greatest (Week 1 - 2011)

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                • edit- wrong topic

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                  • This is probably my best Queen find ever. From a book called Understanding Popular Music.

                    UK sales:

                    Greatest Flix II: 300,000 copies

                    "In UK the boom in “sell-through” video came late in the 1980s, after the cost of movies on VHS dropped below ten pounds, with retail turnover virtually doubling every year for three consecutive years between 1987 and 1989. This growth has now slowed considerably, though in overall terms the market is still expanding at a steady ten per cent per year, making it worth well over 375 million (pounds) last year alone (Whalley, 1992). Examples of major sales include Picture Music International, EMI's video company, selling some 300000 copies of the Queen's Greatest Flix 2 compilation, Pavarotti—Three Tenors and In Bed With Madonna, the biggest-selling MVs in the UK in 1991, both sold hundreds of thousands of units" (Understanding Popular Music, 1994).

                    Impressive sales. Let's remember that it sold nearly 160,000 copies as DVD, released as "Greatest Video Hits II".

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                    • Hi everyone, as you know Greatest Hits 1 and Greatest Hits 2 is being re-released today throughout the world!

                      I was just wondering what anyone thinks the performance of these 2 albums will be like in the next few weeks, bearing in mind there aren't too many other big releases for a few weeks, plus all the big Christmas sellers will be 'running out of steam'.

                      I think they may get into the UK top 40 album charts this week. I also think Greatest Hits 1 will become the album with the most weeks on the UK album charts - I think its only 3-4 weeks behind 'Rumours' and 'Bat Out Of Hell'

                      What do you think HUR? Also HUR thanks as always for all the interesting sales/charts figures provided for Queen. That Greatest Flix 2 figure is very interesting. Do you have a link to MJDangerous new updated sales estimates as you showed Queen at 173.5m albums sold? Thanks and hope you had a good Christmas/New Year..

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                      • Celebratory Mastermind the other night was brilliant. The guy was dressed as Freddie in jump suit & then just stormed it. He got like the highest specialist subject score ever...21 points i think it was on Queen.

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                        • Originally posted by Edwood
                          I was just wondering what anyone thinks the performance of these 2 albums will be like in the next few weeks, bearing in mind there aren't too many other big releases for a few weeks, plus all the big Christmas sellers will be 'running out of steam'.

                          I think they may get into the UK top 40 album charts this week. I also think Greatest Hits 1 will become the album with the most weeks on the UK album charts - I think its only 3-4 weeks behind 'Rumours' and 'Bat Out Of Hell'
                          If anything, I think the only album with a chance of making the Top 40 is the first collection, "Greatest Hits". But not so much their "Greatest Hits II".

                          But I'm not sure because they haven't been heavily advertised, as far as I know, and there are some big price cuttings for plenty of albums (which generated some strange jumps last week, and will likely continue this week).

                          As for your prediction of Queen selling a million this year, it is all down to how successful the movie will be. But they are going to release it next year, I think. So I don't think they will sell a million in 2011, it is too much and very optimistic.

                          I may be pessimistic at times, and have been proven wrong before (with "Absolute Greatest", I wasn't expecting anything good in UK); but here, I'm being realistic, in my opinion. By comparison, Abba sold more than million albums between the second half of 2008 and 2009, and that was because of the movie Mamma Mia which broke some records. I see Queen selling about that many, if their film happens to be as successful as that one (which I find very unlikely if you ask me).

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                          • 'Greatest Hits' was 195th best selling artist album of 2000-09 in UK with sales of ~816,000

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                            • Thank you, Rollingbob. It sold that many without a third of the "Platinum Collection", no?

                              Edwood, here the link to MJDangerous' breakdown: http://fanofmusic.free.fr/index.php?m=C ... rs&Act=143

                              The figure for "Greatest Flix II" is great in UK. A total of 300,000 copies, by 1994, is impressive. I would say that as far as music videos are concerned, Queen are one of the very best selling acts ever in UK (and all over Europe).

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                              • Originally posted by HUR
                                Thank you, Rollingbob. It sold that many without a third of the "Platinum Collection", no?

                                Edwood, here the link to MJDangerous' breakdown: http://fanofmusic.free.fr/index.php?m=C ... rs&Act=143

                                The figure for "Greatest Flix II" is great in UK. A total of 300,000 copies, by 1994, is impressive. I would say that as far as music videos are concerned, Queen are one of the very best selling acts ever in UK (and all over Europe).
                                Thank you HUR, much appreciated

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                                • Absolute Greatest has finished 2010 with 133,000 copies, for a total amount of 678,000 copies in UK.

