France best selling albums ever: Ailleurs Land by Florent Pagny (2003)
After a pair of million selling albums in mid-90s, authentic French start Florent Pagny lost some ground releasing three decent selling albums that failed to reach blockbuster status yet.
Pascal Obispo written lead single Ma Liberté de Penser (translated My Freedom of Though), referring with some irony the singer issues with administration due to taxes, became a massive hit, topping charts for 6 weeks. The album, Ailleurs Land, was just as successful with 7 weeks at the top and its 24 initial weeks sitting inside the Top 10. Following singles got unnoticed yet, as a result the album didn’t had solid sales in the mid to long run. Nevertheless, huge early sales enabled the album to complete 2003 as the second best seller of the year behind Norah Jones‘ Come Away With Me.
The album was certified Platinum by IFPI for over 1 million copies shipped across Europe in late 2003. This award is pretty relevant in this case as Florent Pagny appeal is limited to French speaking countries, meaning France, Belgium and Switzerland. It shipped close to 100,000 units in the last two countries, letting 900,000 copies for France.
By 2014 Ailleurs Land was already much lower on charts, starting the year low Top 40 and left the Top 100 in April. Those last sales still pushed the album up to the magical million mark in June 28 of the year. Although certifications are not automatic, meaning the album could have pass the mark earlier, considering both the fact it was under 3x Platinum plateau by November 18 2003 and its relatively modest run in-between 11/2003 and 06/2004, there is no doubt the album just scrapped the milestone.
With live album Eté 2003 à l’Olympia quickly taking over catalog sales generated by Ailleurs Land singles, the album catalog results have been rather bad. A small push in early 2005, completed for good its chart life. At that time, it had shipped approximatively 1,04 million and sold irrelevant amounts since.
Net shipment as of the end of 2015 is estimated at 1,075,000 copies.
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