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

Debut Albums

01 Louise Attaque Louise Attaque (1997) : 2 760 000
02 Era Era (1997) : 2 180 000
03 Garou Seul (2000) : 1 970 000
04 Manu Chao Clandestino (1998) : 1 825 000
05 Manau Panique Celtique (1998) : 1 780 000
06 Christophe Maé Mon Paradis (2007) : 1 615 000
07 Patricia Kaas Mademoiselle Chante… (1988) : 1 490 000
08 Mika Life In Cartoon Motion (2007) : 1 430 000
09 Fredericks Goldman Jones Fredericks Goldman Jones (1990) : 1 425 000
10 Carla Bruni Quelqu’un M’A Dit (2002) : 1 405 000

One element to notice is how recent all those albums are. Only one debut album released before 1988 ever sold 1 million. At the time, each artist had to make his hole before benefitting from majors promotion machines. A second key element is how most of those acts were already known prior those debut albums which highlights even more the difficulty of this feat. Both Garou and Christophe Maé were musicals superstars, Era was a project from famous Eric Lévi, Carla Bruni was a model star, Fredericks Goldman Jones a side project of Jean-Jacques Goldman and Manu Chao had already successfully led Mano Negra band.

Christmas Albums

01 Tino Rossi C’est La Belle Nuit De Noêl (1973) : 1 085 000

Well, this category is rather empty, but just a small congrats to legendary Tino Rossi for achieving the impossible by selling over 1 million units of a Christmas album in France.

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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