In a year 1994 full of successful soundtracks – Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump, Philadelphia, Farinelli – the album from Disney blockbuster movie The Lion King topped them all.
Released in mid-November 1994 in France, a few months after its international release, the soundtrack immediately opened big, performing 4-5-4-3-3-2 in the six weeks prior the end of the year. This smash wasn’t surprising, indeed the lead single, Can You Feel The Love Tonight by Elton John was a gigantic 10 weeks #1. Sales of all versions (French and English) cracked 300,000 units in 1994 alone.
The hit of the single pushed the album to #1 in January where it lasted four weeks in total. During following months this title went down slowly until dropping out of the Top 50 in August. It wasn’t over as the release of the movie video, that sold over 1 million copies in its debut week and a then all-time record of more than 3 million total units, made the soundtrack alive again.
Powering from out of charts to #6 in a fortnight, the album revival offered it welcomed large sales during Christmas season. It was the 6th best seller of 1995 with almost 600,000 units sold. Ongoing sales in next years pushed the album over a million in late 90s although its certification has never been updated.
While it isn’t a top selling catalog album, it does keep on selling a few copies each week.
Net shipment as of the end of 2015 is estimated at 1,080,000 copies.
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Sources: SNEP, IFOP.