Johnny Hallyday albums and songs sales

The French Elvis. That is how Johnny Hallyday has been described by media sources all over the world after his passing on December 5. This comparison falls short of highlighting how hugely popular the French singer has been in his native country: not even Elvis Presley‘s catalog is as rich as his.

Francoise-Hardy-Johnny-Hallyday-Sylvie-Vartan-1963-photo-jean-marie-perier

The American legend passed away in 1977 after exploding in 1955. Johnny, as he is known in France, came to fame in 1960 and followed the footsteps of his idol during their years in common. He extensively milked American standards with translated covers of songs like ElvisLove Me Tender and Heartbreak Hotel, the AnimalsHouse of the Rising Sun, Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s Fortunate SonLittle Richard‘s Tutti Frutti, Chuck Berry‘s Sweet Little Sixteen and Johnny B. Goode, Jimi HendrixHey Joe, Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s Sweet Home Alabama, Ben E. King‘s Stand By Me and many more. In total, that’s 233 international hits that he covered, most of them from his debut to the mid-70s. As France always relied on local acts, his versions were often far more successful than the original songs.

From 1976, he started to register massive hits from French lyricists. During the 80s, the likes of Michel Berger and Jean-Jacques Goldman wrote entire albums for him, which were home to several songs that soon became stand-out classics. In 1999 and 2002, four decades into his career, he released two consecutive albums that still belong to the all-time Top 40 highest selling albums ever in France. Since then, his albums have gone Diamond more often than not. At the end of the day, in terms of popularity, his discography is closer in France to the ones of Elvis, Billy Joel and Eminem in the US put together, than the one of Elvis alone.

His career has been unreal. But how does it translate into numbers considering that the French music industry has been historically about 8 times lower than the US one? His Sang Pour Sang is his biggest seller, but how do all his albums stand when factoring in singles as well as sales of compilations generated?

A lot as been said about his record sales since his passing. We will track sales of all his records to discover the truth of it. In order to do that, post-mortem sales aren’t considered. This will also enable us to show the impact of his death with a future update.

Table of Contents

ChartMasters’ method: the CSPC

As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept (CSPC) in order to relevantly gauge the act’s results. It will not only bring you sales information for all albums, physical and download singles, as well as audio and video streaming. In fact, it will really determine the act’s popularity.

If you are not yet familiar with the CSPC method, below is a nice and short video of explaining the concept. I recommend watching it before reading on and to the sales figures. You’ll get the idea in just two minutes.

And if you want to know the full method as well as formulas, you can read the full introduction article.

Now let’s get into the artist’s detailed sales figures!

Johnny Hallyday’s original albums sales

1960-1964

The discography of Johnny goes back deep enough to face albums issued in two distinct formats: 30cm and 25cm, more commonly known international as 12 and 10 inches LPs.

From 1960 to 1964 he released 5 12-inch albums, that would later be considered as the standard album that we know, plus 11 10-inch albums. This table lists all 5 12-inch albums, which happen to be the 5 top sellers, plus his 5 10-inchs albums which included only new songs. The remaining 6 10-inch albums are moved into the Remaining LP section as they included songs already published across the  studio albums.

Sales-wise, all those albums sold only a few thousands upon release as the market was largely dominated by singles. This is why the standard albums sold so much more as unlike the 10-inch LPs they have been reissued several times. The prime example is the first CD release of Nous Les Gars, Nous Les Filles which was released in 1992 and moved 55,000 units by May 1993.

1965-1975

The second phase of Johnny‘s career lasted from 1965 to 1975. During those years there was no 10-inch LP anymore but singles were still the major format. Albums were growing though, while the fan base of the singer was maturing as well resulting into album sales going up and up over the years. His albums went from selling 50,000 units upon release to nearly 300,000 during this time frame. They also went from hitting the Top 10 to surefire #1 albums.

Catalog sales plus units sold in Belgium, Switzerland and some occasional foreign markets increased those figures even more, pushing an album like Rock à Memphis over 500,000 copies to date.

1976-1984

In 1976, Johnny was responsible for several gigantic hits including Gabrielle and Requiem pour un fou. The album owner of those smashes, Derrière L’Amour, was an immense seller too with 3 months at #1. It is now over 600,000 units in France alone.

During this period, arguably regarded as his least successful one, Johnny was still an incredible selling force. His flops from then have still sold upwards of 200,000 units by now, while his strong LPs topped half a million sales.

The album En V.O. sold much less than the remaining albums since it was a 6-track record of original (English) versions of his known adaptations, thus not a real fresh new studio release.

His songs from this era were mostly original songs rather than translations from famous foreign tunes as they were already hits by themselves. His composers and lyricists were professionals but not persons known by the general public, something that was soon going to change.

1985-1998

During the 80s, Michel Berger was a household name in France. He wasn’t only incredibly popular as a singer, but also as a composer since he wrote the massive musical Starmania as well as all hits by his wife, France Gall. Rated as the best writer from France, Johnny hired him to create Rock’N’Roll Attitude. The album went to #2, a pretty average showing for the artist. However, hits kept it around for one full year, most notably Quelque chose de Tennessee. Their long-lasting appeal enabled the album to hit Platinum in 3 distinct formats: in 1986 thanks to the original release, in 1996 as part of the 2-CD box Paroles d’Hommes and in 2011 as the first number of a bi-weekly 71-discs collection La Collection Officielle.

He reproduced the same formula with Gang, this time with the new star of the country, Jean-Jacques Goldman. The album struggled at first peaking at #5, but for 18 months its singles like L’Envie, Laura and Je te Promets were everything. It was the second disc of the set Paroles d’Hommes which perfectly used the growing status of those two albums among Johnny‘s discography.

Until 1998 all his standard albums continued to sell at least 600,000 units worldwide except for the foreign language album Rough Town and the half-new half-live set Destination Vegas. As a fan of American music, the frustration of Johnny remained strong throughout his career seeing as his foreign language records were again and again his least successful outputs.

1999-2015

Written by his own son David Hallyday, Sang Pour Sang went on to become the biggest selling album of his career. Led by the smash Vivre pour le meilleur, it shot to #1 for 11 weeks with insane weekly sales, and shipped 1,2 million units in France alone after 3 months. A La Vie, A La Mort and its single Marie were immensely successful too. The album shipped 800,000 units upon release with more than 300,000 sales over the counter during its first week of release, this remains the highest debut of all-time in France.

Later albums weren’t as monumental but they kept hitting Diamond although the criteria was reduced two times because of the diminishing market. Except Jamais Seul, they were all among the very top sellers of their respective year.

