Greatest Hits (Queen album)

Greatest Hits (Queen album)

Infobox Album

Caption = 1981 UK and U.S. editions
Name = Greatest Hits
Released = November 2, 1981
Type = greatest
Recorded =
Genre = Hard rock, Heavy metal, Progressive rock, Pop rock
Length =
Label = EMI/Parlophone
Producer = Queen, various
Reviews =
*Allmusic Rating|5|5 [ link]
*Sputnikmusic Rating|4.5|5 [ link]
Artist = Queen
Last album = "Flash Gordon"
This album = "Greatest Hits"
Next album = "Hot Space"
Misc = Extra album cover 2
Upper caption = Alternate cover
Type = greatest

Lower caption = 1992 U.S. edition

"Greatest Hits" is a 1981 Queen compilation. The record, released on November 2, 1981, is the UK's all-time best-selling album.citation|date=2006-11-16|title=Queen head all-time sales chart|publisher=BBC|url=] Combined with "Greatest Hits II", it became the definitive Queen compilation. While a domestic release with different tracks but the same cover art was available in the U.S. in 1981, the British release was available to United States customers only by import until the 1995 release of "Greatest Hits" I & II, which combined the two discs. The seventeen-track UK "Greatest Hits" disc was released in the U.S. on its own for the first time, with a few bonus tracks, in 2004 under the name "Greatest Hits: We Will Rock You Edition".


In 1981, Queen released "Greatest Hits" worldwide. However, there was no universal track listing or even cover art. Each territory's tracks were dependent on what singles were released there, and what tracks charted. In some cases, despite the band's popularity, not enough songs were issued as singles to fill a compilation album, and a few album tracks were used as filler. Some examples of these were "Sweet Lady" and "Love of My Life", neither were released as singles in any country, but appear on some regions' 1981 Hits release. In the UK and the U.S., where solid numbers could be collected, the standard was raised again by only including top twenty Hits. This rigid criterion was a trademark of Queen's desire to only market the best. Queen's official website (QOL) issued a "Greatest Video Hits 1 - Official Press Release on **Fri 20 Sep 02**" stating "Compiled directly from the band's phenomenally successful 'Greatest Hits "1"' album, which has to date sold in excess of 43 million copies worldwide".The hits on the album collectively sold over 110 million worldwide. In 2006, QOL informed that "Greatest Hits" 1 has sold in excess of 5.6 million in the UK, making it UK's best selling album ever.

The U.S. ended up with its original edit of Queen's first single release, "Keep Yourself Alive", which had been re-released in the U.S. in 1975 (original release was 1973) after the success of "Bohemian Rhapsody". Also, because of the delay in release dates between the UK (out first) and the U.S. (almost a month later), the U.S. was able to add "Under Pressure" (Queen's duet with David Bowie) to its Hits collection, as it was released during that interim.

In Argentina and Brazil, the LP edition included the same list of UK Greatest Hits minus "Seven Seas of Rhye", and including "Love of My Life" (Live Killers version). CD version is the same as the British.

Jumping ahead to 1991, Queen sought to issue a second Greatest Hits collection worldwide, this time with a standard track listing. However, the band had just changed record labels in the US, from Capitol to Hollywood Records, who keen on a massive promotion of the band's back catalogue. The problem was that Elektra still held the US rights to that first 1981 collection (despite being Hollywood's US licencée). Hollywood Records decided to not release "Greatest Hits II" to the U.S. market, but instead created their own collection, "Classic Queen" (1992). This compilation was made up of tracks such as "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Keep Yourself Alive" and "Under Pressure" (which had already appeared on the Elektra 1981 "Hits" collection) as well as newer tracks ("A Kind of Magic" and "Radio Ga Ga"). Some tracks were not even singles in the U.S. ("One Year of Love") or anywhere ("Stone Cold Crazy"). Though well received, this collection would eventually pose the problem of overlapping track lists in the future.

Hollywood Records, later that year, re-released a companion collection "Greatest Hits" with similar artwork (on a red background, where "Classic Queen" was on royal blue). Commonly referred to as the "Red Greatest Hits", it features most of the '70s tracks absent from "Classic Queen" (including "Another One Bites the Dust" [1980] , "We Will Rock You", "We Are the Champions" and "Killer Queen").

In 2004, to promote the Las Vegas production of the musical "We Will Rock You", Hollywood Records released "Greatest Hits: We Will Rock You Edition" which was the UK "Greatest Hits" with three bonus tracks.

