France Best Selling Albums Ever:
All-Time Ranking (2016)

Live Albums

01 Simon & Garfunkel The Concert In Central Park (1982) : 1 245 000
02 Phil Collins Serious Hits… Live (1990) : 1 235 000
03 Musical Notre-Dame De Paris (Intégrale) (1998) : 1 170 000
04 AC/DC Live (1992) : 1 160 000
05 Nirvana Unplugged In New-York (1994) : 1 120 000

It takes a lot to sell 1 million copies of a single album in France, let alone of a Live album. In France, almost all successful album eras are concluded with the release of a related Live set. Those albums usually sell from 20% to 50% of the studio album. During the 90s, many of those albums from the likes Céline Dion, Mylène Farmer or Patricia Kaas made it past 2xPlatinum, representing 600,000 units, but none ever sold a million.

The ‘era conclusion’ live set that ever sold a million copies is the special case of Notre-Dame De Paris. This is the entire irony of this list as while the immense majority of live sets sold are directly related to an album era, the remaining four albums all ended up as million sellers mostly because during several years they were regarded as some kind of hits package for related artists. Only Simon & Garfunkel already had a best of available but it was already old while the live set was highly hyped. The AC/DC album has been one of the very best selling catalog albums of the last 20 years.

14 thoughts on “France Best Selling Albums Ever:
All-Time Ranking (2016)”

  1. Hello Guillaume,
    Although ‘ABBA Gold’ should be No.3 in your ‘Hits’ Albums List, you have accidentally
    given it a joint No.2 place – with ‘Legend’.

    You also have no No.8 Album in the List – and that should be the Francis Cabrel Album.
    That becomes No.8, when you give ABBA the No.3 Position & move the next 5 Albums
    down a place.

    Very Best Wishes


  2. Hi Luca & Colin!

    Thanks a lot both, I knew I could count on you to fix typos 😉

    I think most are fixed now! I’ll keep checking to make sure everything is ok!

  3. Hi MJD! Great job as usual! I have a question for you, do you have a list of the best selling non-French/French-Canadian female artists in France (in terms of total album sales)? Madonna might be #1, but I’m not sure about the rest. I’d love to see how international acts like Madonna, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Adele, Britney Spears, Barbra Streisand, etc. rank! Thank you for your time!

    1. Hi Trish!

      Well 4 of those have already been covered by France Album Sales articles. No doubt I’ll continue posting several of them in the near future with Whitney Houston coming out soon 🙂

  4. MJ, are you planning to do Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Janet Jackson this year?

    I’m starving for those articles!

    Love your site 😉

  5. Wow. I thought Madonna was freaking huge in France. I guess she was very consistent, but she never had one great album that is like super monster big in France. I also thought she was bigger than Michael Jackson or at least as big, but clearly here Michael Jackson beat her by a long shot.

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