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  • Queen's 1976 hit "Bohemian Rhapsody" tops the 3 million mark in digital sales this week. It's the oldest recording to have sold 3 million digital copies. The song first appeared on Queen's fourth album, A Night At The Opera, in December 1975. Moreover, it's the best-selling song from the 1970s.
    Paul Grein's chart blog

    3 million digital copies + 1 million physical copies = 4 million copies

    Comment


    • How much did the song sell in 1992? :-?

      Comment


      • Thank you very much for the information. Glad it reached 3,000,000 digital copies.

        This song defines longevity.

        The original song was certified gold for 1,000,000. By the way, the reasong why it only got to number 9 in 1976 was because of its relative lack of airplay the first time around, which persists even today to an extent.

        Its 1992 reissue had Soudscan sales of 959,000 by late 2006. According to Brenda Romano (Hollywood Records), the song achieved 900,000 shipments via cassette singles, and I imagine that it would have surpassed 1,000,000 with CD singles.

        Overall, Bohemian Rhapsody probably sold 5,000,000 counting physical and digital copies. And presumably a million sales in three different decades, amazing.

        UK sales are 2,370,000 in total.

        So we are at more than 7,000,000 with these two countries.

        Comment


        • And what about the rest of the world?
          Queen rulez

          Comment


          • Poland
            11(01) Greatest Hits

            Huge drop, but still amazing! Moreover, there are 6 new entries above

            Comment


            • Originally posted by HUR
              I would like to share the following 'dissertation', loaded with sales numbers, chart and market information and well founded guesses (some probably not):

              Argentina
              Amazing input on the Argentinian sales!
              Thank you for sharing HUR, I would like to help on this too but I don't have any more info!
              thanks again

              Comment


              • Originally posted by arab
                Poland
                11(01) Greatest Hits

                Huge drop, but still amazing! Moreover, there are 6 new entries above
                Arab - thanks for the Poland chart info. Do you have any sales data for this or do you have any knowledge as to what kind of sales a number 1 album can equate to in Poland?

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Lawyeris
                  And what about the rest of the world?
                  Probably more 10,000,000 counting physical singles and digital downlods.

                  I think it sold 175,000 in Netherlands and more than 100,000 in Japan. Other than that, I don't have more sales details, but it was huge and sure ranks amongst the biggest selling singles ever in many countries, such as Ireland, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand and others.

                  My estimations:

                  Physical

                  UK – 2,130,000
                  Germany – 250,000
                  France – 50,000
                  Spain – 25,000
                  Netherlands – 175,000
                  Belgium – 100,000
                  Ireland – 150,000
                  Switzerland – 25,000

                  Europe as a whole – more than 3,000,000

                  USA – 2,000,000
                  Canada – 100,000

                  Australia – 200,000 (not sure)
                  New Zealand – 30,000

                  Japan – 100,000

                  So we would be at some 5,500,000 copies sold.

                  Perhaps 6,000,000 worldwide.

                  It was huge in several countries.

                  For example, its reissue did well in Argentina back in 1992.

                  This is an Argentinean ranking from January 1992:

                  Top 10
                  1 Rata Blanca Magos Espadas y Rosas
                  2 Queen Greatest Hits 2
                  3 Guns N Roses Use Your Illusion 2
                  4 Roxette Joyride
                  5 Queen Bohemian Rhapsody
                  6 Guns N Roses Use Your Illusion 1
                  7 Illya Kuriaki Fabrico Cuero
                  8 Queen Greatest Hits
                  9 Genesis We Can't Dance
                  10 Poison Swallow This Live

                  Singles sales were low then and there was no separate ranking anymore, at least compiled by CAPIF (other sources did).

                  So singles were allowed to make the main chart, and here we see Bohemian Rhapsody as the only single in a list loaded with albums, fairly high. Overall, three Queen releases in the Top 10, not bad.

                  Bohemian Rhapsody was also successful in South Africa and got released in many parts of Estearn Europe, including Hungary, Poland, Yugoslavia and other countries. So a global release.

                  As for digital singles, it sold 3,000,000 in the USA. Perhaps close 5,000,000 worldwide.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by EdWood
                    Originally posted by arab
                    Poland
                    11(01) Greatest Hits

                    Huge drop, but still amazing! Moreover, there are 6 new entries above
                    Arab - thanks for the Poland chart info. Do you have any sales data for this or do you have any knowledge as to what kind of sales a number 1 album can equate to in Poland?
                    There are no official sales, but I think #1 sells ~2-3k. Really huge new entries(Sade, U2 ect.) 7-12k. Greatest Hits sold ~1-1.3k this week and ~3k a week ago IMO.

