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.
When you are old enough to get your new album produced by your own son, I guess it tells something about your longevity, especially when you started at 16. Despite already being the best selling artist of all-time by 1999, Johnny Hallyday had yet to get a million selling album.
After two albums which sold over 4,5 million together, the 1999 comeback of Francis Cabrel was one of the most anticipated of all-time. Hardly the most active act when it comes to promotion, the poetic singer crushed absolutely everyone in terms of sales per album during a decade, even the likes Johnny Hallyday, Patrick Bruel or Jean-Jacques Goldman.
By 1993, Patrick Bruel held the highest selling French album of all-time with his 1989 release Alors Regarde. As it often happens with such a sudden and disproportionate success, the singer suffered a strong backlash and follow up 1994 release, although selling decently for most artists, ended being a strong disappointment. Thus, Juste Avant was a pivotal album, re-installing the artist as a major seller or marking him as a one-album wonder.
One of the most recognizable figure in French music scene, Mylène Farmer was in front of a difficult exercise in 1999. Indeed, meeting expectations after three consecutive million selling studio albums is still a complicated target even for such a successful artist. Innamoramento did manage to reach the coveted million plateau establishing even more the widespread appeal of the discrete singer.
After eight up and down studio albums from 1974 to 1988 with mostly average sellers, Alain Souchon finally made it big at almost 50 in 1993 thanks to C’Est Déjà Ca album. Such unusual career path generated a lot of curiosity when follow up Au Ras Des Pâquerettes was released in November 1999.
From late 1985 to 1987 both groups from Toulouse city, Gold and Images, released respectively five and four Top 10 hits and sold over two million single each in the process. They both quickly disappeared from the music scene yet.
After Moby and Dido, this the the third international 1999 release that waited the 00s to break the main audience. Just like the other two, the very slow start hasn’t prevent the album from getting numerous weeks at #1.
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