Original Album Sales – Comments

Is it possible to sell 26,74 million units of studio albums including over 24 million in France? Well, the rational answer would be of course… no, it isn’t. Johnny did itthough. The irony is that he was never the biggest male album seller in the country. Jacques Brel and Georges Brassens were much bigger than him during the 60s. Maxime Le Forestier dominated the early 70s and then the rest of the decade was all about Michel Sardou. The 80s saw Renaud and Jean-Jacques Goldman come to the top. The latter continued to dominate the 90s along with Francis Cabrel, Florent Pagny and Patrick Bruel until 2002. Then came Calogero and Yannick Noah to crush the 00s, then Christophe Maé and more recently StromaeMaitre Gims and Kendji Girac.

If we extend to a Top 5 top acts on a rolling 5-years span, he will always be there from 1960 to 2017. This kind of never-ending success story has never been seen in a major market. Johnny is the only such case. Another ironic factor is that his studio album sales are fairly limited because of terrific singles sales and compilations of 2-3-5-8-14 volumes that included most of their tracks, making them useless. Let’s see how much all these releases add for…

1960 Hello Johnny – 60,000
1961 Nous les gars, nous les filles – 190,000
1961 Salut Les Copains! – 180,000
1962 Madison Twist – 80,000
1962 Sings America’s Rockin’ Hits – 240,000
1963 Les bras en croix – 190,000
1963 D’où Viens-tu Johnny ? – 90,000
1964 Johnny, Reviens ! Les Rocks Les Plus Terribles – 220,000
1964 Les Guitares Jouent – 70,000
1964 Le pénitencier – 70,000
1965 Johnny Chante Hallyday – 320,000
1965 Hallelujah – 230,000
1966 La Génération Perdue – 330,000
1967 Johnny 67 – 250,000
1968 Jeune Homme – 270,000
1968 Rêve et Amour – 330,000
1969 Rivière… ouvre ton lit – 330,000
1970 Vie – 380,000
1971 Flagrant Délit – 380,000
1972 Country, Folk, Rock – 280,000
1973 Insolitudes – 370,000
1974 Je T’aime, Je T’aime, Je T’aime – 400,000
1974 Rock’N Slow – 440,000
1975 Rock A Memphis – 540,000
1975 La Terre Promise – 470,000
1976 Derrière L’Amour – 680,000
1976 Hamlet – 350,000
1977 C’est la vie – 610,000
1978 Solitudes À Deux – 640,000
1979 Hollywood – 420,000
1980 A Partir De Maintenant – 260,000
1981 En Pièces Détachées – 300,000
1981 Pas facile – 450,000
1982 Quelque Part Un Aigle… – 250,000
1982 La Peur – 600,000
1983 Entre Violence Et Violon – 430,000
1984 Nashville 84 – 420,000
1984 En V.O. – 100,000
1985 Rock N’ Roll Attitude – 1,450,000
1986 Gang – 1,460,000
1989 Cadillac – 850,000
1991 Ça Ne Change Pas Un Homme – 640,000
1994 Rough Town – 200,000
1995 Lorada – 800,000
1998 Ce Que Je Sais – 750,000
1999 Sang Pour Sang – 2,270,000
2002 A La Vie, A La Mort – 1,970,000
2005 Ma vérité – 980,000
2007 Le Cœur d’un Homme – 640,000
2008 Ca Ne Finira Jamais – 540,000
2011 Jamais Seul – 230,000
2012 L’Attente – 560,000
2014 Rester Vivant – 550,000
2015 De L’Amour – 430,000

Physical Singles Sales

The 60s

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 3 ratio between one album and one physical single and a 2 to 1 ratio between one album and one EP.

One of the reasons which explains the relatively low showing of Johnny‘s albums from the early 60s is that he issued only EPs rather than Singles until 1967.

During the 60s, as most singers were covering the same songs, it was easier to find success abroad for French acts. A song like Souvenirs, Souvenirs was a hit in Spain meaning he was exported right from the beginning. It also received half a dozen reissues, boosting its initial 160,000 sales in France to 250,000 global sales to date.

After 10 singles in 18 months which averaged a strong 100,000 units a piece, the popularity of Johnny grew even more with Viens Danser le Twist and Retiens La Nuit. They were both big French hits with 900,000 units combined in their initial run, but also more than 400,000 units elsewhere. L’Idole des jeunes concluded perfectly the year 1962 for Johnny as he sold 2 million singles.

In 1963 his international appeal was at its peak. He got back to back #1 hits in the Netherlands with Tes tendres années and Pour Moi La Vie Va Commencer, Top 10 hits in both parts of Belgium and Spain, Top 30 singles in Germany and releases in Turkey, Finland, the US, the UK, Brazil, etc.

The roll of successful hits continued in 1964 with the singer selling past 1 million units combined of his releases for a fourth year in a row and the addition of the classic Le pénitencier to his catalog. From 1965 to 1968, he sold an average of 900,000 singles per year. His Noir c’est noir went to #3 in Argentina. His only #1 for the period in France, that soft period for him still saw 16 of his singles hit the Top 10.

Que Je T’Aime closed the decade. The monster smash was the biggest hit of 1969 in France with 750,000 units sold. It was also #1 in Italy and big in various Latin countries selling a whopping 1,3 million units in total, his first million seller. It will appear inside the Orphan songs section as it wasn’t a part of a studio album.

All in all, these 60s singles sold a combined 12,5 million copies. Even if some of them were sold in later years thanks to minor reissues, this is a mind-blowing total.

Hello Johnny (1960) – 236,000 equivalent albums

Souvenirs, souvenirs – 250,000 [EP]
Laisse les filles – 20,000 [SP]
Itsy bitsy petit bikini – 110,000 [EP]
T’aimer follement – 100,000 [EP]

Nous les gars, nous les filles (1961) – 120,000 equivalent albums

Nous les gars, nous les filles – 40,000 [EP]
Tu parles trop – 80,000 [EP]
Kili watch – 120,000 [EP]

Salut Les Copains! (1961) – 925,000 equivalent albums

Wap-Dou-Wap – 240,000 [EP]
Retiens La Nuit – 770,000 [EP] – 10,000 [Célébrations/EP]
Viens Danser Le Twist – 610,000 [EP]
Douce Violence – 220,000 [EP]

Madison Twist (1962) – 305,000 equivalent albums

Madison Twist / Pas cette chanson – 390,000 [EP]
Serre la main d’un fou – 220,000 [EP]

Sings America’s Rockin’ Hits (1962) – 50,000 equivalent albums

I Got a Woman / Be Bop A Lula – 100,000

Les bras en croix (1963) – 370,000 equivalent albums

Les Bras En Croix – 250,000 [EP]
Tes Tendres Années / Elle Est Terrible – 460,000 [EP] – 50,000 [SP]