                    Comment


                    • Thank you, Arab. Someone confirmed me that Platinum Collecion sold 4,000 during 2011 in Poland, for what it is worth.

                      According to an old chart I saw, from 1992, Greatest Hits II was number one in Poland too. Not officially relased by EMI, but by a local company, under license.

                      Greatest Hits II was still amongst the best selling albums in 1994, some three years after released. I know there was a small market for foreign repertoire during those years, but I wouldn't be surprised if it sold nearly 100,000 copies

                      Innuendo had been released in late 1991, as was Live At Wembley later in 1992.

                      Greatest Hits was also available then, but only via imports I believe.

                      EMI established as a company in about 1993 in Poland and that was when they started releasing all their albums, in synchrony with the rest of the world. Made In Heaven was huge in 1995 too.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by arab
                        Originally posted by EdWood
                        Originally posted by arab
                        Poland
                        11(01) Greatest Hits

                        Huge drop, but still amazing! Moreover, there are 6 new entries above
                        Arab - thanks for the Poland chart info. Do you have any sales data for this or do you have any knowledge as to what kind of sales a number 1 album can equate to in Poland?
                        There are no official sales, but I think #1 sells ~2-3k. Really huge new entries(Sade, U2 ect.) 7-12k. Greatest Hits sold ~1-1.3k this week and ~3k a week ago IMO.
                        Thanks Arab for the info...

                        Comment


                        • According to a Polish contact, with access to EMI, Queen sold 350,000 albums in Poland between 2002 and 2010.

                          Platinum Collection (triple album) sold 64,000 copies with that company.

                          I believe EMI tabulated it as 192,000 for the purposed of that figure, same for double albums (smaller sellers), like Queen On Fire or Return Of The Champions.

                          This means that from 2002 to 2010, Queen actually sold about 200,000 albums in Poland.

                          And, also about 30,000 DVDs, based on certifications.

                          Of course, this doesn't count their sales with Agora SA (local media company which apparently hates to pay taxes). Their whole catalogue (except compilations) was released by them.

                          Comment


                          • Huge sales for PC, but I don't know to classify its sales tbh, cause the album was released in late 2000 and then you had to sell 100k to get platinum cert. This compilation is certified 3xP, cause ZPAV counts every single CD as a 1 copy. So theoretically, PC must have sold over 300k(3cd x 100k+)

                            I think ZPAV counts sales from Agora's special editions, cause all albums were certified platinum( expect A Kind Of Magic-3xP and A Night At The Opera - 2xP) after the release. AKOM was the first album(book+cd) released by Agora and cost only ~2.5€

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by HUR

                              My estimations:

                              Physical

                              UK – 2,130,000
                              Germany – 250,000
                              France – 50,000
                              Spain – 25,000
                              Netherlands – 175,000
                              Belgium – 100,000
                              Ireland – 150,000
                              Switzerland – 25,000

                              Europe as a whole – more than 3,000,000

                              USA – 2,000,000
                              Canada – 100,000

                              Australia – 200,000 (not sure)
                              New Zealand – 30,000

                              Japan – 100,000

                              So we would be at some 5,500,000 copies sold.

                              Perhaps 6,000,000 worldwide.
                              I guess these are the combined physical sales from 1975/1976 and 1991/1992? If that's the case then they look quite accurate to me. Do you have any information on Scandinavia and Italy? Regarding Australia, I would estimate sales of 80,000 to 100,000 copies in 1976, based on sales of other number one singles of that year (namely Abba's "Mamma Mia" which sold 150,000 and was at #1 for 10 weeks and "SOS" which sold 100,000 and was at #1 for 1 week and 7 weeks at #2).
                              My YouTube Channel - The best songs of the 80s, 90s and 2000s

                              Comment


                              • Yes, Arab. But I think Platinum Collection was only certified gold in Poland, in 2003, when 35,000 were needed for that acreditation.

                                Personally, I would only count every copy sold as one sale, it is a differet product from the invidual compilations.

                                Their sales with Agora SA were 760,000 overall, they all sold at least 30,000 copies.
                                A Kind Of Magic was the cheapest one, but the others were sold for 6 euros each, if I remember well. I know these were cheaper than the average album in Poland, but a sale is a sale in the end.

