France best selling albums ever: Mon Frère by Maxime Le Forestier (1972)
Coming out in October 1972, the record grew progressively during its first months on the back of the artist performances. Entering the Top 30 in late November, it was a constant rise to the top until reaching the Top 10 in February 1973. Incredibly stable between #8 and #11 on six consecutive monthly charts thanks to the cult San Francisco single, the album then used the low competition of August on top of its success to jump at #3, behind previously mentioned records Forever And Ever and Dark Side Of The Moon. A couple of months later Maxime Le Forestier second album Le Steak came out. End of story?
Not exactly. Although Le Steak was starting a success story on its own, Mon Frère kept the train rolling. In November, it even re-peaked at #2. The singer-songwriter was so huge that a pack of both albums together was sitting at #3 in December 1973. In January 1974, while Michel Sardou album La Maladie d’Amour was destroying charts, both Le Forestier LPs were sitting at #2 and #3. From February, the older one Mon Frère even topped its follow up, a case that was going to be repeated ever since.
March, April, May, June, July… months were passing but Mon Frère which was getting close to two years old was still securing Top 6 placings on every chart. When, for once, it suddenly dropped out in September, that was barely due to a 3CD pack with both studio albums plus a newly released live set that shot all the way to #4. Whatever the format, the record was present inside the Top 10 all year long.
In 1975, when Saltimbanque, the much anticipated third album of the hipster precursor singer came out – a 10 months Top 10 LP – Mon Frère was still riding fairly high, at times inside the Top 10 and never going out of the Top 30. As deep as in its fifth calendar year in 1976, it was still re-entering the Top 20.