Original Album Sales – Comments
1973 Queen – 2,950,000
1974 Queen II – 2,900,000
1974 Sheer Heart Attack – 4,350,000
1975 A Night at the Opera – 10,375,000
1976 A Day at the Races – 4,775,000
1977 News of the World – 9,450,000
1978 Jazz – 5,325,000
1980 The Game – 9,100,000
1980 Flash Gordon (Soundtrack) – 3,050,000
1982 Hot Space – 2,875,000
1984 The Works – 4,875,000
1986 A Kind of Magic – 6,025,000
1989 The Miracle – 4,525,000
1991 Innuendo – 5,725,000
1995 Made in Heaven – 9,450,000
Queen sold 85,75 million studio albums over 15 releases, a solid average of 5,7 million per effort. The most surprising fact for an act that registered out-of-this-world smashes, as well as hard core bombs, is to see that every album sold at least half of their average while none of them managed two times more.
How can we explain that every album is so close in spite of singles received very differently? I often mention two kind of buyers, the regular ones, among which are fans and the casual ones. Fans try to collect the full discography of their favorite artists. The purchase of casual consumers will depend on how the catalog of an act is exploited. If the artist has no compilation, the album containing their signature song will be purchased, which increases the gap between the most popular and less popular albums as years pass by. If the artist has tons of hits a compilation will be favored when available by the casual buyer. That case results in regular buyers / fans having a much larger input on sales of studio albums, which explains the linearity of Queen which clearly belong to this category of artists.
In fact, there are tons of compilations available by Queen, their discography is too large anyway to continue pushing their studio sets. In other words, that already big 85,75 million figure is only part of the picture, big pieces are still missing from the jigsaw. We are going to study them right now!
You may notice the absence of The Cosmos Rocks, a studio album from 2008 by Queen + Paul Rodgers. As it was sold using the trademark of the band, it is included into their total. Considering the absence of Freddie though, we can hardly include it among the remaining albums. This 400,000-units selling annex project is consequently moved into the Orphan category.