                                So between 2002 and 2012, we would have:

                                EMI – 200,000 albums
                                Agora SA (in partner with EMI) – 760,000
                                Universal – some 40,000 (a source told me each studio album ranged between 1,000 and 3,000 shipments in 2011)

                                But let's remember that Queen were one of the few foreign acts selling well before 1994, for Polish standards.

                                The first international album Tonpress ever relased was Best Of Queen in 1980, one year earlier their first compilation (Greatest Hits) saw the light of day worldwide.

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by HUR
                                  Their sales with Agora SA were 760,000 overall, they all sold at least 30,000 copies.
                                  A Kind Of Magic was the cheapest one, but the others were sold for 6 euros each, if I remember well. I know these were cheaper than the average album in Poland, but a sale is a sale in the end.
                                  Yes, other albums cost ~6€. Albums usually cost ~13-15€ here in Poland. So it was a fantastic ocassion to buy their whole discography. Moreover, these editions are way better than standard album release - full CD, fantastic book with history of the album, lots of photos. I bought 12 books from Agora

                                  Comment


                                  • You are right, Arab. I thought CDs were a bit cheaper in Poland. Thank you.

                                    This is what they are doing on Itunes right now:

                                    Poland (36)

                                    Songs:

                                    95. Too Much Love Will Kill You
                                    205. Bohemian Rhapsody
                                    219. The Show Must Go On
                                    315. We Will Rock You
                                    319. We Are the Champions
                                    329. I Want to Break Free
                                    377. Who Wants to Live Forever
                                    397. You Don't Fool Me

                                    Albums:

                                    9. The Platinum Collection
                                    176. Absolute Greatest

                                    The songs from Made In Heaven are very popular there.

                                    Thank you very much, Benny. Yes, both combined.

                                    Unfortunately, nothing on Scandinavia or Italy for Bohemian Rhapsody.

                                    It was a reasonably big hit in Denmark. In 1976, it charted as follows:

                                    Week 4: 5
                                    Week 5: 4
                                    Week 6: 5
                                    Week 7: 3
                                    Week 8: 2
                                    Week 9: 2
                                    Week 10: 4
                                    Week 11: 2
                                    Week 12: 3
                                    Week 13: 2

                                    Not sure what happened after that.

                                    It reached number 3 in 1992 and charted many weeks inside the Top 10, I don't have the full chart history right now.

                                    It did well in Norway, but not in Sweden.

                                    You are probably right about Australia. Here are its weekly chart positions while inside the Top 10 during 1976:

                                    23.02.1976: 8
                                    01.03.1976: 3
                                    08.03.1976: 2
                                    15.03.1976: 2
                                    22.03.1976: 1
                                    29.03.1976: 1
                                    05.12.1976: 2
                                    12.04.1976: 2
                                    19.04.1976: 2
                                    26.04.1976: 2
                                    03.05.1976: 2
                                    10.05.1976: 2
                                    17.05.1976: 2
                                    24.05.1976: 3
                                    31.05.1976: 4
                                    07.06.1976: 7
                                    14.06.1976: 10

                                    Overall, 30 weeks in the Top 100.

                                    In 1992:

                                    02.02.1992: 10
                                    09.02.1992: 6
                                    16.02.1992: 5
                                    23.02.1992: 7

                                    It stayed 18 weeks on charts.

                                    Counting both editions, we have 21 weeks Top 10 and 48 Top 100.

                                    I said about 5,000,000 digital downloads, but it is definitely over 4,000,000. I would say 4,500,000 overall, still shy of the further milestone.

                                    Comment


                                    • Incase you Guys don't know.....

                                      The UK TV Channel, BBC1, is showing a Freddie
                                      Mercury Documentary next Tuesday - 16th October.

                                      It is called 'Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender'.

                                      It is on from 10.35pm to 11.40pm. (22.35 to 23.40).

                                      It is made by a Queen Fan.

                                      Here is what it says about it, on a Queen Site:,

                                      BROADCAST ON BBC1

                                      TUESDAY OCTOBER 16TH 10.35PM

                                      A brand new Freddie Mercury documentary, “The Great Pretender” will be screened on BBC1 on October 16th at 10.35pm.

