According to the
Owen Gibson, media correspondent

Twenty years after they stole the show at the original Live Aid concert, and 14 years after the death of Freddie Mercury, Queen have been crowned the most popular UK band of all time.

The group, currently on a critically acclaimed comeback tour with former Free singer Paul Rodgers taking on vocal duties, have overtaken the Beatles and Elvis Presley as the artists who have spent the longest time on the British album charts.

According to the compilers of the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles and Albums, Queen have spent 1,322 weeks on the chart, compared with the Beatles' 1,293 weeks.

Roger Taylor, the group's drummer, said yesterday he was staggered by the news. Speaking from Lisbon, the latest leg of Queen's European stadium tour, he said: "We were always incredibly ambitious. But we never expected to see a list that read Queen, then the Beatles, then Elvis."

The band's first number one album, A Night at the Opera, came out in 1974. But James Bradley, the assistant editor of the Guinness book, said Queen's achievement had taken a comparatively short time: Elvis Presley first charted in 1956 and the Beatles first made the chart in 1963.

Queen's two greatest hits albums, the first of which spent 450 weeks in the charts and sold more than 4m copies, have accounted for much of their success. Endorsements from newcomers such as the Darkness have contributed to steady album sales, and the West End show We Will Rock You has also kept the band in the public eye.

In a nod to Mercury's show-stealing performance at Wembley in 1985, Robbie Williams played We Will Rock You at Saturday's Live 8 concert in Hyde Park.

Queen toured earlier this year for the first time since 1986, when Mercury fell ill. He died of an Aids-related disease five years later, at the age of 45.

"We never thought we would tour again," said Taylor. "Paul came along by chance and we seemed to have a chemistry. Paul is just such a great singer. He's not trying to be Freddie."

UK top 10
1 Queen (1,322 weeks)
2 The Beatles (1,293)
3 Elvis Presley (1,280)
4 U2 (1,150)
5 Dire Straits (1,136)
6 Simon and Garfunkel (1,114)
7 Madonna (1,032)
8 David Bowie (1,005)
9 Elton John (989)
10 Michael Jackson (966)

**Mon 04 Jul 05**

according to the book of BRITISH HIT SINGLES & ALBUMS!

New research by the team behind the most popular music annual in the world, The Book of British Hit Singles & Albums, has revealed that Queen have overtaken the Beatles as Official UK Album Chart champions, having spent more weeks on chart than the fab four.

According to British Hit Singles & Albums’ unique database of official UK chart statistics, Queen have spent an incredible 1,322 weeks on the UK albums chart (29 weeks more than the Beatles). With sales figures notoriously unreliable in the 50s, 60s and 70s, the ‘weeks on chart’ figure represents the fairest, most accurate method of ranking acts.

30 years since their first UK No.1 album ‘A Night at The Opera’, Queen have overtaken the Beatles in this Top 10 for the first time.

Top 10 Most Successful Acts of All Time on the UK Albums Chart

1. Queen (1,322 weeks)
2. The Beatles (1,293 weeks)
3. Elvis Presley (1,280 weeks)
4. U2 (1,150 weeks)
5. Dire Straits (1,136 weeks)
6. Simon and Garfunkel (1,114 weeks)
7. Madonna (1,032 weeks)
8. David Bowie (1,005 weeks)
9. Elton John (989 weeks)
10. Michael Jackson (966 weeks)

David Roberts, editor of the book of British Hit Singles & Albums also known as the ‘Professor of Pop’, commented, “Given that Queen’s chart career has been much shorter than those of The Beatles and Elvis, this is an incredible achievement. They’ve long been written about with reverence in the pages of the book of British Hit Singles and Albums, and this just serves to cement their legendary status.”

And if any proof of Queen’s continued status as one of the world’s greatest live bands were needed, the band wind up their current 32-date European tour with Free/Bad Company singer and musician Paul Rodgers this week, performing in London’s Hyde Park this Friday, July 8.

The date, which sees the band joined for the concert by Razorlight, Peter Kay and special guests Justin and Dan Hawkins of The Darkness, sees Queen return to the site of one of the most historic of their earlier concerts; performing a free concert in Hyde Park almost 29 years ago (September 18, 1976) Queen attracted a record audience of over 150,000 to the park.

Queen hold a number of records officially recognised by Guinness World Records: the band are recognised for having the biggest selling Greatest Hits album in the UK with Greatest Hits 1 (now over 4 million) and Queen is also the only act to top the chart with the same single twice – Bohemian Rhapsody” – selling a million copies both times. The single, which celebrates its 30th anniversary later this year, was also voted the favourite single of all time in a poll conducted by readers of the book of British hit Singles & Albums. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is also the biggest selling non-charity single of all time.

The Book of British Hit Singles & Albums is published by Guinness World Records Limited, a HIT Entertainment LTD company.