With first compilation from Queen, 1981 Greatest Hits, being one of the biggest albums ever, the release of Greatest Hits II a decade later was obviously highly anticipated. The ultimate passing of lead singer Freddy Mercury only one month after this release pushed the hype even higher.
Michael Jackson was all over the place during the 80s, releasing two monster sellers Thriller (1982) and Bad (1987). Follow up album, 1991 release Dangerous, was apivotal album for the star as the cult producer of previous albums Quincy Jones, was no longer on board. Teddy Riley had taken his place as primary collaborator.
When songs like T.N.T, Back To Black, Highway To Hell, You Shook Me All Night Long, Hells Bells and Thunderstruck among others never got packaged together, you are poised to expect big sales once such a release comes out.
ABBA has the perfect profile of a large selling compilation acts with so-so studio album sales along with massive singles hit. To get into blockbuster sales status, one of their compilation thus barely needs to be their main available hit package during a large enough time span. This happened with Gold.
Before 1993, Alain Souchon released eight studio albums. He got a few hits, nice sales in elitist public but no widespread appeal. This all changed that year with C’Est Déjà Ca album that contained his iconic song Foule Sentimentale.
I would be lying if I tell you Mariah Carey was well known in France when Music Box was released in 1993. She was pretty much the opposite of a star – none of her albums charted, she received no certification and only one of her singles made the Top 20, I’ll Be There, mostly thanks to the original Jackson 5 song being famous.
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