France best selling albums ever: A Vous Les Femmes by Julio Iglesias (1979)
Are there ladies around? Well, not sure he is surrounded by as many as he used to, but no doubt Julio Iglesias appeal was absolutely insane in late 70s.
His previous album, 1978 set Aimez La Vie, sold over half a million units by the release of A Vous Les Femmes – and 740,000 units by 1984 – creating a large anticipation for this new LP. The title track, also titled as per original Spanish title translation Pauvres Diables, was an immense success selling over 400,000 units. Following single Où Est Passé Ma Bohème was even bigger, selling upwards 500,000 copies.
The album hasn’t exactly taken charts by storm barely making the Top 10, but only due to their lack of accuracy. In reality, the album was the biggest release of the year, selling more copies than Supertramp utterly successful album Breakfast In America. By 1981, it was already reported on reliable local medias as having sold 1,2 million units, a figure confirmed by Billboard in 1984. Julio Iglesias original studio albums have always been pretty bad catalog sellers explaining why the figure hasn’t evolve. In those same two dates, 1980 big album Sentimental was reported on 900,000 units first and “close to 1 million” second, highlighting less than 100,000 sales in 3 years despite the album being more recent than A Vous Les Femmes. This latter LP sold less than 50,000 copies between those two dates, which explains why rounded figures are the same.
In later years, catalog sales were really negligible. Again using Sentimental album as a reference, it failed to be certified Diamond in 1988 along with A Vous Les Femmes that was immediately updated when the award was introduced, representing truly low sales again from 1984 to 1988 as it was already close to the mark in the first date. A Vous Les Femmes is estimated on 1,23 million by 1984, 1,26 million by its Diamond certification in 1988 and 1,33 million by now.
Net shipment as of the end of 2015 is estimated at 1,330,000 copies.
As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!
Sources: SNEP, Nielsen, Platine, Billboard.