Queen earns highest-charting album in 38 years on Billboard 200 with “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Queen live 1984
Express Newspapers/Getty Images

Express Newspapers/Getty Images

Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” soundtrack hits No. 3, while “Greatest Hits I II & III: The Platinum Collection” surges 194-9.
12 November 2018

Queen earns its highest-charting album in 38 years, as the Bohemian Rhapsody film soundtrack surges 25-3 on the Billboard 200 with 59,000 units (up 187 percent) earned in the week ending Nov. 8 according to Nielsen Music, after the film’s opening in U.S. theaters on Nov. 2. Of its unit haul, album sales comprised 24,000 — up 182 percent.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units are comprised of traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Nov. 17-dated chart (where Bohemian vaults to No. 3) will be posted in full on Billboard’s websites on Tuesday, Nov. 13.

Bohemian Rhapsody is the companion album to the hit biopic movie of the same name and collects highlights from Queen’s career. The set includes the title tune, “Under Pressure” with David Bowie, a new remix of “We Will Rock You,” and a handful of tracks from the band’s performance at Live Aid in 1985 — the first time the recordings have been released in audio.

Bohemian Rhapsody is Queen’s highest-reaching album since 1980, when The Game spent five weeks at No. 1. (The Game includes Queen’s two Hot 100 No. 1 singles: “Another One Bites the Dust” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”)

The Queen excitement doesn’t stop with Bohemian Rhapsody, as the 51-track Greatest Hits I II & III: The Platinum Collection vaults 194-9 with 39,000 units (up 662 percent), with 18,000 of that sum in album sales (up 380 percent). The album previously topped out at No. 48 in 2002.

With both Bohemian Rhapsody and Greatest Hits I II & III in the top 10, Queen has a pair of albums in the top 10 at the same time for the first time ever. They also represent the group’s seventh and eighth top 10 albums, overall. Queen was last in the top 10 in the spring of 1992, when the hits set Classic Queen spent six weeks in the top 10 (May 16-June 13), peaking at No. 4. At the time, the album was basking in the glow of the success of the movie Wayne’s World, which featured a head-banging sequence set to “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The song peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 dated May 9, 1992.

Farther down the new Billboard 200, Queen has one more album on the tally, as Greatest Hits climbs 71-48 (13,000 units; up 26 percent).