Destroying Myths: Fake 10 million sellers Part #2

Jean-Michel Jarre – Oxygène (1976)

Claimed Sales – 18,000,000
Estimated Sales – 6,600,000

In many aspects, Oxygène album and its author Jean-Michel Jarre are legendary. The cover, the sound, the story, the pioneering music, the gigantic concerts and… the sales myths. Everything surrounding this record feels like special. It is pretty much the French equivalent of UK’s Tubular Bells.

Every legend has its exaggerations yet. Reported by its Dreyfus label at 6 million by 1977, at 9 million by 1981, then 12 million, then 16 million, then 18 million… if we believe all those claims, Oxygène is one of the best selling albums ever. By a French artist, it certainly is, but overall this sounds like some very optimistic vision.

The truth? The album did sell slightly more than 2 million copies to date in France. Although peaking at #78 only, it shipped 300,000 units in the US during 1977. A #2 album in the UK, it moved over 400,000 units by the end of the 70s there. By March 1982, it was also over 300,000 units in Germany (#8), close to 25,000 in Austria (#10), up to 60,000 copies in Sweden (#3), over 50,000 in both Spain (#2) and Switzerland (#1) and close to that mark in Belgium, at 32,000 units in Japan (NC), 65,000 copies in Australia, at 75,000 in the Netherland (#4). All those figures have been confirmed by Billboard or certifications. It must be said that by 1982 the album had sold an estimated 60 to 80% of its to date tally.

Thus, while Oxygène did wonders for a low profile French release, reliable data suggest some 4,5 million copies sold in Europe, about 200,000 units in Oceania, not much more in Asia and over a million in North America. One may argue if the album is closer to 6 million or to 7 million, but there is no way it is up to 18 million or anything close to such a total.

So, how come such fanciful claims came out? It is just one more case of the title track name trick. In fact, all six songs in the album are named Oxygène, only distinguished by their track number with “Part X” added. Oxygène Part IV was the lead single of the record. Each and every time Dreyfus communicated “Oxygène sold X million copies worldwide“, it was referring to the track, thus including the original album, the single and all subsequent compilations and live albums which included the track.

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Please do one for Aaliyah’s self titled album!! Her fans are delusional and think it sold 13M copies when it hasn’t even sold 1M in the UK lol………Infact, none of her albums have sold 1M pure copies in the UK.

Last edited 1 year ago by A&R
Anthony Blanchard

Hi A&R!
Here is our analysis about Aaliyah’s career:


I have only just seen your article, but felt I needed to post this. It relates to Iron Butterfly. Firstly, there was ONLY Gold certification before 1976. If an album sold 500 000 copies in the US< it was Gold. Period. The "Platinum" award was indeed the first such award given to an album. But it was by the record label. It signified that the album had sold TEN MILLION units. This was in 1969. Obviously, nobody has ever claimed that NO album had sold one million units before. That would be absurd. In the early 70's Iron Butterfly basically… Read more »


False about Nelly Furtado’s loose. At the end of 2007, the album has sold 7.6 million copies WW but this album’s sales were updated in 2009 or 2010 and according to a press release, this album sold over 12 million copies WW. Also this album isn’t selling less than a JT or Beyonce album, if not they all sold about the same


Beyonce’s 11m was by label but as ‘records'(including single and others). but some fans didn’t know the difference and post it as the album sold 11m. lol
I love to see your break down on the album.


I am curious about best selling soundtracks worldwide. Hope you will cover that in one of your next posts. Great job, thanks!


who is brandys Never Say Never Album?


Nice work MJD! However, I want to point out that you already mentioned Janet Jackson’s The Velvet Rope (page 10) on your first Fake 10 million sellers post.

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