France Album Sales: Jean-Jacques Goldman

Entre Gris Clair Et Gris Foncé (1987) Era

Returning from two years of insane success, reproducing something similar or even close would have been already stunning. Well, Jean-Jacques Goldman album just got even bigger once again.

First two singles Elle A Fait Un Bébé Toute Seule and Là-Bas were both very well received by the public. Peaking at #4 and #2 respectively, both spending more than 10 weeks inside the Top 10, they haven’t got even higher only because the public was already ready to buy the singer album. That LP was an ambitious double album. It entered straight at #1. In fact, the start of the album run on charts looked like 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-… yeah, you got it, it was huge. Even more impressive since midway from those 18 weeks at the Top was Christmas week. Shifting more than 50,000 units per week during several months, Entre Gris Clair Et Gris Foncé was a real sales beast.

As the market was growing a lot due to the start of TV promotional campaigns for music albums, so was the competition. Still, the album never dropped below #17 during the entire 1988 year despite the massive sales already achieved. That lowest position was due to the first relative fail of the singer career. Third single C’est Ta Chance indeed failed to reach the Top 10, peaking at #16, the first proper single from him to miss the top tier after six unbelievable years. Fourth single Puisque Tu Pars quickly fixed that error by peaking at #3 in the middle of a 15 weeks run inside the Top 10. The terrific smash of that song pushed the album all the way up to #2. Once again when gauging those positions one needs to consider how many units that era had already moved at that point. Owning both a single and an album inside the Top 3 with that latter up to more than 800,000 copies sold is absolutely unreal.

With sales up to 1,15 million units shipped by the end of 1988, the record was still as high as #6 in early 1989. Just like its predecessor, it collapsed only after the release of a subsequent live album, Traces. A #1 album, that record stood 24 consecutive weeks inside the Top 10, no need to say how big that is for a live album, especially giving the release of an other one that sold so well only a couple of years earlier. Two singles from Entre Gris Clair Et Gris Foncé got released with their live version to promote that album, both top 20 hits Il Changeait La Vie #14 and Peur De Rien Blues #17.

After such a stunning decade of hits, below is the list of sales by Jean-Jacques Goldman albums by the end of 1989. Please keep in mind sales-wise that was a very bad decade overall especially in 1984 to 1987 where the market was a mere 40% of what it was by mid-90s, which just underlines even more how insanely massive the anti-star we are studying was.

Studio Albums

1981 Démodé – 240,000
1982 Minoritaire – 680,000
1984 Positif – 890,000
1985 Non Homologué – 1,210,000
1987 Entre Gris Clair Et Gris Foncé – 1,300,000

Live Albums

1986 En Public – 755,000
1989 Traces – 345,000

Top 3 Most Streamed Tracks on YouTube Music Insights
  1. Puisque Tu Pars – 18,600,000
  2. Là-Bas – 17,991,000
  3. Il Changeait La Vie – 3,346,000
  4. Elle A Fait Un Bébé Toute Seule – 2,543,000

No other track from the album among the artist Top 20.


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