Altar Boyz Original Recording Ascends to Billboard Cast Album Chart

News   Altar Boyz Original Recording Ascends to Billboard Cast Album Chart
 
Chalk it up to the national tour reaching Los Angeles or Altar Boyz alum Jason Celaya being part of NBC's "Grease: You're the One that I Want," but the original cast recording of that Off-Broadway musical has entered the Billboard Top Cast Album chart.
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Released almost two years ago (May 17, 2005) by Sh-K-Boom Records, the Off-Broadway cast recording makes its way onto the chart for the first time this week just inside the top ten at No. 9. (Celaya replaced original star and fellow NBC-er Scott Porter — of "Friday Night Lights" — who appears on the album.)

Last week, Rhino's Jersey Boys release had taken the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Top Cast Album chart away from stronghold, Decca Broadway's Wicked. They switch places this week with the Oz-centered musical atop the Four Seasons musical. Mamma Mia! and Spring Awakening (both on Decca Broadway) round out the top five with Disney's The Lion King.

Along with Wicked and Mamma Mia!, the cast recordings of Avenue Q and Monty Python's Spamalot have remained on Billboard's Top Cast Album Chart for the full 59 weeks since the chart's inception.

Also of note, the Decca Broadway original 1982 Dreamgirls release as well as the Hip-O/Geffen special edition of that Henry Krieger and Tom Eyen musical both place at No. 7 and No. 13, respectively, in their eighth week on the chart.

The release of Stephen Schwartz's Wicked has topped the chart for 53 of the 59 weeks the chart has been published. The recording has dominated the spot, only being toppled by the Columbia Records two-disc "Harry On Broadway" release (with Broadway's The Pajama Game revival and selections of Connick, Jr.'s Thou Shalt Not) and The Color Purple for one week each. Jersey Boys had a four-week run at No. 1 following its big Tony win and reclaimed the top spot for the week of Feb. 8. *

Billboard added the Top Cast Albums chart to its listings Jan. 12, 2006. Stephen Schwartz' Wicked — which opened on Broadway in October 2003 (album released Dec. 16, 2003) — appeared at the top of the first chart. The chart measures sales of albums from stage musicals. Broadway recordings mostly fill the 15-slot table, but cast albums from other locales are also eligible. The addition of the chart to Billboard's 112 charts generates exposure for the genre which does not often chart on the Billboard 200.

Billboard can be found on the web at www.billboard.com. Full charts are available by subscription at www.billboard.biz.

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