CSPC: Johnny Hallyday Popularity Analysis

Original Album Sales – Comments

1960 Hello Johnny – 60,000
1961 Nous les gars, nous les filles – 190,000
1961 Salut Les Copains! – 180,000
1962 Madison Twist – 80,000
1962 Sings America’s Rockin’ Hits – 240,000
1963 Les bras en croix – 190,000
1963 D’où Viens-tu Johnny ? – 90,000
1964 Johnny, Reviens ! Les Rocks Les Plus Terribles – 220,000
1964 Les Guitares Jouent – 70,000
1964 Le pénitencier – 70,000
1965 Johnny Chante Hallyday – 320,000
1965 Hallelujah – 230,000
1966 La Génération Perdue – 330,000
1967 Johnny 67 – 250,000
1968 Jeune Homme – 270,000
1968 Rêve et Amour – 330,000
1969 Rivière… ouvre ton lit – 330,000
1970 Vie – 380,000
1971 Flagrant Délit – 380,000
1972 Country, Folk, Rock – 280,000
1973 Insolitudes – 370,000
1974 Je T’aime, Je T’aime, Je T’aime – 400,000
1974 Rock’N Slow – 440,000
1975 Rock A Memphis – 540,000
1975 La Terre Promise – 470,000
1976 Derrière L’Amour – 680,000
1976 Hamlet – 350,000
1977 C’est la vie – 610,000
1978 Solitudes À Deux – 640,000
1979 Hollywood – 420,000
1980 A Partir De Maintenant – 260,000
1981 En Pièces Détachées – 300,000
1981 Pas facile – 450,000
1982 Quelque Part Un Aigle… – 250,000
1982 La Peur – 600,000
1983 Entre Violence Et Violon – 430,000
1984 Nashville 84 – 420,000
1984 En V.O. – 100,000
1985 Rock N’ Roll Attitude – 1,450,000
1986 Gang – 1,460,000
1989 Cadillac – 850,000
1991 Ça Ne Change Pas Un Homme – 640,000
1994 Rough Town – 200,000
1995 Lorada – 800,000
1998 Ce Que Je Sais – 750,000
1999 Sang Pour Sang – 2,270,000
2002 A La Vie, A La Mort – 1,970,000
2005 Ma vérité – 980,000
2007 Le Cœur d’un Homme – 640,000
2008 Ca Ne Finira Jamais – 540,000
2011 Jamais Seul – 230,000
2012 L’Attente – 560,000
2014 Rester Vivant – 550,000
2015 De L’Amour – 430,000

Is it possible to sell 26,74 million units of studio albums including over 24 million in France? Well, the rational answer would be of course… no, it isn’t. Johnny did itthough. The irony is that he was never the biggest male album seller in the country. Jacques Brel and Georges Brassens were much bigger than him during the 60s. Maxime Le Forestier dominated the early 70s and then the rest of the decade was all about Michel Sardou. The 80s saw Renaud and Jean-Jacques Goldman come to the top. The latter continued to dominate the 90s along with Francis Cabrel, Florent Pagny and Patrick Bruel until 2002. Then came Calogero and Yannick Noah to crush the 00s, then Christophe Maé and more recently StromaeMaitre Gims and Kendji Girac.

If we extend to a Top 5 top acts on a rolling 5-years span, he will always be there from 1960 to 2017. This kind of never-ending success story has never been seen in a major market. Johnny is the only such case. Another ironic factor is that his studio album sales are fairly limited because of terrific singles sales and compilations of 2-3-5-8-14 volumes that included most of their tracks, making them useless. Let’s see how much all these releases add for…

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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