Physical Singles Sales – Part 2
A Night at the Opera (1975) – 2,219,000 equivalent albums
Bohemian Rhapsody – 3,450,000
You’re My Best Friend – 1,050,000
Love of My Life (live) – 260,000
Bohemian Rhapsody (1991) – 2,620,000
Bohemian Rhapsody (2009) – 10,000
Bohemian Rhapsody (2015) – 5,000
A Day at the Races (1976) – 896,000 equivalent albums
Tie Your Mother Down – 440,000
Long Away – 50,000
Somebody to Love – 1,990,000
Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together) – 10,000
Somebody to Love (live, 1993) – 400,000
No-One But You (1997) – 90,000
Tie Your Mother Down (live, 2005) – 5,000
News of the World (1977) – 1,899,000 equivalent albums
We Are the Champions / We Will Rock You – 4,600,000
Spread Your Wings – 250,000
It’s Late – 150,000
We Will Rock You (live, 1979) – 10,000
We Are the Champions (1992) – 500,000
We Are the Champions (1998) – 150,000
We Will Rock You (2000) – 570,000
We Will Rock You (2003) – 100,000
With their name now established, Queen returned quickly in 1975 with A Night at the Opera. The lead single Bohemian Rhapsody was an insane success in the UK, topping the charts for 9 weeks, a very rare achievement during the high years of physical singles sales. Selling more than a million there, the same feat was repeated in the US too although with a much more modest #9 peak.
The hit took its own revenge some 15 years later though, by reaching a higher peak when re-entering at #2 in 1991 after the passing of Freddie, while also adding a further 5 more weeks at the top in the UK. A solid seller on both its versions everywhere plus a few more reissues led the song to an incredible total over 6 million. You’re My Best Friend adds its million too.
The biggest song of A Day at the Races was Somebody to Love which sold 2,4 million units across two releases. It must be noted that Queen was releasing albums at a very fast pace, which limited their promotional campaigns to just two singles only along with a few minor ones here and there.
The promotion of News of the World started with the monster double-A single We Are the Champions / We Will Rock You. Incredibly enough, that single wasn’t a #1. Nor in the US, nor in the UK, nor in Australia, Germany, Canada, Netherlands, etc. Singles sales were massive then though, so solid Top 5 runs in most relevant markets was enough to enjoy a strong 4,6 million sales. Various reissues of those two songs have sold very well too.
With material issued in less than 2 years, Queen sold 16,7 million physical singles.