France Album Sales: Mylène Farmer

Cendres De Lune (1986) Era

After a couple of unsuccessful songs issued in 1984 and 1985, Polydor label still had a lot of faith in Mylène Farmer due to her strong potential. They invested huge amounts of money to release the music video of the song and were no wrong in doing so.

In April 1986, both the album Cendres De Lune and the single Libertine came out. As airplay started to climb, the video of the single was shot by career-long movie maker partner Laurent Boutonnat. Why do I mention that video so much? Quite simply because it was shot as a mini-movie of over 10 minutes which was premiered in Champs-Elysées theater with Mylène Farmer appearing at times fully naked on it. The buzz was created, the controversy was on and the career of the red-hair singer was started.

The fast word of mouth pushed the single all the way up to #10 in the last week of October. As seen in previous France Album Sales articles, it was truly hard to sell albums for newcomers in this country yet. In addition, the Top Album was barely a Top 20 chart which featured both Artist albums and Compilation albums. Thus, Cendres De Lune failed to reach the ranking. During 1987 pretty much the same scenario was reproduced. The album was newly released one year after the first version, adding the track Tristana. The video was huge, the single a #7 hit, the album still failed to chart.

This lack of information created a lot of myths around the album sales in latter years. There is some label-axed information though as in 1986 / 1987 Polydor were certifying its albums Gold like several ones from the Cure or Sting. Certainly coming close to the 100,000 units mark by the release of subsequent album a couple of years later, Cendres De Lune was effectively still under the milestone with an estimated 90,000 units.

Top 3 Most Streamed Tracks on Spotify
  1. Libertine – 518,000
  2. Tristana – 224,000
  3. Maman A Tort – 222,000

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