France best selling albums ever: Spice by Spice Girls (1996)
Rarely a new act have ever got so big and so fast as the Spice Girls got. The most amazing feat is how they did so everywhere in virtually no time. France is often a market slower to break than other countries like the UK, but still it wasn’t a problem for the Spice Girls and their anthemic debut single Wannabe.
Parent album Spice debuted at #38 but managed to climb 38-11-7-5-5-4-3-2-1 during the huge Christmas rush which is traditionally favorable to older and more local acts. Following singles helped to sustain the hype with the album being Top 5/10 most weeks from November 1996 to August 1997.
By the end of the year, the album was up to 3xPlatinum status, some 900,000 copies shipped. Dropping out of charts at that time, sales were close enough to the magical million to reach the mark in June 1998, along with follow up album Spiceworld reaching 600,000 units. The latter was still selling a bit by then, increasing to near 700,000 by year end. Spice on its side was pretty much over, barely increasing after that mark.
Since January 1998 the album never got a single week on charts, neither the main chart nor catalog one.
Net shipment as of the end of 2015 is estimated at 1,080,000 copies.
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Sources: SNEP, IFOP.