France Album Sales: Mylène Farmer

Les Mots (2001) Era

The instinctive thinking will make one believe the most studio albums an artist sold the biggest a compilation of them will be. While the appeal of the best of package will clearly make it a contender for strong and enduring catalog sales, huge initial reception upon release isn’t all that likely since most possible buyers already own several of the artist albums.

This is even truer when studio albums sold bucketloads a few years before only, the situation Mylène Farmer was in by 2001.

There is still a solution to avoid the canibalization of a best of by studio albums themselves – containing new hits. Les Mots best of had three news tracks. The title track was a duet with Seal, this #2 hit lasted an impressive 17 weeks inside the Top 10 to become one of the artist biggest hits of her career. Follow up single C’est Une Belle Journée went #5 and was a huge radio hit too. Last new song Pardonne-Moi wasn’t as big but still went #6.

The album was a easy #1 in the Compilation chart for 6 consecutive weeks at the end of 2001 shifting an incredible 670,000 units in that time span. It kept doing wonders in 2002 with a total of nine months inside the Top 10. By the end of that year, it was up to 1,325,000 units, almost as much as the artist two biggest albums.

While a new album could have been expected, Polydor kept exploiting the artist catalog with the release of RemixeS in 2003 fall. The package went #3 at Compilation end, ultimately moving past 100,000 units sold.

Top 3 Most Streamed Tracks on Spotify
  1. Les Mots – 863,000
  2. C’est Une Belle Journée – 770,000
  3. Pardonne-Moi – 111,000

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What a very consistent result. Especially given the fact that she takes a long time to release each studio albums. I was just wondering about her sales in Canada. Was she huge there?


Oh wow. Very surprising. I thought she would’ve been massive in at least Quebec.


It’s because contrarily to Cabrel and Bruel, Farmer never really tried to promote herself in Quebec


OMG big fan of Mylene here.. I’ve always wondered how she marketed herself and stayed relevant all these years especially 2006 onward as not much controversy has been issued from her-probably her loyal fans. But I was wondering if you could do an analysis on her former protege Alizee. Her debut single/ album was monster and her sophomore album did pretty fine but when she left the Farmer/ boutonnat machine- it was pretty much over.


scratch that with Alizee-actually please do an analysis of Laurent Boutonnat- it seems as every French artist he in a sense creates turned to gold – Mylene, Nathalie Cardone, Alizee…



Okay, thank you for all these explanations.



Mylene Farmer has sold 2.5-3 million albums for export? I would have thought 1.5-2 million.


it is safe to say that she is the 2nd best selling female in france after celine dion right?
btw off the top of your head how many male singers sold more than celine in france? i assume johnny hallyday, jean jacques goldman for sure, anyone else?


yes i was referring to albums and i thought of cabrel and sardou but didn’t think they would be close or in sardou’s case way ahead. i need to look at sardou’s discography closer. i can’t wait for their sales in france posts.
man your work is fantastic, for anyone who loves numbers and putting numbers in perspective, this is heaven!!


i wonder where artists like piaf, mathieu and dalida figure there.


These articles are great. Thank you so much. Concerning the quantity of albums sold worldwide, I heard like 30 mio. Correct, possible ?


Amazing work ! Thank you very much !
Just curious : how much time do you spend on an article like this one ?


Hi dear MJD !!!

Congratulations again for the website and also for the analysis carried for France Album Sales of Mylène Farmer.
Then I would like to know if this week you analyze some singer or group, maybe you will analyze the CSPC of the Rolling Stones !!!


Of course dear MJD, I believe will be analized one of Drake, Sia, Alicia Keys and Robbie Williams. Then I’m interested in all the artists that you analyze, it is true, I have my preferences for the groups and for the music of the 60 ‘, 70’, 80 ‘ but I am a lover of records sold for each artist as their own you !!!