France best selling albums ever:
Starmania Musical (1978)

In January 1997, the Starmania brand had sold 2,5 million albums in France as per WEA label. This was already an outstanding total, but it climbed to an even more incredible Starmania related 3,5 million sales by October 1998. Is this really possible? How should we understand those figures? Let resume all facts together, up to the end of 1996.

  • Starmania 88: 300,000 copies – including over 100,000 units both times in 1988 and 1995
  • Tycoon 92: 600,000 copies – including a calculated 528,000 units during the chart run, quickly Platinum (300,000)
  • Les Enfoirés Chantent Starmania 93: 280,000 copies – including a calculated 241,000 units, 2xGold (200,000) at the end of the chart run, Platinum (300,000) in 2000
  • Live Mogador 94: 420,000 copies – including a calculated 344,000 units during chart run, certified Platinum (300,000) after 18 months
  • Live Palais Des Congrès 1979: 300,000 copies – including 150,000 up to 1990 and as much after this date
  • Original: 1,600,000 copies – 1 million by November 1993 plus over 850,000 calculated from that date to end of 1996, minus 150,000 units already part of Starmania 88 and 150,000 from Live Palais Des Congrès 1979.

This adds for 3,45 million units by January 1997, plus some 150,000 copies, including 120,000 from the original, up to the release of the 20th Anniversary edition in October 1998. So, over 3,5 million figure was correct but over 2,5 million was fake? Not exactly. Both sources, Billboard and RFI Musique, are music industry insiders and very reliable. The point is that RFI Musique article refers to overall sales of Starmania related albums, which really sold over 3,5 million units by the article date. Billboard figure comes from WEA executives. Among all albums quoted before, both Tycoon and Les Enfoirés Chantent Starmania were released by Sony Music rather than WEA. Focusing only on WEA albums, they were on 2,55 million by January 1997.

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