D’où Viens-tu Johnny ? (1963) – 230,000 equivalent albums

Pour moi la vie va commencer – 460,000 [EP]

Johnny, Reviens ! Les Rocks Les Plus Terribles (1964) – 95,000 equivalent albums

Johnny, Reviens ! – 50,000 [EP]
Au Rythme Et Au Blues – 40,000 [EP]
O Carole – 100,000 [EP]

Les Guitares Jouent (1964) – 190,000 equivalent albums

Excuse-moi partenaire – 230,000 [EP]
Dis-lui que j’en rêve – 150,000 [EP]

Le pénitencier (1964) – 326,000 equivalent albums

Le pénitencier – 390,000 [EP] – 20,000 [SP]
Les mauvais garçons – 250,000 [EP]

Johnny Chante Hallyday (1965) – 130,000 equivalent albums

Mon Anneau D’Or – 140,000 [EP]
Le Diable Me Pardonne – 120,000 [EP]

Hallelujah (1965) – 195,000 equivalent albums

Mes yeux sont fous (I Must Be Seeing Things) – 150,000
Quand revient la nuit (Mr Lonely) – 240,000

La Génération Perdue (1966) – 388,000 equivalent albums

Noir c’est noir – 320,000 [EP] – 20,000 [SP] – 10,000 [Célébrations/EP]
Cheveux longs et idées courtes – 250,000 [EP] – 10,000 [Célébrations/EP]
Je l’aime – 150,000 [EP]
Je veux te graver dans ma vie – 40,000 [SP]

Johnny 67 (1967) – 405,000 equivalent albums

Amour d’été (Love Me Tender) – 290,000 [EP]
Petite fille – 120,000 [EP]
Si j’étais charpentier / Je veux te graver dans ma vie – 220,000 [EP]
Hey Joe – 180,000 [EP]

Jeune Homme (1968) – 181,000 equivalent albums

A Tout Casser – 150,000 [EP] – 20,000 [SP]
L’Histoire De Bonnie And Clyde – 170,000 [EP] – 30,000 [SP]
Le Ciel Nous Fait Rêver – 20,000 [SP]

Rêve et Amour (1968) – 258,000 equivalent albums

Entre mes mains – 300,000 [EP]
Cours plus vite Charlie – 210,000 [SP]
Fumée – 150,000 [SP]

Rivière… ouvre ton lit (1969) – 57,000 equivalent albums

Rivière… ouvre ton lit – 190,000 [SP]

The 70s

The success of Que Je T’Aime solidified Johnny‘s status in France with his following 7 singles shifting more than 200,000 units each, all of which hitting the Top 5. They largely failed to sustain the impact outside of the French-speaking countries though.

Although his pace of release went from 6 to 8 yearly singles during the 60s to about 3 per year during the 70s, yearly sales never dropped below 920,000 units for the decade. From 1974 to 1979, he released 20 singles, only one of which failed to reach the Top 10 by peaking at #11. He added several new standards to his catalog including the much hyped duet J’Ai Un Problème with his highly famous wife Sylvie Vartan, La Musique que J’AimeRequiem pour un fouGabrielle and Ma Gueule. The first and the forth were both issued outside of the studio albums and will be listed into the Orphan section.

Somehow he managed to break his own 60s total by selling 13,26 million units of his 70s singles to bring his career to date tally to more than 25 million singles sold.

Vie (1970) – 324,000 equivalent albums

Essayez – 270,000
Deux Amis Pour Un Amour – 320,000
Jésus Christ – 490,000

Flagrant Délit (1971) – 333,000 equivalent albums

Fils de personne – 370,000
Oh ma jolie Sarah – 740,000

Country, Folk, Rock (1972) – 204,000 equivalent albums

Comme si je devais mourir demain – 330,000
Rien n’vaut cett’fille-là (She’s my old lady) – 170,000
Sauvez-moi (Salvation) – 180,000

Insolitudes (1973) – 210,000 equivalent albums

La Musique Que J’aime – 340,000
Tu Peux Partir Si Tu Le Veux – 220,000
Le Feu – 140,000

Je T’aime, Je T’aime, Je T’aime (1974) – 216,000 equivalent albums

Je T’aime, Je T’aime, Je T’aime – 290,000
Prends Ma Vie – 430,000

Rock’N Slow (1974) – 123,000 equivalent albums

Johnny Rider – 260,000
A Propos De Mon Père / A L’Hotel Des Cœurs Brisés (“Heartbreak Hotel”)– 150,000

Rock A Memphis (1975) – 150,000 equivalent albums

Hey Lovely Lady / La Fille De L’Eté Dernier “Summertime Blues” – 500,000

La Terre Promise (1975) – 84,000 equivalent albums

La Terre Promise (Promised Land) – 280,000

Derrière L’Amour (1976) – 690,000 equivalent albums

Requiem pour un fou – 890,000
Gabrielle – 640,000
Derrière L’Amour – 770,000

Hamlet (1976) – 0 equivalent albums

No single released

C’est la vie (1977) – 468,000 equivalent albums

Tant Pis… C’est La Vie “C’est La Vie” – 310,000
J’ai Oublié De Vivre – 640,000
Le cœur en deux – 610,000

Solitudes À Deux (1978) – 198,000 equivalent albums

Elle M’Oublie – 430,000
Revoilà Ma Solitude – 230,000

Hollywood (1979) – 411,000 equivalent albums

Le bon temps du Rock’n’roll – 320,000
Qu’est-ce que tu croyais – 260,000
Toujours là – 290,000
Ma Gueule – 500,000

The 80s

More than 20 years into his career it was becoming increasingly difficult for Johnny to sell good figures with his singles especially in a market translating into albums. Although most of his singles were Top 20 hits, none of them made the Top 5 from 1980 to 1984. This new standard was broken by Quelque chose de Tennessee which reached #4. Then four singles from Gang reached the Top 10 including the chart topper Je Te Promets in 1987, his first #1 since Gabrielle from 1976. He continued his habit of closing decades with big hits, this time with Mirador. At 5,56 million units the 80s were still fairly solid for the artist who was selling bucket loads of albums at the same time.

