When Seul album by Garou was released in November 2000, three of the Top 6 sellers of the year existed thanks to Notre-Dame De Paris – Les Dix Commandements and Roméo Et Juliette musicals and her former partner Hélène SégaraAu Nom D’Une Femme album. All those albums sold well over a million, putting high pressure on Garou solo debut.
After three pretty unknown albums – minus Saga Africa hit following Davis Cup victory celebration – the Yannick Noah eponymous fourth record was far from being a A-List release. With such a context, debuting at #27 was quite fine.
The first major musical to be released on the back of Notre-Dame De Paris success, Roméo Et Juliette had some heavy work to do in order to compete with its illistruous predecessor. Lead single Aimer was a solid first step, spending six weeks at #2.
After two albums that sold a mere 200,000 copies collectively, Gérald De Palmas was needing a serious boost. That boost was named Jean-Jacques Goldman who wrote the hit J’En Rêve Encore, used as lead single for the artist third album, Marcher Dans Le Sable.
The story of a jazzman in the 1930s who get a ground-breaking, million selling album of fresh new songs in year 2000 sounds like the pitch of a truly bad movie making no sense. It happened yet. Undoubtedly the most unexpected million selling album ever, Chambre Avec Vue was released in 2000 by the 82 years old legend Henri Salvador.
When Hélène Ségara released her debut album in 1996, it initially failed to chart. She wasn’t exactly an unknown when her follow up album, Au Nom D’Une Femme, was issued yet. In-between, she participated actively to two 2-million selling albums, Romanza by Andrea Bocelli, boosted by their duet on Vivo Per Lei, and musical Notre-Dame De Paris. Those albums were respectively the #1 selling albums of 1997 and 1998, increasing greatly Hélène Ségara popularity.
In terms of overall worldwide sales nobody can compete with the Beatles. In terms of album sales in France yet several acts, including international ones – Michael Jackson or Pink Floyd among others – seriously challenge their hegemony. It hasn’t prevent One 2000 compilation from managing huge sales in the country.
Following the insane madness which surrounded Notre-Dame de Paris musical in 1998, French authors and labels hoped to reproduce this scenario. Time to write and prepare new musicals, three were launched and backed by strong promotion in 2000. Not all became successful yet as Ali Baba pretty much flopped, but both Les Dix Commandements and Roméo Et Juliette were big.
By the end of the 90s vocal Canadian singers from Quebec were insanely popular in France. The obvious example of Celine Dion was only the top of the iceberg with Garou, Bruno Pelletier, Linda Lemay, Lara Fabian (although born in Belgium) and many more hitting large successes. Their anti-star image was highly loved and it wasn’t Isabelle Boulay, maybe the least known singer ever to sell a million copies of an album who would contradict that trend.
Coming back from seven – yes, seven – consecutive million selling studio album, one can only do badly when releasing a new album. Selling a million would be rated as barely normal while missing it would be a failure. Jean-Jacques Goldman still did good yet as Chansons Pour Les Pieds not only passed the million but did it in an incredible fashion.
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