France Album Sales: Michael Jackson

Bad (1987) Era

Issuing a blockbuster is tough, reproducing it is even harder. Facing Pink Floyd’s new album, Bad still went to #1 rather easily upon release, immediately shipping enough to be certified Platinum at 400,000 units.

Although the singles failed to perform as incredibly well as Thriller’s hits with I Just Can’t Stop Loving You #12, The Way You Make Me Feel #29, and Man In The Mirror uncharted – although #13 on airplay ranking – all failed to reach the Top 10, a feat only achieved by Bad title track at #4 until the album topped 2xPlatinum mark at 600,000 units in the first half of 1988. If the singles weren’t massive, they were definitely consistent. Thus, each new album extract continued to attract new buyers.

Dirty Diana was the fifth single, peaking at #9 in part thanks to the huge hype around the Bad Tour that came to Paris during the summer of 1988. That incredibly powerful tour strongly increased the demand with the album climbing from #25 to #2 within’ a few weeks. Another Part Of Me then went as high as #32 in October, looking as if it was the end of the album’s promotion.

It wasn’t yet as three more singles got issued. Smooth Criminal (#4), Leave Me Alone (#17) and Liberian Girl (#15) all supported the album for many more months until ultimately passing the million mark in early 1989, a year it closed with 1,1 million units sold.

The Bad Tour boost also benefited the pop star’s catalog as both Thriller (#18) and Off The Wall (#27) re-entered the Top 30 Album Chart.

Top 3 (+3) Most Streamed Tracks on Spotify
  1. Man In The Mirror – 86,747,000
  2. Smooth Criminal – 64,091,000
  3. The Way You Make Me Feel – 56,946,000
  4. Bad – 40,223,000
  5. Dirty Diana – 33,507,000
  6. I Just Can’t Stop Loving You feat. Siedah Garrett – 22,512,000

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Hi MJD can you make Janet’s France album sales entire discography please because for the Control and Rhythm Nation you mentioned 0 sales here in France I know that she wasn’t famous back then before the Janet album here in continental Europe but I would like to know…


Crazy numbers. Biggest artist of all time.


Would you please give us Michael’s little sister, Janet Jackson, too?


Fantastic work… like always!


Hello MJD!
Very impressive sales, but for Jackson nothing is impossible!
I think that a CSPC analysis for him would be really interesting. I imagine that it will be a gigantic task but I can not wait to see how the figures will be.
Can you say me what are the next artists you will study?


I expected massive sales but not this massive! The one and only king of pop!



Actually 14 million is an extremely massive numbers, especially considering the little amount of albums he released. Madonna literally had to sell twice as much album and still she cannot beat his record, even trailing 4 million, which is a very huge number considering the french market. To put into perspective 4 million is the entire number of albums Whitney Houston managed to sell in France. Therefore you can see how much bigger he is compared to Madonna, whom she herself is an extremely big star in France and probably the biggest after MJ and The Beatles.


i am assuming you mean MJ Beatles and Madonna are the biggest international non-french speaking artists in France? Because if it is any international star, then all of them are way behind Celine Dion.


That’s so wrong. MJ released over 30 albums as you can see. Madonna releases 26. Compilations are equally important as studio albums, you can’t just disregard them.


Lol. Sorry Jayden. I misread your comment. Please ignore it.


+14 million albums!!! Yes!!! Great numbers for Michael, as espected.