Rarely a new act have ever got so big and so fast as the Spice Girls got. The most amazing feat is how they did so everywhere in virtually no time. France is often a market slower to break than other countries like the UK, but still it wasn’t a problem for the Spice Girls and their anthemic debut single Wannabe.
Falling Into You by Celine Dion may look like a pretty normal album, this study is very specific for many reasons. From France industry point of view, this album shouldn’t have been released at that time.
Presented in medias like the new Celine Dion, Lara Fabian is very far from having a career near to her fellow countrywoman. Ironically, one decade earlier they both featured on 1988 Eurovision, won by Celine, with Lara taking a respectable 4th position representing Luxembourg. During a couple of years yet she did record some outstanding sales, most notably with her 1996 album Pure, which got released in France in June 1997.
Barry White is one of those acts with highly recognized hits that never sold large amounts of his studio albums, making him one hell of a candidate for big selling compilations. At that point, the main argument to get into million sales area is the cannibalization factor. In other words, the least compilations have been released, higher sales of those available will be.
Minor music genres are often dominated by one or two acts only. The general public buys mostly Pop / Rock / Urban albums and then go on with Bob Marley (Reggae), Miles Davis (Jazz), ABBA (Disco), Shakira (Spanish language) or Andrea Bocelli (Opera) to fulfill their low demand on each minor genre. From mid-90s, Andre Rieu cleverly took that spot for Classical genre, selling it to the masses.
Florent Pagny 1988 debut single, N’Importe Quoi, was a near-million seller peaking at #1 for eight weeks. His first three albums yet all failed the Top 10 and none sold enough to reach Platinum (300,000) status. The compilation summarizing those releases sold well over a million in 1995 yet. With 1997 release Savoir Aimer, question was either or not Pagny would be able to shift bucket loads with a studio album or if the compilation was a one-off.
North against South, Paris against Marseille, PSG against OM, NTM against IAM. During the 90s, both sides of France have been pretty much opposed in every possible way. In music as a whole or in the rap universe specifically, IAM was the obvious flagship of Marseille city artists.
Unlike one may though when reading Era name, Era isn’t a band but instead a musical project fully created by French musical composer Eric Lévi, responsible of several major French movies soundtracks including Les Visiteurs, the biggest theater success in over 20 years at the time.
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