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                                  • Originally posted by EdWood
                                    I think they may get into the UK top 40 album charts this week.
                                    Unlikely, given that I is at #135 and II is at #186 in the current midweek chart!

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                                    • Originally posted by irishguy28
                                      Originally posted by EdWood
                                      I think they may get into the UK top 40 album charts this week.
                                      Unlikely, given that I is at #135 and II is at #186 in the current midweek chart!
                                      I think so far there has been terrible promotion from Queen's new record company, Universal/Island Records here in the UK. Without promotion this is where the albums end up! :x Lets hope they rise over the week and their positions improve alot!

                                      I think probably Universal is taking a long-term approach to Queen and their sales/success levels, not just over 2011 but over their entire contract which may be 5-10 years or even longer. I expect when any anniveraries start popping up this year as its their 40th year, we SHOULD start hearing alot more.. :-?

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                                      • Originally posted by EdWood
                                        I think so far there has been terrible promotion from Queen's new record company, Universal/Island Records here in the UK.

                                        I think probably Universal is taking a long-term approach to Queen
                                        They have only just come into UMG hands, and as far as I know, are not yet re-released physically. Anyways, the schedule of promotion and milestones for the year has already been published (and was posted here on this website) so I think you're being far too disapproving far too early!

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                                        • Originally posted by irishguy28
                                          Originally posted by EdWood
                                          I think so far there has been terrible promotion from Queen's new record company, Universal/Island Records here in the UK.

                                          I think probably Universal is taking a long-term approach to Queen
                                          They have only just come into UMG hands, and as far as I know, are not yet re-released physically. Anyways, the schedule of promotion and milestones for the year has already been published (and was posted here on this website) so I think you're being far too disapproving far too early!
                                          Looking on Amazon the 2011 Remasters of the GH 1 & 2 albums were released on the 3rd Jan.

                                          It seems like a strange strategy as they are likely to dampen the sales of the studio album re-releases when they appear in a couple of months.
                                          101 Albums | 501 Songs

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                                          • Originally posted by HUR
                                            Thank you, Rollingbob. It sold that many without a third of the "Platinum Collection", no?
                                            On its own yes.

                                            Btw 'Absolute Greatest' UK total according to this weeks Music Week : 673,584

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                                            • Thank you, Rollingbob.

                                              Originally posted by ShayLaB
                                              It seems like a strange strategy as they are likely to dampen the sales of the studio album re-releases when they appear in a couple of months.
                                              Their studio albums sales are already "dampened" since several years. :(

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                                              • Unfortunately the studio album sales haves always been damp on catalogue, sell reasonably well on release (certainly in the UK) but then fall of pretty much instantly, bar a couple of titles.

                                                They really are one band that the public tend to just go for the GH's and avoid the studios, but the GH's are such impressive sets, where as the majority of studios albums are weak, beyond a certain point in my opinion.

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                                                • The album "The Works" is now officially certified platinum in Germany (for sales of 500,000 copies). Although the award was requested in November 2010, it appears as having been achieved in 1992, the year it crossed that mark. This is because Roger Taylor was actually presented with an unofficial award for the album and EMI never bothered to certify it officially as they could have done; so I contacted IFPI Germany and raised this point. The thing is that EMI has finally applied for it so that it is now platinum.

                                                  Queen The Works 1992 Alben 1x Platin EMI EMI

                                                  In addition, "Queen Rock Montreal" is also platinum as a music DVD (for sales of 50,000 copies).

                                                  Queen Rock Montreal & Live Aid 2010 Video 1x Platin Edel Germany GmbH Eagle Rock

                                                  Queen certifications in Germany:

                                                  Albums: 11,500,000
                                                  Music videos: 525,000

                                                  The album total is, as far as I know, the highest for any band in the country; and the music video total is one of the highest ones in the database. Although albums and music videos can be combined for certifications purposes there in Germany.

                                                  By the way, here is a rough guess of what some of their studio albums have sold in UK, from 1986 to now for my fellow Queen fans from this forum:

                                                  A Night At The Opera: 600,000 to 700,000
                                                  Live At Wembley '86: 400,000 (from 1994 to now)
                                                  Queen, Queen II, Sheer Heart Attack and A Day At The Races: all nearly 300,000
                                                  Live Magic: nearly 400,000 by my reckoning
                                                  A Kind Of Magic: at least 350,000

                                                  We have at least 6 studio albums and 2 live albums (8 titles in total) that have sold enough for a platinum as catalogue items over the last 24 years or so; and virtually all of their other studio albums (except for "Hot Space") selling more than 200,000 copies.

