Queen’s record-breaking Greatest Hits album of 1981, already the bestselling album of all time in the UK, has risen to its highest position there for more than 39 years.
The Official Charts Company survey published today (July 9) shows the compilation soaring from last week’s No.13 position to No.2, second only to Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour, which moves back 2-1 for its fourth aggregate week at the summit. Queen’s new sales impetus follows the July 2 release of a collector’s edition on CD, with an exclusive slipcase cover, and a limited edition cassette format, to mark the album’s 40th anniversary.
Additionally, the official Queen Online Store offered the collector’s CD and four extremely limited band member color cassettes. This version of the slipcase CD, strictly limited to 1,000 copies, houses a CD-sized print, personally signed by both Brian May and Roger Taylor.
The OCC reports that the new impetus for the hits collection is dominated by physical sales, with 78% of its weekly total comprising vinyl, CD and cassette copies. The album is also No.1 on the new Official Vinyl Albums Chart.
Even before the anniversary reissues, Greatest Hits had been enjoying yet another upsurge in its incredible fortunes. Between early February and early May this year, it spent 12 out of 14 weeks in the Top 10, twice reaching No.6. Last November, it reached the Top 10 of the Billboard album chart for the first time ever.
But the album has not been as high as No.2 on the UK chart since near the beginning of its epic run, in its 11th chart week in January 1982. This week’s showing is its 953rd in the Top 100, its 42nd in the Top 10 and 273rd in the Top 40. After debuting at No.2 in November 1981, it spent four consecutive weeks at No.1, followed by another four in a row, and five in total, in runner-up spot.