France best selling albums ever: 25 by Adele (2015)
Recording the 26th top selling album of all-time with 21, Adele came back four years later with her third album, 25. As soon as it got published, lead single Hello resonated all around the World, France included.
Don’t assume it is easy to get a successful follow up – it isn’t. Various artists made it big and then flopped. Hello was simply a massive hit on its own validating the huge anticipation of a new Adele album. The single shifted over 28,000 units with streaming on its two first frames, both best performances of the year. It wasn’t about hype only as Hello retained the #1 position during an extensive 11 weeks period, all the way from late October to January.
Such a monster smash opened the doors of success to 25. While a #1 debut was a given no matter what the competition was, sales of 169,693 were breathtaking, beating the 14-years old all-time high for a foreign album debut, held up to that point by Michael Jackson‘s Invincible at 166,000 copies.
From there, a furious race started against Louane’s blockbuster album Chambre 12. That latter LP had been smashing French charts for 9 months, being safe at #1 within’ the year end chart. Safe until Adele started to register record breaking sales week after week. Chambre 12 ended the year on 772,000 copies sold, a terrific tally in a market on which half a million units may be enough to be the year’s top seller. With a mere 6 weeks to top that amount, incredibly enough 25 managed the feat, concluding 2015 on 785,000 sales. If SNEP later revised its charts to include streaming, which would push Adele’s album down to #2, it remains the top selling album for the year still.
The following months were surprisingly way less flashy for the British diva, though. Second single When We Were Young, which peaked at #15 on the back of the album release, never went higher than #62 when promoted as a single in the first quarter of 2016. Third single Send My Love (To Your New Lover) did marginally better but still never climbed higher than #45. The album left the Top 10 in March and failed to return to it due to the lack of impact from its singles. Recurrent airplay of Hello and the outstanding selling power of Adele maintained the album’s place inside the Top 100 every week since its release though, with it currently in Top 50 on the sales chart. This consistency provided it with 176,000 units sold for the year, thus a total of 961,000 copies to the end of 2016.
Net shipment as of the end of 2016 is estimated at 980,000 copies. It makes 25 the 181th best selling album of all-time by that date.
It must be noted that ongoing 2017 sales have since pushed the album to 970,000 units scanned with shipments on their way to break the million mark at some point this year. It will thus be added to the million selling albums within the major 2017 update.
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Sources: SNEP, GFK.