France best selling albums ever: S’Il Suffisait D’Aimer by Celine Dion (1998)
There is no secret that Celine Dion album D’Eux is the best selling of all-time in France. Written by Jean-Jacques Goldman, the winning pair joined their skills again with French follow up album S’Il Suffisait D’Aimer. While reproducing sales of the previous album was near impossible, selling massive amounts was a given from day one.
It did just that. After a mere three weeks the album had shipped already 700,000 units in France. This partially explains why the album kept the top spot only four weeks as it sold heavy amounts within’ a few weeks and faced Notre-Dame De Paris competition. Some three months after release, by early December, shipment of the album exceeded 1 million copies in France. Knowing the exact sales of this record during 1998 is a bit painful.
In fact, certifications stop at Diamond while we already know it passed the million mark. In the year end chart, it ended #4, topping Manau‘s Panique Celtique, that sold under 1 million (it reached that mark in March 1999), and being behind a monster Top 3 albums that all sold in excess of 1,5 million during the year. Thus, again, there is no more information from the already known 1 million plus.
The 2xPlatinum representing 2 million European sales received from IFPI in 1999 could have been relevant but the strong export sales of this release destroy the usage of it. Considering how late both Billboard and RFI Musique reported the million sales yet, it is safe to say the album hasn’t passed that figure by much, at best 1,1 million sold from 1,2 million shipped.
The album remained selling well for a year as it never felt below #16 in its first 51 weeks. This great run enabled it to add 550,000 copies sold in 1999. After that, while strong sales were over, the album had a nice catalog appeal. From 2000 to 2002, it added 100,000 units. From 2003 to 2008, GFK figures reveal 68,000 copies sold of the album plus 27,000 copies along with D’Eux on a 2CD box. Estimates since 2009 are up to 45,000.
Net shipment as of the end of 2015 is estimated at 1,890,000 copies.
As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!
Sources: SNEP, IFOP, GFK, Billboard, RFI Musique.