France Album Sales: Madonna

Evita (1996) Era

Compilations are great cash-in machines, but they often create the feeling the artist is a singer from the past among the general public, negatively impacting further releases. From 1990 to 1995, Madonna sold more best of type albums than studio albums. She also always needed hits to sell well and her Soundtrack albums, often soundtracks of flop movies, used to sell under her standards. All those reasons made Evita an absolute bomb when it was released.

The movie was a disaster and on its side lead single You Must Love Me peaking at an awful #41 position. The album debuted at an horrible #26 position in November 1996, dropped to #41 on week 2, stood there for one more week and then left the Top 50.

I already mentioned Madonna hasn’t always been the biggest album selling force but making hits is no problem. While Evita era seemed completely dead the release of both the movie and the second single Don’t Cry For Me Argentina in early January relived the record in incredible fashion. It wasn’t that much for the movie that registered a mere 277,000 entries, but for the incredible smash the single proved to be. Issued the same week as various hits including No Doubt Don’t Speak, Gala Let A Boy Cry, Jamiroquai Cosmic Girl plus a pair of French boys bands songs from 2 Be 3 and Alliage, Don’t Cry For Me Argentina still shot to #1 for four weeks, the artist biggest smash of her career up to that point.

The album reentered at #30, catapulted to #9 the following week and to #2 just after, only stopped by Mylène Farmer album Anamorphosée. The resurgence was short-lived yet and the album only sold 160,000 units for the year, failing to break the year end Top 50. This doesn’t include the 30,000 units sold during 1996.

Top 3 Most Streamed Tracks on Spotify
  1. Don’t Cry For Me Argentina – 2,754,000
  2. You Must Love Me – 849,000
  3. Another Suitcase In Another Hall – 683,000

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Very nice wok.

You have information about japan charts.

I remenber good positions osaka hot 100, tokio hot 100.

But never found about oricon internationally chart.

Do you have?


I would love to read it. 😊


I completely agree about Hard Candy. It was the turning point (or maybe even of no return), not American Life. From the cover with her fingers touching her left cheek and box – it was creepy.


The greatest mystery for me is Immaculate Collection in Billboard 200. It entered the chart a month after ther release and peaked at #2 three months after the release. Why?


Thank you. Is it the only Diamond US album that weren’t #1 on Billboard 200? Funny it was at at first behind Vanilla Ice and then behind Mariah Carey.


I was just wondering. How does “Ray of Light” managed to be so successful in Europe when you consider most of her singles did terribly on the European charts. It seems like this album does not reflect the conventional belief that strong singles = strong album sales. It is the case in America though, as the album only managed to sell 4-5 million, which isnt really that big for Madonna standard. I hope you could explain to me how it ended being such a strong seller. Thank you in advance.


Hello MJD!

Do Janet Jackson’s too please 🙂

All the best



Angel was no single in France, only in a few markets like the USA. In France we did have Crazy for you during the summer which has been one of her least successful album.
Into the Groove was huge and managed to get into the French top 10 as soon as it was released, a very rare achievement at that time.


Hi MJD, do you have an official page in facebook? It would be easier to follow you there. Thanks!


Actually there were no additional single for Hard Candy in France, after summer, until the release in December of Miles Away, without a video. About 6 months separated the 2 singles and that killed off the album which had managed to remain within the TOP 100 all along the first singles career runs.


What a great job! Thank you for this! Madonna for me is a unique album seller. I am happy that after 30+ years her NEW album “Rebel Heart” managed to sell 55.000 in France and 1.000.000 worldwide… I mean that 1 million for 2016 is a great number! Also I should add that Rebel Heart sold 1million WORLDWIDE and the sales are spread WORLDWIDE. For example Celine’s latest album might have sold 1 million but the 800k are from France and Canada. (I am exaggerating a little bit but I want you to understand my point of view). I am… Read more »

kieron sargent

i dont think flop is the right word. u cant compare sales of ray of light to mdna or sales of true blue to rebel heart. the industry is different albums dont sell like they used to. sure some of her albums have underperformed a bit but all have made the best seller list world wide for the year they were released . great article though


Spotify figures don’t include all the streams. You have left out almost all Immaculate Collection- and Celebration-collection albums’ streams. For example Papa Don’t Preach’s total streams are 11,63 M ( True Blue-album: 4,02 M, Immaculate Collection-album:0,87 M, Celebration-album 6,74 M) or Like A Prayer’s total streams are 45,25 M (Like A Prayer-album: 15,93 M, Immaculate Collection-album: 0,93 M and Celebration- album 28,39 M). And so on and so on.