                                      Created by the same team behind last year’s widely acclaimed “Queen: Days of Our Lives” BBC documentary, “The Great Pretender” in similar vein presents a compelling insight into its subject matter, unearthing previously undiscovered or rarely seen footage.

                                      Produced and directed by Rhys Thomas, life-long Queen fan and expert (to the extent that Rhys famously broke the Mastermind all time record points score with a specialist subject of Queen), Rhys has this time turned his attention to the Freddie archive, going back as early as 1976 in search of vintage gems which reveal more than ever before the inside story of Freddie’s life and career and the solo projects he worked on outside of Queen.

                                      The extensive archive footage is drawn from rare interviews with Freddie, concerts, video shoots and personal material, much of it being seen for the first time, along with newly filmed contributions from fellow Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor, Queen manager Jim Beach, soprano Montserrat Caballé, composers David Arnold and Mike Moran, lyricist Tim Rice, comedian and lifelong fan Matt Lucas and many more.

                                      From it emerges a portrait of a man who was very different to his flamboyant onstage public persona.

                                      Among the treasures to be anticipated, “The Great Pretender” includes for the first time ever Freddie and Rod Stewart singing their demo for “Take Another Piece of My Heart”, an unreleased song from 1984, a snippet of the unreleased Michael Jackson / Freddie Mercury collaboration “There Must Be More To Life Than This”, and Freddie with the Royal Ballet 1979 – never seen in full before.

                                      Rhys, whose extensive scouting for lost material turned up a copy of the band’s first TV appearance among the belongings of late comedian Dick Emery, brings to the light Freddie’s earliest filmed interview from 1976 unearthed in Australia and another unseen interview from 1976 filmed by NBC in the USA.

                                      Rhys also found 10 cans of Freddie’s 39th Black and White birthday party in Mrs Henderson’s nightclub in Munich in 1985. Originally filmed for the video for “Living On My Own” and promptly banned by Freddie’s record company because of its cross-dressing theme, there’s much to be enjoyed in watching Freddie and his friends go full out in their efforts to help Freddie celebrate his last birthday before turning 40.

                                      On top of this, “The Great Pretender” has a feast of outtakes from the video shoots for “I Want To Break Free”, “One Vision”, “Days of Our Lives”, “I Want It All”, “A Kind Of Magic”, “Princes of the Universe”, “Living on My Own”, Born To Love You”, “Great Pretender”, “Made In Heaven”, and “Who Wants to Live Forever”.

                                      Coinciding with the “The Great Pretender” comes the release of the new “Barcelona: Special Edition” album with Freddie and Montserrat’s original album re-recorded with full 80 piece orchestra [a feature on the making of this album is included on both formats] and a new book, also entitled “The Great Pretender” with matching artwork.

                                      Freddie Mercury was one of the most charismatic, complex and fascinating characters in British rock music. A generous, caring, thoughtful man with a self-deprecating sense of humour and a genuine passion for music. Freddie Mercury touched the lives of millions through his career both with Queen and as a solo performer and this new programme is sure to delight and inform his legions of fans as never before.

                                      “The Great Pretender” is also available on DVD and Blu-ray, through Eagle Rock Entertainment. As bonus features [that will not make up part of the version to be broadcast by the BBC] the programme includes “Freddie Mercury Goes Solo” and an extended interview with Montserrat Caballé.

                                      Zeus555

                                      Comment


                                      • Yes Zeus555 - the Freddie documentary is on BBC1 this week and hopefully this should create an uplift in sales for a short time at least. I hope they can get an album in the top 40 UK album charts but thats probably too optimistic... :-?

                                        Comment


                                        • Last week in UK album charts..

                                          154. (62) GREATEST HITS [REMASTERED] (Queen)
                                          196. (193) GREATEST HITS I II & III - THE PLATINUM COLLECTION [REMASTERED] (Queen)

                                          Only figures we have to determine sales of these 2 albums are as follows

                                          2045 No Doubt (66)
                                          707 Beatles [1s] (197)

                                          As PC is one position below The Beatles '1' album lets say it sold 710 copies.
                                          Queen Greatest Hits - 1,100 (?)

