France Album Sales: U2

Pop (1997) Era

For the first time of their career, U2 had a truly long hiatus before releasing an album, waiting almost four years to release Pop.

The comeback single was Discotheque which debuted at #12 but quickly dropped out. Subsequent singles failed to make much of an impact as well. The band huge popularity still granted a #1 debut for the album but it failed to develop legs as solid as their previous records. During its 38 weeks charted Pop went down quite slowly without ever being able to reverse the trend. It sold an estimated 355,000 units during 1997.

Just like in 1993, U2 made it again with their back catalog. Each of their Platinum selling albums – War, The Joshua Tree, Rattle And Hum, Achtung Baby – charted inside the Top 50.

By the release of their first compilation in 1998 fall, sales of their records are estimated as below.

1980 Boy – 205,000
1981 October – 190,000
1983 War – 1,100,000
1983 Under A Blood Red Sky – 610,000
1984 The Unforgettable Fire – 270,000
1987 The Joshua Tree – 1,080,000
1988 Rattle And Hum – 490,000
1991 Achtung Baby – 810,000
1993 Zooropa – 390,000
1997 Pop – 385,000

The Best Of 1980-1990 was issued in late 1998, destroying a strong competition in the Compilation chart coming from first career spanning compilations of George Michael, Phil Collins and Mariah Carey. Topping the ranking for 10 weeks, the set sold an impressive 800,000 units by the end of the decade.

Top 3 Most Streamed Tracks on Spotify
  1. Staring At The Sun – 2,153,000
  2. Discothèque – 1,523,000
  3. If God Will Send Us His Angels – 1,043,000

2 thoughts on “France Album Sales: U2”

    1. Hi Hernán!

      To be honest I wasn’t expecting such a massive total myself. The irony is that The Joshua Tree has been largely inflated for many years, assumed at 2 million when it appears to be on 1,2 million, but the rest of their discography is much stronger than everyone would have assume. The simple fact that Achtung Baby is only their fourth best seller in spite of over 900,000 copies sold is outstanding!

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