CSPC: Renaud Popularity Analysis

RENAUD tournee d'enfer

Full Length related record Sales

It sounds fairly logical to add together weighted sales of one era – studio album, physical singles, downloads, streams – to get the full picture of an album’s popularity. For older releases though, they also generate sales of various live, music videos and compilation albums.

All those packaging-only records do not create value, they exploit the value originating from the parent studio album of each of its tracks instead. Inevitably, when such compilations are issued, this downgrades catalog sales of the original LP. Thus, to perfectly gauge the worth of these releases, we need to re-assign sales proportionally to its contribution of all the compilations which feature its songs. The following table explains this method.

Remaining Long Format – 80s compilations

How to understand this table? If you check for example the Master Serie 1 compilation line, those figures mean it sold 370,000 units worldwide. The second statistics column means all versions of all the songs included on this package add for 36,000 equivalent album sales from streams of all types.

The second part on the right of the table shows how many equivalent streams are coming from each original album, plus the share it represents on the overall package. Thus, streaming figures tell us songs from the Amoureux de Paname album are responsible for 22% of the Master Serie 1 track list attractiveness. This means it generated 81,000 of its 370,000 album sales and so forth for the other records.

The discography of Renaud in terms of compilations is a funny one. His best of albums from the 80s were either limited releases or best of albums from massive series involving individual hits compilations for specific artists. As a result, there has never been a true big compilation released with a new song / any kind of relevant promotion. The likes of Master Serie 1 and Ma Compil’ went Platinum thanks to sales over time.

Sales distribution-wise, every studio album from 1975 to 1983 has a strong influx into sales of those compilations. Renaud is clearly not an artist relying on only one big blockbuster album.

13 thoughts on “CSPC: Renaud Popularity Analysis”

  1. It’s very interesting seeing French acts I’m unfamiliar with on here. You should consider doing Alizée too!

  2. Pretty interesting to look at……….although I’ve never heard of him before.
    30 million is incredibly respectful for French only artist

  3. What a pity that great french music artist never achieve international superstarom due to language barrier And markets size, time eras, I start to listen french music because of Celine Dion’s singles, her duex is the first Top 10 album and single in English language countries?

    1. Hi Karalady!

      Other songs managed to chart high in foreign countries, Gainsbourg had international hits, then Joe Le Taxi or the Soeurs Sourire were big in the UK and the US respectively. The two main classics of Edith Piaf Non Je Ne Regrette Rien and La Vie En Rose are also widely popular Worldwide. So was/is Carla Bruni’s Quelqu’un M’A Dit.

      This being said, D’Eux is indeed way ahead of any other French-speaking album in terms of overall success both in France and Worldwide.

  4. Never heard of him, went to Youtube to get some idea. It’s sad that such talented people never get wide recognition due to the language.

  5. Must say I’m really surprised that Mistral Gagnant isn’t his #1 song. It has become his signature song and has been getting more reurrent airplay than Manhattan Kaboul. Not to mention the fact that it seems to be one of the most loved songs in France.

    1. Hi IE!

      Yes, I was myself expecting Mistral Gagnant at #1, so much that I put inside the top tracks page the pic of this bench due to the lyrics at the beginning of the song (“A m’asseoir sur un banc cinq minutes avec toi…“). It is kind of normal still due to the market mechanics. Mistral Gagnant was big in 85/86, the two worst years for album sales in France from 1974 to the end of the 2000s while 2002/2003 was the all-time peak of French market. The gap was almost 3 to 1 between both periods. Mistral Gagnant should have catch up thanks to compilations / live albums, but Renaud never had one that was massively promoted, his label always went for heavily priced box sets rather than stand-alone best of albums. Even now his main compilation is a 3CD set (Le Plein de Super), no doubt that if a 1CD set had been released in early 90s, it would have been a surefire million seller and would have pushed Mistral Gagnant to even higher totals.

  6. Thank you very much! How high would he rank in an all-time french singers chart ? Considering Goldman isn’t on streaming platforms (which is a crying shame), maybe Cabrel and Johnny will top him as the best-selling male singer ? I think Florent Pagny and Patrick Bruel must be rather high too. Pagny’s been selling his records like hotcakes for nearly 25 years and he keeps releasing new albums. Sardou must be up there too. Except for Mylène Farmer, I don’t see any other female singer selling so many records.

    1. Hi Rell!

      Johnny is the clear #1 with Sardou at 2 and Goldman at 3. Cabrel and Michael Jackson should be slightly ahead of Renaud in terms of CSPC in France while the likes Claude François, Pagny and Bruel are lower inside the Top 10.

  7. This is great! I hoped for some local acts. Renaud is also among my favorite French artists, so this is perfect! Thank you so much!

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