British rock band Queen has become the first act to shift six million copies of an album in the UK, the Official Charts Company has confirmed.
The legendary group surpassed the milestone with their 1981 Greatest Hits album, now Britain’s all-time bestseller.
One in three UK families own the original collection, which features popular tracks such as "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "We Will Rock You".
To date, the Greatest Hits album has been downloaded 124,000 times in the UK, and it still regularly sells several thousand copies each week, particularly around Christmas.
"Ever since it was first released in 1981, this package of classic pop and rock tracks has been an indispensable item in every music fan’s record collection," said Martin Talbot, chief executive of the Official Charts Company.
ABBA’s Gold follows Queen’s Greatest Hits in the best-selling albums chart, but falls a fair distance behind with 5.1 million sales since 1992. The Beatles’ 1967 album, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, is in third place, while Adele’s 21 is in fourth with an impressive 4.7 million sales since 2011.
Britpop band Oasis complete the top five with their 1995 hit, What’s The Story Morning Glory. Queen’s follow-up Greatest Hits II, released in October 1991 a month before frontman Freddie Mercury’s death, is at number 10 in the all-time Official Albums Chart.
Brian May, Queen’s lead guitarist, said in a video message: "I just want to say thanks to everyone who has supported us through the years and we hope to continue to serve you."
Drummer Roger Taylor added: "Wonderful, who would have thought it! And all due to the Great British Public. Thank you. A great honour!"