A Partir De Maintenant (1980) – 159,000 equivalent albums

A Partir De Maintenant – 290,000
Un Diable Entouré D’anges (Una Serata Come Tante) – 190,000
Je ne suis pas un héros – 50,000

En Pièces Détachées (1981) – 90,000 equivalent albums

Chez Madame Lolita – 180,000
Excusez-Moi De Chanter Encore Du Rock And Roll – 120,000

Pas facile (1981) – 159,000 equivalent albums

Je T’ai Aimée – 320,000
J’en Ai Marre – 210,000

Quelque Part Un Aigle… (1982) – 129,000 equivalent albums

Mon Amérique À Moi – 230,000
Montpellier – 200,000

La Peur (1982) – 132,000 equivalent albums

Cartes Postales D’Alabama – 190,000
Je Suis Victime De L’Amour – 250,000

Entre Violence Et Violon (1983) – 126,000 equivalent albums

Pour Ceux Qui S’aiment – 280,000
L’amour Violent (“The Magnificently Mad”) – 140,000

Nashville 84 (1984) – 84,000 equivalent albums

Mon p’tit loup (ça va faire mal) – 170,000
Drôle de métier – 110,000

En V.O. (1984) – 0 equivalent albums

No single released

Rock N’ Roll Attitude (1985) – 180,000 equivalent albums

Le Chanteur Abandonné – 200,000
Quelque Chose De Tennessee – 280,000
Rock N’ Roll Attitude – 60,000
Aimer Vivre – 60,000

Gang (1986) – 438,000 equivalent albums

L’envie – 170,000
Je T’attends – 110,000
J’oublierai Ton Nom – 280,000
Je Te Promets – 480,000
Laura – 420,000

Cadillac (1989) – 153,000 equivalent albums

Les Vautours – 50,000
Mirador – 330,000
Himalaya – 30,000
Cadillac – 30,000
Si J’étais Moi – 70,000

The 90s

By the 90s the days of Johnny being a hit machine were long over. Although, he was still issuing Top 10 hits rather often, more precisely 11 times for the decade plus 20 more Top 40 hits. The biggest of all was Vivre Pour Le Meilleur, the lead single of the monster smash Sang Pour Sang. This song sold past half a million units thanks to its #2 peak in France where it remained for 4 weeks.

Ça Ne Change Pas Un Homme (1991) – 102,000 equivalent albums

Dans Un An Ou Un Jour – 110,000
Ça Ne Change Pas Un Homme – 110,000
Et Puis Je Sais – 60,000
True To You – 40,000
La Guitare Fait Mal – 20,000

Rough Town (1994) – 18,000 equivalent albums

(I Wanna) Make Love To You – 40,000
Love Affair – 20,000

Lorada (1995) – 69,000 equivalent albums

Rester Libre – 30,000
J’la Croise Tous Les Matins – 80,000
Quand Le Masque Tombe – 60,000
Ne M’oublie Pas – 60,000

Destination Vegas (1996) – 21,000 equivalent albums

La ville des âmes en peine – 30,000
Rouler sur la rivière – 20,000
Comme un roc – 20,000

Ce Que Je Sais (1998) – 84,000 equivalent albums

Ce Que Je Sais – 120,000
Allumer Le Feu – 70,000
Debout – 30,000
Seul – 60,000

Sang Pour Sang (1999) – 399,000 equivalent albums

Sang Pour Sang – 170,000
Quelques Cris – 120,000
Un Jour Viendra – 300,000
Partie De Cartes – 70,000
Pardon – 140,000
Vivre Pour Le Meilleur – 530,000

The 00s

A groundbreaking smash, Marie remained in the Top 3 for 11 weeks, 3 of which at #1, in spite of heavy competition from reality TV contests and Las Ketchup. The song became his second million seller after Que Je T’Aime some 33 years earlier.

If the figures are largely unimpressive for remaining singles, it is mostly because the market collapsed during this period. This lower market also enabled his fan base to have a bigger impact on the charts were he landed 15 Top 10 hits including 5 #1s for the decade. After Ca n’finira jamais, the focus was definitely set on albums as no further physical singles were issued.

A La Vie, A La Mort (2002) – 414,000 equivalent albums

Marie – 1,020,000
Ne reviens pas – 110,000
L’instinct – 110,000
Je n’ai jamais pleuré – 140,000

Ma vérité (2005) – 192,000 equivalent albums

Ma religion dans son regard – 250,000
La paix – 30,000
Le temps passe – 100,000
Mon plus beau Noël – 260,000

Le Cœur d’un Homme (2007) – 24,000 equivalent albums

Always – 80,000

Ca Ne Finira Jamais (2008) – 18,000 equivalent albums

Ca n’finira jamais – 60,000

Orphan songs

Johnny released an average of more than 1 album per year during his extensive career. Nevertheless, he still dropped plenty of singles outside of his studio albums. Stand-alone singles, promotional hits for live sets,  compilations and duetts. This flood of songs include various big sellers.

Da Dou Ron Ron, L’Idole des Jeunes, Que Je T’Aime, Ceux que l’amour a blessés, J’ai un problème, Noël Interdit and On A Tous Besoin D’amour were all massive. As was Tous Ensemble, the #1 smash aimed to support the French football team at the 2002 World Cup. It vanished quickly after the squad went out in the group stage. One special track from this list is Diego Libre Dans Sa Tête. First released as a single in 1991, this #6 track hasn’t sold that much because of the singles crisis happening at that time. It remains one of his most famous songs to date and likely his most critically acclaimed.

This last set of singles catapults his career total to 37,78 million physical singles sold. Believe it or not, that’s more than Mariah Carey‘s worldwide total in spite of her 18 US #1 hits!

Orphan – 2,258,000 equivalent albums

Da Dou Ron Ron – 320,000 [EP]
Tutti Frutti – 60,000 [EP]
L’Idole des Jeunes – 640,000 [EP] – 10,000 [Célébrations/EP]
La Bagarre – 160,000 [EP]
A New Orleans – 60,000 [EP]
24000 baisers – 100,000 [EP]
Johnny Lui Dit Adieu – 200,000 [EP]
Les Chevaliers du ciel – 150,000 [EP] – 10,000 [SP]
San Francisco – 310,000 [EP] – 10,000 [SP]
L’Or De Mackenna – 20,000 [SP]
Que Je T’Aime – 10,000 [EP] – 1,290,000 [SP]
Ceux que l’amour a blessés – 370,000 [all SPs from now]
Fleur Déracinée – 60,000
Le Soleil Se Lève A L’Est – 30,000
J’ai un problème – 840,000
Noël Interdit – 650,000
Rien À Personne / Ne Tuez Pas La Liberté – 190,000
Ne Me Quitte Pas – 30,000
Diego Libre Dans Sa Tête – 110,000
Je Serai Là – 120,000
L’hymne à l’amour – 190,000
Pauvres Diables (Vous Les Femmes) – 80,000
On A Tous Besoin D’amour – 280,000
Tous ensemble – 480,000
Tout au bout de nos peines – 220,000
La Loi Du Silence – 130,000
La Quête – 80,000
Et Maintenant – 10,000

Digital Singles Sales

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 1,5 ratio between albums and digital singles.

