CSPC: Johnny Hallyday Popularity Analysis

Johnny Hallyday en 1969

Physical Singles Sales – The 70s

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 3 to 1 ratio between one album and one physical single.

Vie (1970) – 324,000 equivalent albums

Essayez – 270,000
Deux Amis Pour Un Amour – 320,000
Jésus Christ – 490,000

Flagrant Délit (1971) – 333,000 equivalent albums

Fils de personne – 370,000
Oh ma jolie Sarah – 740,000

Country, Folk, Rock (1972) – 204,000 equivalent albums

Comme si je devais mourir demain – 330,000
Rien n’vaut cett’fille-là (She’s my old lady) – 170,000
Sauvez-moi (Salvation) – 180,000

Insolitudes (1973) – 210,000 equivalent albums

La Musique Que J’aime – 340,000
Tu Peux Partir Si Tu Le Veux – 220,000
Le Feu – 140,000

Je T’aime, Je T’aime, Je T’aime (1974) – 216,000 equivalent albums

Je T’aime, Je T’aime, Je T’aime – 290,000
Prends Ma Vie – 430,000

Rock’N Slow (1974) – 123,000 equivalent albums

Johnny Rider – 260,000
A Propos De Mon Père / A L’Hotel Des Cœurs Brisés (“Heartbreak Hotel”)– 150,000

Rock A Memphis (1975) – 150,000 equivalent albums

Hey Lovely Lady / La Fille De L’Eté Dernier “Summertime Blues” – 500,000

La Terre Promise (1975) – 84,000 equivalent albums

La Terre Promise (Promised Land) – 280,000

Derrière L’Amour (1976) – 690,000 equivalent albums

Requiem pour un fou – 890,000
Gabrielle – 640,000
Derrière L’Amour – 770,000

Hamlet (1976) – 0 equivalent albums

No single released

C’est la vie (1977) – 468,000 equivalent albums

Tant Pis… C’est La Vie “C’est La Vie” – 310,000
J’ai Oublié De Vivre – 640,000
Le cœur en deux – 610,000

Solitudes À Deux (1978) – 198,000 equivalent albums

Elle M’Oublie – 430,000
Revoilà Ma Solitude – 230,000

Hollywood (1979) – 411,000 equivalent albums

Le bon temps du Rock’n’roll – 320,000
Qu’est-ce que tu croyais – 260,000
Toujours là – 290,000
Ma Gueule – 500,000

The success of Que Je T’Aime solidified Johnny‘s status in France with his following 7 singles shifting more than 200,000 units each, all of which hitting the Top 5. They largely failed to sustain the impact outside of the French-speaking countries though.

Although his pace of release went from 6 to 8 yearly singles during the 60s to about 3 per year during the 70s, yearly sales never dropped below 920,000 units for the decade. From 1974 to 1979, he released 20 singles, only one of which failed to reach the Top 10 by peaking at #11. He added several new standards to his catalog including the much hyped duet J’Ai Un Problème with his highly famous wife Sylvie Vartan, La Musique que J’AimeRequiem pour un fouGabrielle and Ma Gueule. The first and the forth were both issued outside of the studio albums and will be listed into the Orphan section.

Somehow he managed to break his own 60s total by selling 13,26 million units of his 70s singles to bring his career to date tally to more than 25 million singles sold.

38 thoughts on “CSPC: Johnny Hallyday Popularity Analysis”

  1. Thank you ! That’s incredible. He really is a legend. Can his success be compared to that of Mina in Italy ? Are there other european superstars that big who never really found success out of their homelands ?
    You wrote he’d had a couple of top 30 hits in the US and in the UK. For what songs ?

    1. Probably the “italian Johnny Hallyday” is Adriano Celentano; talking about sales I think that Mina was and is the number one. And she is a great singer!

        1. You have to take into account that Eros were quite a huge seller in other areas than Italy, like Germany, Latin America and the Netherlands, not even half of his sales were in Italy. He’s definitely among the top sellers there though.

    2. Un seul mot, bravo !
      Mr MJ Dangerous pour ce travail titanesque !
      Concernant un tant soit peu la carrière de Johnny, c’est vraiment une vue totalement inédite et oh ! Combien véridique de l’immense popularité de cet artiste dans son propre pays !
      merci encore pour ce rendu exceptionnel

  2. I knew the great artist when he duet with Celine, he is really the king of France/French music and culture. It’s impress for me that he isnt the best-seller of most year or decade, but a topx seller in decades. His music and sales stand the tst of time

  3. A stunning read fore sure! Great work!

    I knew Johnny were HUGE in France but I did not think that this scale of popularity in one country was even possible! Where do you think he ranks overall in Europe when it comes to CSPC and album sales? Are we talking about top 10 here??

      1. I would believe the list goes something like this based on new information from this site, the old Fan Of Music site and a few guesses

        Artists with more than 50 million albums sold in Europe:

        1 Queen
        2 Michael Jackson
        3 The Beatles
        4 Pink Floyd
        5 Madonna
        6 ABBA
        7 U2
        8 The Rolling Stones
        9 Dire Straits
        10 Phil Collins
        11 Céline Dion
        12 Elton John
        13 Johnny Hallyday
        14 Bob Marley
        15 Elvis Presley?

