France Album Sales: Red Hot Chili Peppers

By The Way (2002) Era

By 2002, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were a confirmed classic rock band rather than just an one-album wonder. Markets were still responding very differently to their records unlike most other acts. By The Way was utterly massive in UK selling some 2 million copies, it was not so big in the US. What about France?

Almost everywhere, the album spent several of its first weeks at #1 thanks to the heavy anticipation and the lack of competition considering the July release date. In France yet, the summer of 2002 was marked by the gigantic clash between Patrick Bruel and Renaud respective albums Entre-Deux and Boucan D’Enfer. By The Way managed to be sandwiched between them in its first week before satisfying itself with a #3 position the following two weeks. The album held fairly well all summer long thanks to the title track getting in heavy rotation.

Additional singles like The Zephyr Song and Can’t Stop maintained the album inside the Top 100, often Top 40, for many months. The album sold 330,000 units by the end of 2003, hitting Platinum in July of that year.

During that period, their 90s albums were performing well as catalog items, especially Californication. The strength of their 1991-2002 discography concluded on the band second compilation, Greatest Hits in November 2003. The set went #1 for one week in the Compilation Chart, quickly reached Gold and passed the 200,000 copies mark in 2005.

As the band was extensively touring during this period, Live In Hyde Park was issued in the summer of 2004, again exploiting their biggest hits. It debuted at #5 but quickly dropped out, falling off the Top 200 after 15 weeks. It still sold 75,000 units in the process.

Top 3 Most Streamed Tracks on Spotify
  1. Can’t Stop – 68,326,000
  2. By The Way – 44,454,000
  3. The Zephyr Song– 18,021,000

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Hi there. Very interesting info I used to like them but hold no interest now.

Could you do Take That next please?


Thanks for that! Yeah Nirvana and My Chemical Romance are my absolute favourites but I can’t resist Take That’s pop music/songs either..! Must be a British thing by looks of those sales!


Great mix of different artists so far! Keep on adding more and more artists!

Can you do Mariah Carey next?


Hi MJD; recently I read the book American Popular Music. in the book I read the some sentence, France has the 7% market share of worldwide pop markets. I believe Musicians who hit the chart in the France could have the big seller. if some musician sells a lot of records in the U.S, they didn’t sell the records much worldwide. what do you think? still France is big market place in the world? and more 7% now? thanks.


thanks MJD, actually I just watched your statics before and I was so interested in those datum. South Korea is unusual country like France for album sales. maybe Oasis, Coldplay and Radiohead are big 3 in this country. Metallica and RHCP are also popular here. you know those bands have a gigs here. some of them already made more than 3 times. Foo Fighters did it in 2015. Nirvana is the only popular american band without gigs here. so I’m curious Nirvana and RHCP. around 2011, I read your article of both 2 bands. RHCP was 69.6 million and Nirvana… Read more »