Hello Johnny (1960) – 2,000 equivalent albums

Souvenirs, souvenirs – 7,000
Remaining tracks – 6,000

Nous les gars, nous les filles (1961) – 0 equivalent albums

All tracks – 0

Salut Les Copains! (1961) – 5,000 equivalent albums

Retiens La Nuit – 25,000
Remaining tracks – 7,000

Madison Twist (1962) – 1,000 equivalent albums

Pas cette chanson – 3,000
Remaining tracks – 1,000

Sings America’s Rockin’ Hits (1962) – 0 equivalent albums

All tracks – 0

Les bras en croix (1963) – 2,000 equivalent albums

Tes Tendres Années – 7,000
Elle Est Terrible – 4,000
Remaining tracks – 1,000

D’où Viens-tu Johnny ? (1963) – 2,000 equivalent albums

Pour moi la vie va commencer – 10,000

Johnny, Reviens ! Les Rocks Les Plus Terribles (1964) – 0 equivalent albums

All tracks – 1,000

Les Guitares Jouent (1964) – 0 equivalent albums

All tracks – 2,000

Le pénitencier (1964) – 7,000 equivalent albums

Le pénitencier – 45,000
Remaining tracks – 1,000

Johnny Chante Hallyday (1965) – 0 equivalent albums

All tracks – 1,000

Hallelujah (1965) – 1,000 equivalent albums

Quand revient la nuit (Mr Lonely) – 6,000

La Génération Perdue (1966) – 3,000 equivalent albums

Noir c’est noir – 15,000
Remaining tracks – 5,000

Johnny 67 (1967) – 1,000 equivalent albums

Si j’étais charpentier – 4,000
Hey Joe – 4,000
Remaining tracks – 1,000

Jeune Homme (1968) – 0 equivalent albums

All tracks – 2,000

Rêve et Amour (1968) – 0 equivalent albums

All tracks – 0

Rivière… ouvre ton lit (1969) – 0 equivalent albums

All tracks – 2,000

Vie (1970) – 1,000 equivalent albums

All tracks – 5,000

Flagrant Délit (1971) – 2,000 equivalent albums

Fils de personne – 4,000
Oh ma jolie Sarah – 9,000
Remaining tracks – 1,000

Country, Folk, Rock (1972) – 0 equivalent albums

All tracks – 0

Insolitudes (1973) – 4,000 equivalent albums

La Musique Que J’aime – 25,000
Remaining tracks – 3,000

Je T’aime, Je T’aime, Je T’aime (1974) – 0 equivalent albums

All tracks – 2,000

Rock’N Slow (1974) – 0 equivalent albums

All tracks – 1,000

Rock A Memphis (1975) – 1,000 equivalent albums

Hey Lovely Lady / La Fille De L’Eté Dernier “Summertime Blues” – 2,000
Remaining tracks – 2,000

La Terre Promise (1975) – 0 equivalent albums

All tracks – 2,000

Derrière L’Amour (1976) – 16,000 equivalent albums

Requiem pour un fou – 65,000
Gabrielle – 35,000
Derrière L’Amour – 15,000
Remaining tracks – 5,000

Hamlet (1976) – 0 equivalent albums

All tracks – 2,000

C’est la vie (1977) – 5,000 equivalent albums

J’ai Oublié De Vivre – 30,000
Remaining tracks – 2,000

Solitudes À Deux (1978) – 2,000 equivalent albums

Elle M’Oublie – 8,000
Remaining tracks – 4,000

Hollywood (1979) – 5,000 equivalent albums

Le bon temps du Rock’n’roll – 7,000
Ma Gueule – 20,000
Remaining tracks – 5,000

A Partir De Maintenant (1980) – 0 equivalent albums

All tracks – 1,000

En Pièces Détachées (1981) – 0 equivalent albums

All tracks – 1,000

Pas facile (1981) – 0 equivalent albums

All tracks – 2,000

Quelque Part Un Aigle… (1982) – 0 equivalent albums

All tracks – 0

La Peur (1982) – 1,000 equivalent albums

All tracks – 5,000

Entre Violence Et Violon (1983) – 0 equivalent albums

All tracks – 2,000

Nashville 84 (1984) – 1,000 equivalent albums

All tracks – 5,000

En V.O. (1984) – 0 equivalent albums

All tracks – 0

Rock N’ Roll Attitude (1985) – 14,000 equivalent albums

Le Chanteur Abandonné – 12,000
Quelque Chose De Tennessee – 75,000
Rock N’ Roll Attitude – 2,000
Aimer Vivre – 2,000
Remaining tracks – 1,000

Gang (1986) – 49,000 equivalent albums

L’envie – 120,000
Je T’attends – 3,000
J’oublierai Ton Nom – 25,000
Je Te Promets – 140,000
Laura – 35,000
Remaining tracks – 2,000

Cadillac (1989) – 1,000 equivalent albums

Mirador – 5,000
Remaining tracks – 2,000

Ça Ne Change Pas Un Homme (1991) – 1,000 equivalent albums

Et Puis Je Sais – 3,000
Remaining tracks – 3,000

Rough Town (1994) – 0 equivalent albums

All tracks – 0

Lorada (1995) – 1,000 equivalent albums

J’la Croise Tous Les Matins – 3,000
Remaining tracks – 4,000

Destination Vegas (1996) – 0 equivalent albums

All tracks – 0

Ce Que Je Sais (1998) – 10,000 equivalent albums

Ce Que Je Sais – 5,000
Allumer Le Feu – 55,000
Remaining tracks – 5,000

Sang Pour Sang (1999) – 20,000 equivalent albums

Sang Pour Sang – 45,000
Un Jour Viendra – 15,000
Vivre Pour Le Meilleur – 60,000
Remaining tracks – 10,000

A La Vie, A La Mort (2002) – 9,000 equivalent albums

Marie – 45,000
Remaining tracks – 15,000

Ma vérité (2005) – 5,000 equivalent albums

Ma religion dans son regard – 10,000
Mon plus beau Noël – 15,000
Remaining tracks – 10,000

Le Cœur d’un Homme (2007) – 1,000 equivalent albums

All tracks – 5,000

Ca Ne Finira Jamais (2008) – 1,000 equivalent albums

All tracks – 5,000

Jamais Seul (2011) – 1,000 equivalent albums

All tracks – 5,000

L’Attente (2012) – 3,000 equivalent albums

L’attente – 10,000
20 ans –
5,000
Remaining tracks – 5,000

Rester Vivant (2014) – 1,000 equivalent albums

All tracks – 5,000

De L’Amour (2015) – 2,000 equivalent albums

De L’Amour – 10,000
Remaining tracks – 5,000

Orphan – 33,000 equivalent albums

Diego Libre Dans Sa Tête – 60,000
Que Je T’Aime – 60,000
J’ai un problème – 10,000
L’Idole des Jeunes – 10,000
Noël Interdit – 5,000
Remaining tracks – 75,000

Digital Singles Sales – Songs over 15,000

Barely Top 20 among his highest selling physical singles, Je Te Promets is the leading force in his catalog currently. The track has moved 140,000 digital units since the introduction of iTunes in France way back in 2005. Please keep in mind that this figure excludes sales following Johnny‘s passing that saw this track shoot to #1 for two weeks.

