There is very little doubt about how appealing Simon & Garfunkel catalog is in France. Their 1972 Greatest Hits album sold over a million copies and so did the 1982 Concert In Central Park. It wasn’t safe yet that 1991 The Definitive Simon & Garfunkel would follow the track of one million seller every decade, as The Collection sold large amounts in 1990-1991.
This new hits package target was to be the worldwide CD replacement of blockbuster LP Greatest Hits as 1990 The Collection set wasn’t released in the US. Predictably, the success of the later album in France (reached 2xPlatinum / 600,000 units after a few years) prevented The Definitive Simon & Garfunkel from achieving incredible results upon release.
Peaking at #2 in the Compilation chart was great but the hold not such much, thus the album hasn’t gone more far than being certified Gold, 100,000 units, in 1993.
During the rest of the decade this set was an unstoppable catalog seller yet. Very precisely as only one other album in history, their own Greatest Hits album twenty years earlier, this record sold large amounts despite not charting that well. A Club and mass merchant favorite, its chart run doesn’t do much justice to its success.
Certifications for sure followed the pace of sales yet climbing to Platinum (300,000) in 1994 , 2xPlatinum in 1998 (600,000), 3xPlatinum in 2000 (900,000) and Diamond in 2002 (1,000,000), or let say, an outstanding average of 100,000 copies sold per year.
Depending on the country, this album was deleted between 1999 and 2003, replaced by The Best Of (1999), Tales From New York (2001) and The Essential (2003) plus the original Greatest Hits was pushed anew from mid-00s. Thus, it hasn’t sold much after being granted the famous Diamond award with only a few more months of sales and then remaining copies on shelves.
Net shipment as of the end of 2015 is estimated at 1,050,000 copies.
As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!
Sources: SNEP, Platine, Nielsen, IFOP.