France Album Sales: Renaud

Renaud Chante Brassens Era

This is the second side project of Renaud. From the 18CD Intégrale box released in 1995, three discs were never released before. One of them was a live set from 1986, an other one was made of rarities while the last one was an album of legendary Georges Brassens covers. This latter disc was then released as a stand alone record in March 1996.

Peaking at #6, the album sold a calculated 154,000 units during the year. As the artist was far from being as prolific as during the past two decades, Virgin continued to exploit his catalog with the release of Paris-Provinces Aller/Retour in November 1996, the artist sixth release within’ 18 months despite zero new composition. In spite of a modest #29 peak, the album was Top 40 during the month of December, benefiting from the strong market of holidays. It sold a calculated 73,000 copies during its initial chart run.

Top 3 Most Streamed Tracks on Spotify
  1. Je Suis Un Voyou – 73,000
  2. L’Orage – 44,000
  3. Le Mauvais Sujet Repenti – 38,000

In 1997, the departure of his wife left Renaud broken. He went into alcohol, drugs and depression. While his last proper original album was from 1994 the artist wasn’t going to release something new until 2002. In spite of the tortured mind of the artist, he went on a random but highly successful 18 months tour from late 1999 to 2001.

During this long recording hiatus but newly recovered appeal among the public thanks to live shows, Polydor and Virgin continued to try doing their best with his catalog. The former label released in 1998 two master Master Série albums, Volume 2 and Volume 3 plus a 3CD longbox titled Morgane De Toi. None of those releases charted. The latter label paired with the first one to issue L’Absolutely Meilleur Of Renaud in January 2000. As the first career retrospective stand alone compilation it was backed by an appropriate promotional campaign. Peaking at #2 the album had a very solid chart run all year long in the compilation chart, closing the year as the 5th largest selling compilation with an estimated 325,000 copies sold.

In 2001 the album chart was extended to a Top 150. Both previous live albums 1989 Visage Pâle Rencontrer Public and 1996 Paris-Provinces Aller/Retour came back on charts in January with four weeks each lower down the ranking. Cante El’ Nord impressively went #69 for a week in September too. Below are complete Renaud catalog estimates by the end of 2001:

Studio Albums

1975 Amoureux De Paname – 340,000
1977 Place De Ma Mob / Laisse Béton – 435,000
1978 Ma Gonzesse – 470,000
1980 Marche A L’Ombre – 760,000
1981 Le Retour de Gérard Lambert – 620,000
1983 Morgane De Toi – 1,420,000
1985 Mistral Gagnant –  1,215,000
1988 Putain De Camion – 730,000
1991 Marchand De Cailloux – 510,000
1993 Renaud Cante El’ Nord –  310,000
1994 A La Belle De Mai – 540,000
1996 Chante Brassens – 205,000

Live Albums

1980 Live A Bobino – 260,000
1981 Le P’tit Bal Du Samedi Soir Et Autres Chansons Réalistes – 190,000
1982 Un Olympia pour moi tout seul – 250,000
1989 Visage Pâle Rencontrer Public – 255,000
1996 Paris-Provinces Aller/Retour – 125,000

Compilation Albums

1983 Master Série– 280,000
1986 Ma Compil’ – 280,000
1987 Ma Compil’ 2 – 120,000
1995 The Meilleur Of Renaud 1975/1985 – 250,000
1995 The Meilleur Of Renaud 1985/1995 – 240,000
1995 The Very Meilleur Of Renaud 1975/1995 – 100,000
1995 L’Intégrale – 10,000
1998 Master Série 2 – 60,000
1998 Master Série 3 – 40,000
1998 Morgane De Toi – 20,000
2000 L’Absolutely Meilleur Of Renaud – 370,000

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