The case of L’Envie is even more extreme. Tied at #84 among the singer’s top selling hits upon release, it is the second strongest catalog seller of his catalog in the digital area. Incredibly enough for a singer who released 52 12-inch albums plus 11 10-inch LPs, his two most remembered songs are both included on his 1986 effort Gang. This shows one more time the golden touch of Jean-Jacques Goldman, the author of those two hits. As if it wasn’t enough, both Laura and J’oublierai Ton Nom, at #13 and #15 in this ranking, belong to the same studio album.

At #3 comes Quelque Chose De Tennessee from Gang‘s predecessor, Rock’n’Roll Attitude. The immense popularity from songs of those two albums explains why their 2CD package Paroles d’Hommes sold upwards of 400,000 units in 1995. The song is only his 45th top selling physical single, showing how much the market had already moved onto albums at the time. One more song by Michel Berger, Diego Libre Dans Sa Tête, features inside the Top 5 although failing to be a part of Johnny‘s personal Top 100 physical singles. This single, written for France Gall in 1981, was covered and released after a rendition from Johnny live in 1990. It was added as an extra track of Rock’n’roll Attitude in the Paroles d’Hommes set which thus included 4 out of the 5 best tunes of the singer.

The remaining songs inside the Top 10 like Requiem pour un fou, Que Je T’Aime, Marie and Allumer Le Feu were big both upon release as physical singles and as catalog download tracks. There is at least one song from each decade going from the 60s to the 00s inside the Top 9 which perfectly summarizes how massive the rocker remained all along his career.

Elsewhere songs like J’ai un problèmeOh ! Ma jolie Sarah and Noël interdit, are all among his Top 10 physical sellers, although they haven’t retained much popularity up to now.

In total, the singer sold over 1,4 million units, a tremendous tally considering that the French market never got into legal downloads.

01 – Je Te Promets – 140,000
02 – L’envie – 120,000
03 – Quelque Chose De Tennessee – 75,000
04 – Requiem pour un fou – 65,000
05 – Diego Libre Dans Sa Tête – 60,000
06 – Que Je T’Aime – 60,000
07 – Vivre Pour Le Meilleur – 60,000
08 – Allumer Le Feu – 55,000
09 – Marie – 45,000
10 – Le pénitencier – 45,000
11 – Sang Pour Sang – 45,000
12 – Gabrielle – 35,000
13 – Laura – 35,000
14 – J’ai Oublié De Vivre – 30,000
15 – J’oublierai Ton Nom – 25,000
16 – La Musique Que J’aime – 25,000
17 – Retiens La Nuit – 25,000
18 – Ma Gueule – 20,000
19 – Noir c’est noir – 15,000
20 – Mon plus beau Noël – 15,000
21 – Un Jour Viendra – 15,000
22 – Derrière L’Amour – 15,000

Streaming Sales

On all CSPC articles, I use the ratio 132/212 to extrapolate Spotify figures into comprehensive audio streams numbers. In France, Spotify is second to Deezer, which concludes on a very different ratio. Its market share of audio streams in terms of revenue went from 14,4% in 2013 to an expected 30% in 2017, while its share in terms of units is calculated on 30,3% to date with 31,2 billion streams out of 103 billion. Obviously, Spotify is higher elsewhere at 62,3%. Assuming Johnny registers about 90% of his streams in France, it results on 33,5% of his streams coming from Spotify. Due to the improvement of Spotify lately, the same data focused on the years 2016/2017 concludes on 38,5% of streams by an album from 2016 coming from Spotify.

Once again, all figures are up to the day of his passing. This section includes no comment as it displays the same patterns already detailed into the Digital Sales section.

Audio Stream – 1500 plays equal 1 album unit
Video Stream – 11,750 views equal 1 album unit

Equivalent Albums Sales = 100/33.5 * Spotify streams / 1500 + YouTube views / 11750

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

These two albums were released after the explosion of Spotify and audio streaming in general, which explains why they are much bigger than their direct predecessors.

Part 15

Full Length related record Sales

It sounds fairly logical to add together weighted sales of one era – studio album, physical singles, downloads, streams – to get the full picture of an album’s popularity. For older releases though, they also generate sales of various live, music videos and compilation albums.

All those packaging-only records do not create value, they exploit the value originating from the parent studio album of each of its tracks instead. Inevitably, when such compilations are issued, this downgrades catalog sales of the original LP. Thus, to perfectly gauge the worth of these releases, we need to re-assign sales proportionally to its contribution of all the compilations which feature its songs. The following table explains this method.

Remaining Long Format – Example

How to understand this table? If you check for example the Master Serie 1 compilation line, those figures mean it sold 570,000 units worldwide. The second statistics column means all versions of all the songs included on this package add for nearly 30,000 equivalent album sales from streams of all types.

The second part on the right of the table shows how many equivalent streams are coming from each original album, plus the share it represents on the overall package. Thus, streaming figures tell us songs from the Le pénitencier album are responsible for 28% of the Master Serie 1 track list attractiveness. This means it generated 157,000 of its 570,000 album sales and so forth for the other records.

The following tables list sales related to Johnny‘s lives, compilations and box set albums as well as music videos.

Remaining Long Format #1 – Impact 1-Disc releases

When we think about compilations, we think about one main Greatest Hits plus a couple of best of releases. The strength of Johnny‘s catalog was so big and his releases so numerous that the approach taken by his major was deeply different.

Impact, a budget label, milked his discography by issuing 14 distinct compilations which covered his albums 3 to 33. It means roughly half of their tracks were included rather than only 1 hit at best. These albums must be regarded as some kind of reissue of the original albums to benefit from the newly increased album market of the 70s rather than standard greatest hits packages. What’s insane is the amount of units sold by those Impact releases, more than 5 million combined!

The formula was the same for all of them: one massive hit, giving its title to the best of, plus various minor hits and album cuts. This is why the main provider of appeal of them are almost always different records as they cover different smashes.

