CSPC: Renaud Popularity Analysis

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Original Album Sales – Comments

1975 Amoureux De Paname – 420,000
1977 Laisse Béton – 530,000
1978 Ma Gonzesse – 560,000
1980 Marche A L’Ombre – 890,000
1981 Le Retour de Gérard Lambert – 690,000
1983 Morgane De Toi  – 1,640,000
1985 Mistral Gagnant  – 1,460,000
1988 Putain De Camion – 860,000
1991 Marchand De Cailloux – 630,000
1993 Renaud Cante El’ Nord – 390,000
1994 A La Belle De Mai – 650,000
1996 Chante Brassens – 280,000
2002 Boucan D’Enfer – 2,420,000
2006 Rouge Sang – 760,000
2009 Molly Malone Balade Irlandaise – 220,000
2016 Renaud – 830,000

A total of 13,23 million, an average of 827,000. Historically, the market of France and the French-speaking parts of Belgium, Switzerland and Canada has been about 8 times lower than the US market along with mainstream Canada. It means Renaud‘s albums sold in those areas the equivalent of 6,5 million on average in North America. This highlights the magnitude of his success.

Morgane de Toi, Mistral Gagnant and Boucan d’Enfer were his stand-out points with Renaud now joining them. His consistency is insane too – the only three albums that sold under 400,000 units are albums of cover songs. In fact, his debut remains his only album of original music under half a million sales.

Just like most rockers he sold many more albums than singles. It isn’t a reason to overlook those singles though. The next sections reveal his performances in every format for singles.

12 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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