Track listing

This section includes the track listings for the original "Greatest Hits" and closely-related albums only. For other compilations, including the second and third "Greatest Hits" albums, see the relevant articles.

headline = 1981 UK edition
nobold|Has a photograph of the band as its cover.
total_length = 57:20

writing_credits = yes

title1 = Bohemian Rhapsody
note1 = from "A Night at the Opera", 1975
writer1 = Freddie Mercury
length1 = 5:55

title2 = Another One Bites the Dust
note2 = from "The Game", 1980
writer2 = John Deacon
length2 = 3:36

title3 = Killer Queen
note3 = from "Sheer Heart Attack", 1974
writer3 = Mercury
length3 = 2:57

title4 = Fat Bottomed Girls
note4 = single version, from "Jazz", 1978
writer4 = Brian May
length4 = 3:16

title5 = Bicycle Race
note5 = from "Jazz", 1978
writer5 = Mercury
length5 = 3:01

title6 = You're My Best Friend
note6 = from "A Night at the Opera", 1975
writer6 = Deacon
length6 = 2:52

title7 = Don't Stop Me Now
note7 = from "Jazz", 1978
writer7 = Mercury
length7 = 3:29

title8 = Save Me
note8 = from "The Game", 1980
writer8 = May
length8 = 3:48

title9 = Crazy Little Thing Called Love
note9 = from "The Game", 1980
writer9 = Mercury
length9 = 2:42

title10 = Somebody to Love
note10 = from "A Day at the Races", 1976
writer10 = Mercury
length10 = 4:56

title11 = Now I'm Here
note11 = from "Sheer Heart Attack", 1974
writer11 = May
length11 = 4:10

title12 = Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy
note12 = from "A Day at the Races", 1976
writer12 = Mercury
length12 = 2:54

title13 = Play the Game
note13 = from "The Game", 1980
writer13 = Mercury
length13 = 3:33

title14 = Flash
note14 = single version, from "Flash Gordon", 1980
writer14 = May
length14 = 2:48

title15 = Seven Seas of Rhye
note15 = from "Queen II", 1974
writer15 = Mercury
length15 = 2:47

title16 = We Will Rock You
note16 = from "News of the World", 1977
writer16 = May
length16 = 2:01

title17 = We Are the Champions
note17 = from "News of the World", 1977
writer17 = Mercury
length17 = 2:59

headline = 1981 U.S. edition
total_length = 48:34

writing_credits = yes

title1 = Another One Bites the Dust
length1 = 3:37

title2 = Bohemian Rhapsody
length2 = 5:58

title3 = Crazy Little Thing Called Love
length3 = 2:44

title4 = Killer Queen
length4 = 3:02

title5 = Fat Bottomed Girls
length5 = 3:23

title6 = Bicycle Race
length6 = 3:01

title7 = Under Pressure
note7 = later included on "Hot Space", 1982
writer7 = Queen, David Bowie
length7 = 4:05

title8 = We Will Rock You
length8 = 2:02

title9 = We Are the Champions
length9 = 3:01

title10 = Flash
length10 = 2:49

title11 = Somebody to Love
length11 = 4:58

title12 = You're My Best Friend
length12 = 2:52

title13 = Keep Yourself Alive
note13 = from "Queen", 1973
writer13 = May
length13 = 3:32

title14 = Play the Game
length14 = 3:28

headline = 1992 U.S. edition
nobold|Has a red cover with the Queen crest design.
total_length = 58:43

writing_credits = yes

title1 = We Will Rock You
length1 = 2:02

title2 = We Are the Champions
length2 = 3:01

title3 = Another One Bites the Dust
length3 = 3:37

title4 = Killer Queen
length4 = 3:01

title5 = Somebody to Love
length5 = 4:56

title6 = Fat Bottomed Girls
length6 = 3:16

title7 = Bicycle Race
length7 = 3:02

title8 = You're My Best Friend
length8 = 2:51

title9 = Crazy Little Thing Called Love
length9 = 2:43

title10 = Now I'm Here
length10 = 4:14

title11 = Play the Game
length11 = 3:31

title12 = Seven Seas of Rhye
length12 = 2:48

title13 = Body Language
note13 = from "Hot Space", 1982
writer13 = Mercury
length13 = 4:33

title14 = Save Me
length14 = 3:48

title15 = Don't Stop Me Now
length15 = 3:30

title16 = Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy
length16 = 2:55

title17 = I Want to Break Free
length17 = 4:22

headline = 2004 U.S. edition ("Greatest Hits: We Will Rock You")
nobold|Same track listing as UK 1981 edition, followed by three additional tracks.
total_length = 69:17

writing_credits = yes

title18 = I'm in Love with My Car
note18 = From "A Night at the Opera" (1975)
writer18 = Roger Taylor
length18 = 3:12

title19 = Under Pressure
note19 = from "Queen on Fire - Live at the Bowl", 1982
length19 = 3:39

title20 = Tie Your Mother Down
note20 = from "Queen on Fire - Live at the Bowl", 1982
writer20 = May
length20 = 6:22


Release history


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