Remaining Long Format #2 – Impact Multi-Discs releases

The incredible success of all the 1-LP volumes led Impact to release plenty of boxes containing 2, 3 or 4 LPs with the same tracks. They aren’t as big individually but when we factor in the box formula we notice how many more sales they represent, some 1,3 million.

Remaining Long Format #3 – Album d’Or & Story & Anthology collections

The label Impact licensed the rights of Johnny‘s Philips material to release their 14-volumes collection. Philips also issued their own collections, among which were Hallyday Story, Album d’Or during the 70s/80s and Anthology during the 90s. Combined, those compilations sold nearly 2,8 million copies. Once again, the discography of the legendary singer is so steep that no career-spanning best of has been dropped, instead they went for complete sets of discs axed around a time period or a theme.

Remaining Long Format #4 –  Disque d’Or & Succès 2 Disques & Master Series collections

When we consider the unlimited amount of sales achieved by his studio albums, his singles and the compilations already posted, we find it hard to believe that more material has been successful while exploiting the same songs. Those 3 new collections which registered a sizable 4 million sales combined.

Since there is no career spanning best of albums, it is harder to identify which studio albums are responsible for the highest share of  attractiveness overall. We can notice still that depending on which years are covered the albums that mostly drive those compilations include Salut Les Copains!, La Génération Perdue, Le Pénitencier, Insolitudes, Derrière L’Amour, Hollywood, Rock’n’roll Attitude and Gang. We can also point out the absence of the very early songs from Johnny dating from 1960 as he was under contract with Vogue rather than Philips at the time. These recordings had their own share of compilations that we are going to see soon enough.

Remaining Long Format #5 – Career-Spanning Compilations

The rare albums that aimed to summarize the artist’s career in one release only were often released for anniversaries. The competition in his catalog is so strong that only the very biggest tracks survive on them. The usual suspects are there, most notably Gang. Orphan songs, which also include several of his most remembered hits, are very solid as well.

Remaining Long Format #6 – Ballads-themed Compilations

Just like many rockers, Johnny‘s best remembered songs are often his ballads. His label used this fact to release regularly love-themed best of albums which sold more than 1 million units combined.

Remaining Long Format #7 – Vogue Era

During his first year in the industry Johnny was signed by Vogue rather than Philips. They are regarded the same way as the Sun Sessions of Elvis. This discography of 36 recordings has been largely packaged and repackaged into various compilations. They often featured titles similar to Philips’ compilations to make them look a part of their collection. A handful of compilations are listed here but many more came to light. They are represented in the Remaining Compilations folder.

Remaining Long Format #8 – Remaining Compilations

This last bunch of compilations includes a few stand-alone releases plus a folder for all remaining Philips compilations which is worth more than 2 million sales. This folder includes plenty of minor selling records among which 17 foreign-language albums, 9 OSTs, 7 live albums, 13 Club-Dial (a French Music Club similar to Columbia House) exclusives, 5 new discs issued as part of the 2011 Collection Officielle reissues campaign, 4 Fontana releases plus about 100 more low-key releases.

Remaining Long Format #9 – Half new, Half old Albums

I previously mentioned that Johnny released 11 10-inch (25cm in French) records from 1960 to 1964, 5 of which have been included among proper studio albums as they were made up of songs which had never been released before. The remaining 6 albums in this format included tracks available here and there which is why they are listed as compilations instead of studio albums. Most of them included songs available inside the 12-inch albums Salut Les Copains! and Les Bras en Croix.

The last two albums noted as re-recordings were both included in the double album Nashville 84 which were then released as stand-alone discs some weeks later. Figures presented here refer to those stand-alone discs.

Remaining Long Format #10 – Box Sets pre-2000

The extravaganza of this catalog continues with various giant box sets. The prime example of this madness is the Intégrale box set from 1993. Priced at about $2,240 of today’s value, the 8,000 copies produced of this 42-CD longbox stored into a guitar case were sold within just two days!

Remaining Long Format #11 – Box Sets post-2000

The influx of box sets accelerated in recent years with various releases coming out.

Remaining Long Format #12 – Live Albums pre-1990

If you think that you have seen it all, you are wrong. Johnny has always been regarded as an immense live singer with his powerful voice and his impressive charisma. This reputation led him to tour in front of millions of people, but also to sell an absurd amount of live albums.

Almost every successful album was accompanied by a live set a few months later. Most of them sold nearly as much as the related studio album. The 13 live albums listed on this table add for 4,3 million sales and that’s only the start….

Remaining Long Format #13 – Live Albums 1990-2000

The madness goes on with a plethora of new massive live albums released from 1990 to 2000. These albums perfectly summarize the highs that he reached. Over the course of 8 years, he went from Bercy (17,000 tickets) to the Parc des Princes (40,000 tickets) to the Stade de France (80,000 tickets) to the Tour Eiffel (free show, attendance of 400,000 plus 8 million TV viewers live). By that point he was definitely the biggest star that had ever been in France.

Even with 7 live albums released in 10 years only, they routinely sold half a million units. They were all using the same massively popular tunes from the albums most notably Le Pénitencier, Derrière L’Amour and Gang.

Remaining Long Format #14 – Live Albums 2003-2016

From 2003, Johnny started to switch from flashy shows to more discreet ones, although he was easily still selling more tickets than anyone overall. Live albums continued to emerge at a fast past, several of which went to #1.

Remaining Long Format #15 – Music Videos 1982-1993

Sales of VHS started to pick up thanks to Michael Jackson‘s Thriller in 1984. Except his videos, other artists were successful in this format when they sold 5,000 units of one release. Johnny was one of those acts able to shift that number. All his 80s VHS releases went onto receive a DVD release under a much larger market though, pushing his sales to 20,000 units or more per disc.

The market of VHS truly exploded in the early 90s and the first monster-selling title was Johnny‘s own Parc des Princes 1993 which boosted the entire annual market of music VHS sales in France by nearly 60%.

Remaining Long Format #16 – Music Videos 1994-2005

When we see music videos with sales of 620,000 units like the Stade de France one, I feel the need to point out that music videos are Diamond in France for 100,000 sales. This shows the magnitude of Johnny‘s sales. Various artists have once-in-a-lifetime sales with one record, the rock legend did it with hundreds of records in countless formats.

Remaining Long Format #17 – Music Videos 2006-2016

The main video releases of the singer went from averaging 300,000 units to 80,000 lately, but this is due to the drop in the market, although he continued to have the highest selling music artist video of the year almost every time he dropped one.

Full Length related records Sales – Summary

Here is the most underestimated indicator of an album’s success – the amount of compilation sales of all kinds it generated. Due to the dependency of sales of the original studio albums on these releases, they are a key piece of the jigsaw.

