Slightly over a decade after crossing over the masses with The Joshua Tree, classic rock band U2 released a first compilation album covering their 80s hits, Best Of 1980-1990.
Getting the highest selling album in a calendar of all-time in 1995 (with D’Eux) was already a unique achievement. Getting three albums inside the Top 10 Year End chart of 1996 was just as spectacular. One may guess how anticipated Celine Dion 1997 major release Let’s Talk About Love was. We won’t even mention the artist was soon to be massively hyped thanks to her Titanic soundtrack signature song.
In Deep confirmed the widespread appeal of Tina Arena in her home country Australia a few years after her initial breakthrough with Don’t Ask. This gave her the opportunity to record a couple of French songs and add them on In Deep tracklist in France, a reissue dropped in October 1998, over one year after the first release.
French hard core Rap band Suprême NTM, which has been strongly controversial from their early days (the fact the NTM acronym stands for the French translation of Fuck Your Mother certainly doesn’t help), saw its popularity of the band grew year after year during the 90s. View More
Foreign acts often tried to release albums in French, or at least a few songs, to penetrate completely this market. The real UFO that is Manu Chao did just about the opposite singing mostly in Spanish with a few tracks in French, Portuguese and English. This one of a kind started his solo career in 1998 a few years after leading underground cult band Mano Negra.
Even if legendary French musical Starmania was first released in 1978, albums related to the franchise sold over 2 million copies during the 90s. This gave ideas to its lyricist Luc Plamandon who wrote some twenty years later a new musical, Notre-Dame de Paris, along with his composition partner Richard Cocciante.
Brittany, the region at the very west of France, always had a highly developed local culture. This can be verified in many aspects and music is no exception. From this region, Dan Ar Braz, Alan Stivell or more recently Nolwenn Leroy have been quite successful in France. Nobody came even close to Manau smash yet as they took France by storm in 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.
There is obviously no need to introduce Madonna, the best selling female artist of all-time worldwide. In France, as in most markets, she managed impressive sales throughout her career. Although, the early 90s weren’t that successful, with her four 90-96 studio albums averaging less than 300,000 copies. However, 1998 album Ray Of Light was a real tour de force for the singer sending her back to her hey-day success.