France best selling albums ever: Singulier by Jean-Jacques Goldman (1996)
Unlike Francis Cabrel or Patrick Bruel the artist Jean-Jacques Goldman didn’t have a signature album that sold over 2 million units. That may be why he isn’t the first one we think about when referring to monster sellers. Success-wise yet he crushes everyone.
After an incredible successful 80s decade that saw his last four albums sell a million, an early 90s trio hiatus with Carole Fredericks / Michael Jones with 2 out of 2 million sellers plus works as songwriter including the bestselling album ever D’Eux for Celine Dion, it was time for Jean-Jacques Goldman to release a first compilation. Surprisingly, that one covered only his solo 81-89 years. He released so many cult songs in that span of years that it wasn’t a limitation for this package.
Released in August 1996, the timing was spot on as Worlds Apart cover of his Je Te Donne song was Top 5 in the singles chart. Predictably, Singulier dominated the compilation chart. Despite strong competition from Florent Pagny and his million selling Bienvenu Chez Moi best of, Goldman package spent the 20 weeks from its release to the end of the year inside the Top 3, including 13 at #1. Sticking within’ the Top 25 for most of 1997, the album reached a million sales by January 1998, one of the fastest selling compilation ever.
As one may expect, the album also became a catalog chart favorite. Since 2000, it appeared on rankings (compilation until 2010 / main chart from 2011) every single year.
From 1998 to 2002, it re-entered the compilation chart 12 times despite it was only a Top 25 first and then a Top 40 ranking. It peaked at #8 in 2000 for the period, selling an estimated 250,000 copies.
From 2003 to 2010, while the overall market started to drop, the compilation was still featuring a lot on charts – 82 weeks in total. It peaked at #15 in 2009 for the period, selling again an estimated 250,000 copies.
Since 2011, the album is allowed to chart in the main chart. In those five years, it managed the incredible total of 208 weeks charted. In February 2013, thanks to the buzz around Génération Goldman, Singulier compilation climbed as high as #11 on the main chart, some 17 years after its release. It sold 30,000 units in 2011, 40,000 in 2012, 100,000 in 2013 and 35,000 in both 2014 and 2015.
Keep checking upcoming articles to see if this is the best selling compilation album ever in France as it definitely is part of the debate.
Net shipment as of the end of 2015 is estimated at 1,740,000 copies.
As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!
Sources: SNEP, IFOP, GFK.