By Gary Taylor The bands very first Greatest Hits compilation album was released in the UK on the 2nd November 1981. It was an instant hit reaching the No 1 position at home (for 4 weeks) and also in numerous other territories around the world including Germany, Australia, Canada, Austria, Argentina, France, Spain, New Zealand and Portugal. Since it's release in the UK it has reached at least 19x platinum award status with officially recorded sales of over 5.6 million copies, becoming the UK's biggest selling album of all time. The album also achieved multi platinum sales status around the rest of the world becoming Queen's most commercially successful album ever, having sold more than 25 million copies, and rendering it one of the best-selling albums in the world. The album has gone 8x platinum in the US and 14x platinum in Australia alone. The album cover design was based on a concept by Freddie and included front and rear cover photography by Lord Snowdon, and an inner sleeve showing the LP cover where each single had been taken from. Similarly named sister products accompanied Greatest Hits, in the form of a book, Greatest Pix, showing the bands varying image changes and live photos from over the years, and also the bandâ€™s very first video compilation, Greatest Flix, incorporating all the promo videos up to 1980. A promotional TV advert was made and shown on TV at the time. The UK album comprises Queen's best selling hit singles output from Seven Seas Of Rhye in 1974 to Flash in 1980, and every other single to make the top 20 over the last seven years. Strangely the album did not include Under Pressure, a duet with David Bowie that had been released a week prior. This song was included however on the US version of the album even though it was only released a day later on the the 3rd November. The track was also included on some other countries albums like Germany, Israel, Canada and Holland. Various versions of the album were released around the world with each territory including what had been a hit there, or made popular radio tracks at the time, so there were a few variations in the tracklisting. In the USA Save Me was omitted in favour of Under Pressure and Keep Yourself Alive. The South American continent included the massive hit single Love Of My Life (live) and no Seven Seas Of Rhye. Australia replaced Don't Stop Me Now, Now I'm Here, Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy, Save Me and Seven Seas with Tie Your Mother Down and Keep Yourself Alive. Japan included Teo Torriatte in place of Bicycle Race and Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy while Spain and Belgium included Spread Your Wings as an extra track. For collectors and completists of these various albums, it made it very interesting, though hard to track each version down. Another country that included obscure tracks was the release in Bulgaria, which included the album tracks Death On Two Legs and Sweet Lady for reasons only known to the record company at the time. They went so far as to make one version of the LP a double album in a gatefold sleeve, and another with a white cover design instead of the standard black, and for a re release in 1984 they issued a vinyl LP picture disc. Producers: Various inc. Queen, Roy Thomas Baker, Mike Stone, Mack and May Engineers: Various inc. Mike Stone, Gary Lyons, Geoff Workman, Mack Recording Studios: Various inc Trident, Wessex, Rockfield, Air, Sarm, Roundhouse, Olympic, Scorpio, Landsdowne, The Manor, Basing Street, Mountain, Superbear, Musicland and Anvil. Artwork Concept: Freddie Mercury Award Status: 11 x Platinum (UK) Platinum (US)
Did You Know?
1. Lord Snowdon took the photographs for the album cover 2. Queenâ€™s first greatest hits album is the UKâ€™s biggest selling compilation hits album ever 3. Different track listings were used around the world 4. Album sold over 300,000 copies in first four days of release and entered chart with a platinum sale status. 5. To date greatest hits has sold 3.3 million copies in UK and has spent nearly 500 weeks in the charts
- 14. Flash
Flash, ah saviour of the universe flash, ah he'll save ev'ry one of us "Seemingly there is no reason for these extraordinary inter-galactical events" "What's happening flash ?" "Only Doctor Hans Zarkov - formerly at NASA - has provided any explanation" Flash, ah he's a miracle "This morning's unprecedented solar eclipse is no cause for alarm" Flash, ah king of the impossible He's for ev'ry one of us, stand for ev'ry one of us He'll save with a mighty hand, ev'ry man ev'ry woman ev'ry child With a mighty flash "General kala... Flash Gordon approaching !" "What do you mean flash gordon approaching? Open fire all weapons. Despatch war rocket and Ajax to bring back his body" Flash, ah "Gordon's alive !" Flash, ah he'll save ev'ry one of us Just a man with a man's courage He knows nothing but a man, but he can never fail No one but the pure in heart may find the golden grail Oh oh oh oh "Flash, Flash I love you, but we only have fourteen hours to save the earth" Flash