Blonde Beats Green: Legally Blonde Tops Wicked for Debut on Billboard Chart

News   Blonde Beats Green: Legally Blonde Tops Wicked for Debut on Billboard Chart
 
Legally Blonde: The Musical topped the Billboard Cast Albums chart in its debut on the countdown.

Ghostlight Records released the new musical's original Broadway cast recording July 17. Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin's score for Legally Blonde — based on the Amanda Brown novel and the 2001 film — is performed by Laura Bell Bundy, Christian Borle, Orfeh, Richard H. Blake, Kate Shindle, Nikki Snelson, Michael Rupert and the cast.

Decca Broadway's Wicked — which has remained atop the chart steadily since the debut of the chart in Jan. 2006 — slides down to No. 2. Sony Classical's Hairspray original Broadway cast album has seen a gradual rise over the past weeks (with the new movie version now in theatres) and it continues to notch one more spot this week into the No. 4 slot.

Successive Best Musical Tony winners Jersey Boys (on Rhino) and Spring Awakening (also on Decca) round out the top five.

Along with Wicked, the cast recordings of Mamma Mia!, Monty Python's Spamalot and Avenue Q have remained on Billboard's Top Cast Album Chart for the full 82 weeks since the chart's inception.

Legally Blonde joins the company of those have unseated the release of Stephen Schwartz's Wicked — which has topped the chart for 74 of the 82 weeks the chart has been published. The only other recordings to topple the stronghold are Spring Awakening, 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 enjoyed a four-week run at No. 1 following its Tony win and also reclaimed the top spot the week of Feb. 8. *

Billboard added the Top Cast Albums chart to its listings Jan. 12, 2006. 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. The Schwartz musical — which opened on Broadway in October 2003 (album released Dec. 16, 2003) — appeared at the top of the first chart.

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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