808s / The UK's Greatest Hits

The UK’s Greatest Hits: 1. Greatest Hits – Queen

Queen_Greatest_HitsGreatest Hits  – Queen – 1981

First listen?: No

Of course Queen Greatest Hits is at number 1, the UK loves Queen. The only album on this list to have sold over 6 million copies in the UK, Greatest Hits actually marked the halfway point for the band’s career, with Greatest Hits II as we discussed at number 10 completed the full set of Queen singles. It’s interesting because this means that neither compilation is the essential one, part of why the box set of both albums has also sold incredibly well. As one listen though, Greatest Hits makes sense, these are all pure classic Queen rock songs. Thematically consistent it’s all about the band as a whole, rather than the bigger focus on Freddie as a vocalist seen on Greatest Hits II. It’s a stellar set of songs too, You’re My Best Friend, Another One Bites The Dust and Crazy Little Thing Called Love being wonderfully diverse, but remaining distinctly Queen throughout. Again there were a couple of songs I didn’t recognise, more ignorance on my part than any comment on the quality of the songs, but for the most part these are all songs you hear all over the place. Somebody To Love and Killer Queen are quintessentially Queen, brilliantly theatrical and dramatic while allowing every member’s performance to shine through. Of course there’s one song on here that’s arguably bigger than any other song on any other album on this list. Bohemian Rhapsody is the UK’s favourite song, maybe not technically in terms of sales, but I’m pretty sure that song is one of the few things we can all agree on as a nation. Ridiculous, indulgent and gloriously over the top it’s an iconic moment in music and opens Greatest Hits as the ‘Greatest’ of the hits. I’ve been struggling to find anything else to say about Queen and the fact that they are the final album on this list, but while sat here listening to Bohemian Rhapsody (For about the 5th time since I reached this album) I have to let that one track speak for itself. Of course an album entitled Greatest Hits that begins with Bohemian Rhapsody is the UK’s all time best selling album. A set of songs that will always be around, there truly couldn’t have been anyone other than Queen holding the top spot on The UK’s Greatest Hits.

Rating: 8/10

Will I listen again?: I’ll probably listen to more Queen now that I’ve done this list.

Best Track: Do I even need to say it?

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