France Best Selling Albums Ever:
All-Time Ranking (2015)

Art Battles at 120 W42nd

PER ACT TYPE

Band Albums

01 Louise Attaque Louise Attaque (1997) : 2 740 000
02 Dire Straits Brothers in Arms (1985) : 2 010 000
03 ABBA Gold – Greatest Hits (1992) : 1 810 000
04 Manau Panique Celtique (1998) : 1 780 000
05 Pink Floyd Dark Side Of The Moon (1973) : 1 715 000
06 Nirvana Nevermind (1991) : 1 665 000
07 The Cranberries No Need To Argue (1994) : 1 540 000
08 Pink Floyd The Wall (1979) : 1 525 000
09 Queen Greatest Hits II (1991) : 1 520 000
10 The Beatles 1967-1970 (1973) : 1 490 000
11 Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here (1975) : 1 430 000
12 Fredericks Goldman Jones Fredericks Goldman Jones (1990) : 1 420 000
13 Ace Of Base Happy Nation (1993) : 1 400 000
14 The Beatles 1962-1966 (1973) : 1 360 000
15 Eagles Hotel California (1976) : 1 355 000
16 Kyo Le Chemin (2003) : 1 330 000
17 Dire Straits On Every Street (1991) : 1 330 000
18 Simon & Garfunkel Greatest Hits (1972) : 1 325 000
19 Pow woW Regagner Les Plaines (1992) : 1 270 000
20 U2 War (1983) : 1 270 000

While such a list in UK / US would be massively dominated by band albums, it is not the case in France. Only two band albums ever sold over 1,8 million, thus all those albums do not occupy the very top spots of the comprehensive list. There is still 42 bands albums over 1 million units sold yet.

French bands are also notably absent here with only two albums inside the Top 10 and five spread inside the Top 20, which is a good illustration of the lack of massive selling local bands. The worst thing is that one of those albums – Fredericks Goldman Jones – was actually mostly a solo album in the eyes of public while the four other French albums came from acts that can be considered as one album wonders.

All those facts together just give even more credit to Louise Attaque eponymous debut album which destroys the competition. It is both the highest selling debut album ever, the highest selling band album ever and the highest selling rock album ever. Well, not bad.

Foreign albums wise, Dire Straits are #2 and #17, plus #30 with Money For Nothing, managing three million selling albums within’ a few years. They are not the only superstar international group in France. Indeed, Pink Floyd come close to put three albums in the Top 10 as they sit at #5, #8 and #11. The Beatles also dropped three million sellers, all compilations with 1967-1970 #10, 1962-1966 #14 and lower down the chart 1 at #38. Last but not least, Simon & Garfunkel registered similar results with two compilations and one live album ranking #18 (Greatest Hits), #23 (The Concert In Central Park) and #39 (The Definitive). U2 band looks like the bad student closing this list at #20 with War but they also sent The Joshua Tree (#28) and Best Of 1980-1990 (#31) well over a million.

Close was AC/DC, nowhere to be seen inside the Top 20 but #34 with Live, #37 with Back In Black and very close to a million with 1979 set Highway To Hell. Nirvana are up there at an impressive #6 position with Nevermind while Unplugged In New-York (#35) also shifted a million. An eight foreign band land multiple million sellers as Supertramp is #24 with Breakfast In America and #26 with The Very Best Of. The only local group facing those international giants is Fredericks Goldman Jones trio at #12 with their eponymous debut and #34 with Rouge.

3 thoughts on “France Best Selling Albums Ever:
All-Time Ranking (2015)”

    1. Hello!

      Well, Femmes D’Aujourd’hui is one of those albums that came very close to the million mark but missed it – in France as once Belgium and Switzerland sales added it just get there. This album had the disadvantage to be big in 1986 / first half of 1987 while the market exploded just a few months later thanks to legislation change that saw taxes (TVA) on records be largely reduced. Plus, the very low catalog appeal of the album prevented it from ultimately breaking the mark as there have been very low numbers of LP to CD replacement for this record.

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