                                                  Don't fool yourselves, these are very good sales for such old studio albums or live albums. Their compilations sell far more and are excellent back catalogue sellers but that doesn't mean that their studio albums sell poorly or are always "damp" (in recent years, they have but that isn't always the case). You won't really find that many bands with far more sales coming from their studio albums unless you always have Pink Floyd or the Beatles or a couple of other groups in mind. Actually, some groups have either similar sales or smaller, but are usually put on an "elite" without really deserving it.

                                                  If we combine Queen's studio albums sales with their ccompilations, and what they sell on catalogue, I would even dare to say that no group has sold more than Queen during the last 20 or 25 years in UK (with the Beatles as possible exception, naturally).

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                                                  • Originally posted by jimmypages59
                                                    Unfortunately the studio album sales haves always been damp on catalogue, sell reasonably well on release (certainly in the UK) but then fall of pretty much instantly, bar a couple of titles.

                                                    They really are one band that the public tend to just go for the GH's and avoid the studios, but the GH's are such impressive sets, where as the majority of studios albums are weak, beyond a certain point in my opinion.
                                                    I guess you are right...the remastered studio albums will probably only be of interest to the converted so the presence of the GHs are unlikely to impact sales either way. Just in terms of chronology it seems a bit odd.
                                                    101 Albums | 501 Songs

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                                                    • A Night At The Opera: 600,000 to 700,000
                                                      Live At Wembley '86: 400,000 (from 1994 to now)
                                                      Queen, Queen II, Sheer Heart Attack and A Day At The Races: all nearly 300,000
                                                      Live Magic: nearly 400,000 by my reckoning
                                                      A Kind Of Magic: at least 350,000
                                                      Fair point Hur, but LAW, AKOM, LM were all released since 86, so don't really count as catalogue from 86. I was always surprised that AKOM and LM were such reasonably good catalogue sellers, certainly compared to things like News of The World and The Works (which are far better LP's IMO).

                                                      300,000 might be a bit high for QII, SHA & ADATR from 86, considering they done 120K-145K between 92-06, but then again they did have the considerable self promotion of 3 New Albums, 1 Live Album and 1 GH between 86-91 and unfortunatley Freddies death.

                                                      In the UK I'd say (off the top of my head)Floyd, Zep, Beatles, Oasis and maybe U2 are better studio catalogue sellers, but I'd say Queen are easily the second most popular band of all time in the UK and as such you would expect better sales or a more even ratio of studio to GH or just simply higher catalogue studio sales.

                                                      1984-2007
                                                      (2) - (2) - (3) - 2 - Queen - 15,975,000 - 500,000
                                                      (3) - (4) - (4) - 4 - U2 - 15,233,000 - 708,000
                                                      (8) - (6) - (5) - 5 - Oasis - 13,133,000 - 1,354,000
                                                      (7) - (8) - (8) - 7 - The Beatles - 12,355,000 - 1,017,000

                                                      If we were looking at the last 20-25 years, I'd probably say they could be sitting 4th, going by the above list, as I imagine Queen would easily of had the best sales between 84-86 and maybe the least between 07-10.

                                                      Worldwide I can't really comment, but from what I see, again it is the GH's packages that are the sellers. Certainly in the US, where the bulk of soundscan sales are made up from GH's, with only ANATO shifting 1m plus. Metallica, The Beatles, Van Halen, Zep, Floyd and U2, showing better good studio catalogue sales.

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                                                      • Obviously, I'm cutting the first two years of sales for "Live At Wembley '86", "Live Magic" and "A Kind Of Magic".

                                                        "Live At Wembley '86" was released in 1992, and sold 479,551 according to your figures, including 129,867 for the second half of 1992 and 1993 put together. That leaves 349,684 copies from 1994 to 2006. So a total of 375,000 to 400,000 copies adding the last 4 years, or close, as back catalogue album.

                                                        I'm counting the sales of "A Kind Of Magic" and "Live Magic" from 1988 to now. Overall, I would estimate the former to have sold more than million copies, and the other close to 900,000. So when you see 350,000 for "A Kind Of Magic" and 400,000 for "Live Magic", I'm counting their sales from 1988 up to now when they became proper catalogue items. Just my guesses, that come from many years.

                                                        I don't think I'm inflating the sales for the 70's albums you mentioned. Your figures are from July 1992 to now. Remember that Queen's back catalogue was fully remastered in November 1986 and you also have their posthumous sales to add, for the last month of 1991 and the first semester of 1992. Queen used to sell far more studio albums back in the 80's; I know this from real sales information I have been let to know myself (coming from EMI) but it is something you can figure out for yourself by looking at what they sold each year from about 1986 to 1991 and removing what their new albums (back then) sold (such as "The Miracle", in 1989, which managed to sell 480,000 copies).

