France best selling albums ever:
La Java De Broadway by Michel Sardou (1977)

During the entire 70s Michel Sardou was absolutely unstoppable. La Maladie D’Amour in 1973 and La Vieille in 1976 were massive sellers, La Java De Broadway had the difficult task to reproduce such kind of widespread appeal.

Everything wasn’t aimed to be reproduced yet. While successful, La Vieille album created a lot of controversy around the artist due to various polemical lyrics. Each of his shows were accompanied by manifestations outside and before one of them a bomb was even located in the place the singer was going to perform. This new album was much more popular-music oriented aimed to be danced and much less debatable.

The lead single Dix Ans Plus Tôt was a tremendous hit selling well over 1 million units. This created advance orders over 400,000 units for the related LP, La Java De Broadway. While this success wasn’t fully reflected into album charts, it was in the single front as second single, titled as the album, shot to #1.

The album retained a Top 15 placing for almost a year, with third single Comme D’Habitude, a cover of historical hit by Claude François, sustaining it. This LP was one of the four big Michel Sardou albums to be certified Gold during 1979 in spite of being already certified Gold upon release. Those awards appear to be granted for sales of cassette format that was taking off at the time. They represented slightly more than 10% of the market in 1973 by the release of La Maladie D’Amour to over 20% by 1977 to almost 30% by 1979. Both 1977 La Java De Broadway and 1978 Je Vole, went Gold on cassette in January 1979 while older albums 1973 La Maladie D’Amour and 1976 La Vieille reached the mark in November 1979. By the end of the decade, the album interesting us right now was up to over 650,000 LPs and over 150,000 cassettes.

The numerous live and compilation albums covering La Java De Broadway hits killed most of its catalog sales, but the album was still up to 1,125,000 units shipped globally by 1990, including an estimated 150,000 units abroad. It sold an estimated 90,000 units since that date.

Net shipment as of the end of 2015 is estimated at 1,065,000 copies.

As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!

Sources: SNEP, Platine, Billboard.

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