France best selling albums ever:
Starmania Musical (1978)

As I move deeper into the past, I almost feel like exploring some kind of a cave where more you advance, weaker is the light. There is so many sales myths around Starmania that sorting out the exact meaning of each figures will require one extreme carefulness.

Starmania was written and produced by a pair of strong artists, Michel Berger and Luc Plamandon. While none of them appeared in this study up to now, they are both responsible from a million seller than we met during last couple of months. Michel Berger wrote the hit album Babacar of his wife France Gall, Luc Plamandon is responsible from the terrific smash music Notre-Dame De ParisFrance Gall is also part of the distribution, singing a few songs from Starmania album. So did Daniel Balavoine, another artist who managed a million selling album in 1986 with Sauver L’Amour.

Back in 1978 most of those artists were either still unknown or facing a bad period. It explains why initially the album peaked at only #16, charting four months only around 1978 Christmas period. By April 1979, the Live version of the album peaked at #9 along with the start of Starmania stage appearances. Sales were quite decent but not record breaking yet as by the end of that year they were on 200,000 units only, plus about half this number for the Live record. While those results weren’t really impressive various songs from the original LP slowly gained fame. Le Monde Est Stone acquired a cult status, so did Ziggy, Un Garçon Pas Comme Les Autres, SOS D’Un Terrien En Détresse, Quand On Arrive En Ville and Le Blues Du Businessman.

It wasn’t instantly translated into album charts. From 1980 to 1988, the record never charted. It did so in 1988 only thanks to a newly recorded Starmania show with new singers. This LP peaked at #28, shipping 100,000 units. The original album needed four more years until ultimately coming back on charts, reaching #30 in 1992. The stage show which started in 1988 never stopped, it was even staged and recorded in German from 1991 and in English from 1992 with the release of Tycoon, also titled Starmania Version Anglaise. This album involved acts like Celine Dion, Kim Carnes, Tom Jones and Cyndi Lauper. It was a big #1 album, heavily boosting interest in Starmania related albums. The original set charted a bit in 1992 thanks to this hype and continued with an impressive nine months Top 50 during 1993, notably peaking at #9 and selling 300,000 units in 92-93 alone.

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