                                                        "A Day At The Races" has definitely sold more than 300,000 copies from 1986 to now; while I would say at least 250,000 to 275,000 for "Queen", "Queen II" and "Sheer Heart Attack". And I wouldn't be surprised if they sold a bit more themselves. Those sales estimations are fine, bear in mind (as I said) that Queen used to sell more back then. That is why I said nearly 300,000 copies each, because either they reached that or they are extremely close. My estimations are fine.

                                                        By the way, when I said my comment about the last 20 to 25 years, I was obviously talking about catalogue sales. Basically, either from about 1986 or 1991 to now, Queen have practically achieved better catalogue sales than any other band if you focus on material released two years or one and half year before. So for Queen, you have to count albums like "A Kind Of Magic" or "Greatest Hits II" (both released after 1986), but not their initial sales and just what they sold as back catalogue items. If we combined Queen's studio albums with their compilations sales, as back catalogue items during the last decades, I wouldn’t be surprised if Queen have sold more than any other band (except possibly for the Beatles).

                                                        So maybe U2 or Oasis sold more in the time frame (they didn't in reality), overall, but not if you consider back catalogue sales.

                                                        By the way, the comment about USA isn't that fair given that dispite the fact that Queen sold many million (and actually rank as one of the best selling foreign bands over there), it isn't really their best market. Based on that, you can also blame Pink Floyd for their poor sales in Japan or Led Zeppelin for their relative lack of success in Germany (both big markets).

                                                        As a personal note, with all the love and respect I feel for you, I think that you are making it look like it is either black or white. They don't really sell as many studio albums as a few other bands and their sales could indeed be better, but that doesn't mean that their studio albums are "always damp". You complain too much about it.

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                                                        • I'm not complaining Hur. I think Queen are amongst an elite of groups who transcend everybody else. In this list I would include Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, U2 and The Rolling Stones for terms of popularity, sales and fame, The Beatles are in a category all of their own, that truly transcends everybody else in music. I think you have to look at Queen in regards to what they are and against similar acts, you can't measure Queen against The Doors or Led Zeppelin against The Who, as you are not really comparing much alike.

                                                          If you look at straightforward splits of each of those acts album sales, I would say Queen holds the highest pecentage of total sales taken up by compilations (Rolling Stones may be up there too, due to the sheer plethora of comps, best offs etc). This would also be reflected in catalogue sales too, with Queens total being taken up by a far larger % of GH v Studio.

                                                          So, yes I know full well that per se Queens studio album catalogue sales are not exactly shit, but in comparision to acts in their 'category', they are not great studio catalogue sellers.

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                                                          • These are some of the things you said in the last couple of messages:

                                                            "Unfortunately the studio album sales haves always been damp on catalogue, sell reasonably well on release (certainly in the UK) but then fall of pretty much instantly, bar a couple of titles."

                                                            "…but I'd say Queen are easily the second most popular band of all time in the UK and as such you would expect better sales or a more even ratio of studio to GH or just simply higher catalogue studio sales."

                                                            "So, yes I know full well that per se Queens studio album catalogue sales are not exactly shit, but in comparision to acts in their 'category', they are not great studio catalogue sellers."

                                                            The last two comments are justified, to me, and I agree to a big extent. But the first one is very exaggerated and even inaccurate (given that they didn't "fall of pretty much instantly"; actually, most of their albums, their 70's ones, have achieved at least half of their sales via catalogue after their initial release).

                                                            This is what MJDangerous said in relation to Queen's back catalogue sales for their studio albums. I'm sure you respect him more than you respect me, so take a look:

                                                            "Obviously yes, A Night At The Opera at least, and others depending on the market, are great catalog seller. The common idea that they are on the ABBA or Elton John league, just because they have massive compilations too, is wrong. They are not at the level of the Beatles, AC/DC, Floyd or Zeppelin about studio albums, but they aren't ridiculous either compared to them. They are someway in-between ABBA and Beatles, on par with the Stones or U2"

                                                            Other than that, out of the bands you mentioned, Queen do probably have the biggest share of sales coming from their compilations. But there are other groups who are up there and you failed to mention and they are in a similar situation when it comes to their back catalogue sales (they sell far more compilations than studio albums).

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                                                            • I respect you far more than him, so do not put that as a question. I know you better and l like your more honest nature, about sales and truths.

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