                                          Comment


                                          • After the Freddie Mercury documentary on BBC1 last night just looked at some chart positions in the UK

                                            On Amazon.co.uk:

                                            top album seller chart, Barcelona is currently at number 3 (the sales rank went up by 118,466% from number 3557 previously)
                                            The special edition of the album is at number 69
                                            2 older versions of the album (one is an import) are at 238 and 241 respectively.
                                            The Freddie Mercury album from 1992 is at 260 (up from 14,132 with a 5335% increase in its sales rank)
                                            Queen's Greatest Hits on CD is at 202 with a chart increase of 193% from 593.
                                            A Night At the Opera is at 988, Sheer Heart Attack is at 1,039 and Made In Heaven is at 1,032.
                                            On Amazon MP3 charts, Barcelona is at number 81, and Queen's Greatest Hits is at number 30 - its gone back up to normal price now. Platinum Collection is at number 45.

                                            On UK Itunes album chart, Barcelona is at number 37, Platinum Collection is at 39 and Greatest Hits is at 99. The deluxe version of Barcelona also charts at number 178..

                                            Comment


                                            • US Biggest Selling Digital Songs Ever
                                              160 QUEEN BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY 3,011,072

                                              The 37 years-old song has sold more than many hits from the 21st century! The Queen is only one

                                              Comment


                                              • QUEEN GREATEST HITS 1,424 -12 1,612 7,034,657
                                                QUEEN GREATEST HITS-WE WILL ROCK YOU 1,083 -3 1,115 1,106,460

                                                Comment


                                                • Thank you, Arab. Amazing for Bohemian Rhapsody.

                                                  Hungary

                                                  In 2000, the recording industry association of Hungary, MAHASZ, compiled a list with the most successful albums of the nineties (based on points):

                                                  1 3854 VANGELIS 1492 - THE CONQUEST OF PARADISE WARNER
                                                  2 2961 HORVÁTH CHARLIE CHARLIE RÓZSA
                                                  3 2132 ACE OF BASE HAPPY NATION POLYGRAM
                                                  4 2058 QUEEN GREATEST HITS II. MMC
                                                  5 2002 FILMZENE CSINIBABA B & P

                                                  Greatest Hits II made number 4. The whole Top 40 was full of a local products, even though this Top 5 suggests otherwise.

                                                  Greatest Hits II received the Golden Giraffe in 1992, for being the best selling international album.

                                                  But I think it was actually the best selling album of the year overall.

                                                  Comment


                                                  • Absolutely agree with you guys! I even tweeted about Bohemian's milestone a couple of days ago

                                                    Comment


                                                    • Originally posted by arab
                                                      QUEEN GREATEST HITS 1,424 -12 1,612 7,034,657
                                                      QUEEN GREATEST HITS-WE WILL ROCK YOU 1,083 -3 1,115 1,106,460
                                                      I wonder why Hollywood Records haven't deleted the GH-WWRY edition, it was released in 2004 to promote the Queen musical. It's identical to the normal GH except for 3 extra tracks 2 of which are live. I'm not sure why these aren't counted as 1 release, if the WWRY edition was deleted and its sales naturally moved to the standard release then GH would be Top25 on the US catalogue chart on a regular basis. Is the fact that these are still being counted as 2 seperate releases the reason why GH hasn't recieved a diamond award in the US?

                                                      Comment


                                                      • At the moment, both on Amazon.uk and on Hmv, the CD version of Greatest Hits is on offer at 6.99 £, that is to say less than the digital version. For this reason, the album is climbing the ranking on Amazon.uk.

                                                        On the Chinese Amazon, Greatest Hits still remains into the top-40.

                                                        Comment


                                                        • This 3 Disk, (2 CD + DVD), Set, is released in November:,

                                                          Queen - Hungarian Rhapsody

                                                          http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hungarian-Rhaps ... B009DH379C


                                                          Zeus555

                                                          Comment


                                                          • I was surprised that Queen didn't reappear in the top 100 UK album charts this week..thought one would have after the documentary was aired this week :-?

                                                            I suppose we can't take too much account of Amazon/Itunes album chart positions as these don't really reflect the overall album chart and physical sales are still the dominant factor unlike singles sales...

                                                            Comment


                                                            • The showing of the Freddie Documentary, & the
                                                              previous Week's showing of 'Mamma Mia!', made both
                                                              'The Platinum Collection' & 'Gold', re-enter the
                                                              UK iTunes Top 40. But, neither reached the Top 100
                                                              of The OCC Album Chart. As EdWood says, you can't
                                                              really go by iTunes, as to whether an Act will be back
                                                              in The OCC Top 100 Albums Chart.

                                                              Zeus555

                                                              Comment

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