We can clearly see that the earlier albums generated sales of tons of compilations. Since they came out in a singles era, it is natural to see that they have pick up many sales when the album format started to grow, in this case through various best of albums. Derrière L’Amour and Gang include several of the most iconic live songs of Johnny, which is illustrated with the 4,3 million sales of live / music video packages they drove.

The overall leader is Le Pénitencier. The cult album, strongly supported by the title track which adapts the AnimalsHouse of the Rising Sun, generated more than 4,2 million sales of compilations. This is exactly the same tally as Céline Dion‘s D’Eux pure album sales in France, the highest selling album ever in the country. As many as 8 studio albums drove at least 1 million sales of compilations while Orphan songs are responsible for more than 5 million purchases. All those figures would generally make us believe that we are talking about an international star, but Johnny sold nearly 90% of his records in France alone.

Johnny Hallyday Career CSPC Results

So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each album by Johnny Hallyday achieved? Well, at this point we hardly need to add up all of the figures defined in this article!

In the following results table, all categories display figures in equivalent album sales. If different, pure sales are listed between parentheses.

'Av.' stands for Average, 'LD' for Last Day.

As a reminder:

  • Studio Album: sales of the original album
  • Other Releases: sales of compilations generated thanks to the album
  • Physical Singles: sales of physical singles from the album (ratio 3/10)
  • Download Singles: sales of digital singles from the album (ratio 1,5/10)
  • Streaming: equivalent album sales of all the album tracks (ratio 1/1500 for Audio stream and 1/6750 for Video stream)

Artist career totals

See where the artist ranks among remaining singers


Absolutely terrific. It’s hard to know where to start. From the 49 of 50 proper studio albums on 408,000 equivalent album sales or more to the multiple albums over 3 million units, the figures are unbelievable.

The ultimate winner is Gang. The album was key in transitioning Johnny from an old glory to an evergreen success story. It sold like hot cakes. Its singles were big, it drove tons of sales of compilations and live sets and its tracks are still downloaded and streamed like crazy. The final total of 5,56 million put it among the most successful French albums of all-time. Le Pénitencier, initially a low selling 10-inch LP, is a stunning runner up at 4,63 million. After all the CSPC articles that have been completed so far, it may be the most striking evidence of the relevance of our concept as its original format sales are truly nonsense when it comes to displaying the real popularity of this record. Derrière L’Amour cracks 4 million units too. The 3 aforementioned albums alone generated more than 14 million equivalent album sales, most of which in a country where the Beatles sold less than 9 million albums since their debut to date.

Salut Les Copains!, La Génération Perdue, Rock’n’roll Attitude, Sang Pour Sang and A La Vie, A La Mort are all not too far from / over 3 million. To those 8 gigantic albums we still need to add 13 more with more than 1 million sales overall to make it 21. Yes, 21 albums with more than 1 million equivalent album sales. Some 24 more range from 500,000 units to 1 million. Each of these 45 albums would be an outstanding success for anyone else. A complete, dense, extensive discography of groundbreaking smashes.

In total, we are talking about a French singer who sold 26,85 million studio albums, 19,54 million compilations, 8,92 million live albums, 4,45 million music videos, 10,53 million EPs, 27,25 million 2-tracks physical singles and 1,43 million downloads before his passing. This brings Johnny Hallyday to 75,4 million equivalent album sales overall.

Thus, he tops the worldwide total of artists such as Cher, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift. He destroys Renaud, one of the biggest artists ever in France, by almost 4 to 1. Last but not least, he beats the Beatles UK total by almost 2 to 1, a market twice as big as France.

Time will now tell how much he will continue to grow with his passing. In the 3 weeks following the sad event more than 700,000 albums have been sold, including plenty of long box sets.

The following sections list his most successful songs as well as interesting records and achievements.

As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!

Sources: IFPI, Spotify, YouTube, Chartmasters.org.

Bonuses

BIGGEST TRACKS – Johnny Hallyday

The list of most successful songs is compiled in album equivalent sales generated by each of them. It includes the song’s own physical singles sales with a 0,3 weighting, its download and streaming sales, and with appropriate weighting too, plus its share among sales of all albums on which it is featured.

  1. 1964 – Le pénitencier [Le pénitencier]4,400,000
  2. 1969 – Que Je T’Aime [Orphan]3,070,000
  3. 1986 – L’envie [Gang]2,660,000
  4. 1985 – Quelque Chose De Tennessee [Rock N’ Roll Attitude]2,360,000
  5. 2002 – Marie [A La Vie, A La Mort]2,040,000
  6. 1986 – Je Te Promets [Gang]1,970,000
  7. 1961 – Retiens La Nuit [Salut Les Copains!]1,870,000
  8. 1976 – Gabrielle [Derrière L’Amour]1,660,000
  9. 1976 – Requiem pour un fou [Derrière L’Amour]1,520,000
  10. 1966 – Noir c’est noir [La Génération Perdue]1,470,000
  11. 1962 – L’Idole des Jeunes [Orphan]1,470,000
  12. 1977 – J’ai Oublié De Vivre [C’est la vie]1,410,000
  13. 1963 – Pour moi la vie va commencer [D’où Viens-tu Johnny ?]1,240,000
  14. 1973 – La Musique Que J’aime [Insolitudes]1,230,000
  15. 1960 – Souvenirs, souvenirs [Hello Johnny]1,210,000
  16. 1998 – Allumer Le Feu [Ce Que Je Sais]1,160,000
  17. 1999 – Vivre Pour Le Meilleur [Sang Pour Sang]1,060,000
  18. 1999 – Sang Pour Sang [Sang Pour Sang]1,020,000
  19. 1967 – Hey Joe [Johnny 67]950,000
  20. 1979 – Ma Gueule [Hollywood]920,000

Records & Achievements

It is difficult to list the records of Johnny Hallyday since official charts in France started as late as in 1984 for singles and 1985 for albums with some interruptions. Unofficial rankings do exist since the 60s though and suggest that he is far and away the artist with the most #1, Top 3, Top 10 and Top 40 singles of all-time in the country. He holds the same records for albums with an even bigger margin.

In terms of sales, he is the highest selling artist ever in France in regards to studio albums, compilations, live albums, EPs, physical singles and music videos.

As for touring, an accurate tracking of his career attendance is unknown but evidences suggest that it may be as high as 25 to 30 million people that saw him live, an all-time record in France and also possibly the highest ever in the world.

We have more for you…

… focuses on four of Johnny Hallyday‘s albums, from our special series on best-selling albums ever in France:

checking out the upcoming artists or even voting for them!

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… best-selling artists, albums, and singles

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