France best selling albums ever: Back To Front by Lionel Richie (1992)

Back To Front by Lionel Richie

One more high profile LP replacement compilation, Back To Front by Lionel Richie went on to perform insanely well in France.

Among all Polygram hits packages released in 1992 (ABBA, Supertramp, PoliceJimi Hendrix, Bee Gees), this one was the best performer. Sitting at the top of the compilation chart for various weeks in both 1992 and 1993, the album only needed a bit more than two years to reach a million, a rare feat for this kind of albums.

Initially 2xGold in December 1992, it went 3xPlatinum in April 1994. Its best year was 1992 obviously, when it sold 500,000 units as per VSD. One more SNEP chart data glitch, it charted along with studio albums in February of that year inside the Top 50, showing how well it was holding. With sales between 900,000 and 1 million by April 1994, at the latest the album passed the magical million during 1995, when it charted as high as Top 5 in the compilation chart.

Never selling large quantities again after that point, as a best of album Back To Front kept doing nice enough. In each 2006, 2008, 2012 and 2014 it charted in Compilation or Catalog chart, even if only a few weeks each, those re-entries highlight continuous sales for this set. Considering the low activity of Lionel Richie lately, those rankings represent steady sales week after week. Yearly sales are estimated from 15,000 units in late 90s to 5,000 by now.

Net shipment as of the end of 2015 is estimated at 1,180,000 copies.

As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!

Sources: SNEP, Nielsen, IFOP, VSD.

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