        1. MJD post the list in UKMIX in 2007:
          All Time Best Selling Act In Europe

          Rank // Year 1rst Album/Last Album / Artist / Total sales
          1 // 1963 1970 Beatles – 92,500,000
          2 // 1973 1995 Queen – 80,050,000
          3 // 1983 2005 Madonna – 73,040,000
          4 // 1979 2001 Michael Jackson – 70,200,000
          5 // 1967 1994 Pink Floyd – 69,900,000
          6 // 1980 2004 U2 – 59,300,000
          7 // 1980 2004 Phil Collins – 55,200,000
          8 // 1964 2005 Rolling Stones – 53,800,000
          9 // 1969 2006 Elton John – 52,600,000
          10 // 1973 1982 ABBA – 52,300,000
          10 // 1978 1991 Dire Straits – 52,300,000
          12 // 1990 2003 Celine Dion – 50,900,000

          1. Sales in Europe (inc. UK):

            Queen – 91,245,000
            Michael Jackson – 90,730,000
            The Beatles – 86,230,000
            Madonna – 79,330,000
            Pink Floyd – 80,780,000
            Rolling Stones – 68,590,000

          2. No point in bringing Led Zeppelin to this list, they sold almost 70% of their albums in North America. Their Europe sales are pretty poor. Regarding the Beatles, i repeat myself – read the comments in the Queen analysis. Those are the numbers written by MJD (The Beatles and Rolling Stones).

  4. I don’t know why i enjoy reading these analyses so much. I’ve never heard of this Johnny Hallyday, but read every page 🙂
    p.s. those are seriously impressive numbers, for a French singer! Is he the best selling French artist ever?

    1. In the last page:
      In terms of sales, he is the highest selling artist ever in France of each studio albums, compilations, live albums, EPs, physical singles and music videos.”

    2. I agree……….love reading every article. Never heard of Johnny. Very interesting to see someone with so much impact inside just 1 country (especially in France where sales are a fraction of sales of a country like the U.S.) This guy must have been everywhere in France FOREVER. lol. crazy!

      I think you deserve to have these articles published and get some worldwide recognition……..more work done here then I’ve ever seen for music industry sales on individual artists

      Thanks for another great article/breakdown

  5. I do have a question.
    How does 37 million physical singles and 1.4 million digital singles add up to 27.7 million equivalent album sales though?
    Am I missing something?
    At 3:1 ratio, wouldn’t his physical singles add 12 million plus 150,00 for digital sales to his total album sales not 27.7 million?

  6. Ah, in your total on page 52 you have 27 million physical singles sales. If it’s supposed to be 37 million………….his total will actually be over 3.3 million higher pushing his total closer to 80 million 😉

    1. Hi Nathan! Thanks for all the nice words 😉

      About physical singles sales, it is divided into 2 categories:
      – 10,53 million EPs, weighted 0,5
      – 27,25 million standard singles, weighted 0,3

  7. MJD. I was just curious. Why are you spending so much time on the French market and French singers in general. France is a big huge market and are interesting to read. But I would love to see other big markets that most of us are not really familiar with. Such as Germany or maybe Japan, which is a very mysterious market. I hope maybe one day you could cover other countries specifically and maybe other singers from non english speaking countries. Anyway, I love your website.

    1. As a Celine fans, I love reading something about france music and France market as English.
      And If I remember right, first time read MJD ‘s posts in french in french music form

    2. Hi Jackie!

      I’m French and lived there for 25 years, plus I have plenty of in-house data which enables me to be very accurate on this market. I’ll definitely get into big artists from Mexico, Brazil, Germany or Japan soon though 🙂

    1. In the last page:
      In terms of sales, he is the highest selling artist ever in France of each studio albums, compilations, live albums, EPs, physical singles and music videos.”
      The biggest french music seller outside frence is Celine, and even Celine total is far behind Johnny,so…

    2. Hello Daydreamer !

      There is various French artists who sold more abroad like Jarre, Richard Clayderman, Daft Punk, David Guetta or even Edith Piaf but in terms of overall CSPC units nobody comes close to Johnny !

    1. Hi Romi !

      You have to download Spotify software and then you only need to mouseover the popularity bar of the song which you are looking for 🙂

  8. Je vous suis très reconnaissant pour la qualité de votre travail. Fan de Johnny depuis toujours, je savais qu’il cumulait des chiffres de ventes impressionnants. Pouvoir précisément connaître les chiffres de tous ses opus est incroyable……… Grâce à vous, certains peuvent mesurer l’impact de cette immense star qui restera gravé à jamais dans notre cœur…..

  9. France Gall has died. I believe she’s among those who had the most successful french songs abroad in the 60’s, isn’t she ?

    1. Hi Rell!

      Yes, she definitely is. Maybe more impressively, Ella Elle L’A also did wonders all over continental Europe, as did Babacar. Obviously Poupée de Cire Poupée de Son was her biggest international hit during the 60s. It is reputed to have sold a million copies in Japan, and while this is most likely wrong (300k to 500k is a more realistic ballpark) it was definitely a smash there. It shipped 25,000 units upon release in the Netherlands and 10,000 units in Spain. It was a #1 hit in Norway and #2 in Germany. Except in continental Europe, she mostly remained a one-hit wonder elsewhere though.

  10. I’ve just gone through it, too quickly, but I’m going to look at it more carefully. That’s already the best level of Johnny sales research I’ve ever seen. This is a titanic job and must be difficult, as there is so much missing data.
    I am fairly familiar with Johnny’s career and have read quite a few books, some of which contain first-hand accounts. His artistic directors, record company heads. Everyone agrees that some times were more difficult.
    66/67,74/75,81/84. Concerts were not always full and the hits were rarer. Outside, from what I’ve seen, it’s not always reflected in your figures.

    Maybe in its own country, Roberto Carlos is a kind of Johnny Hallyday.

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