Rhino's Jersey Boys release reclaims the top spot this week, beating out constant chart-topper Wicked (which lands at No. 2). The musical based on the Four Seasons had previously enjoyed a four-week run at No. 1 following its Tony win as Best Musical and also reclaimed the top spot the week of Feb. 8.
The original London cast recording of The Phantom of the Opera (Really Useful) joins its highlights counterpart as it re-enters the chart at No. 14. Decca Broadway's highlights of Les Miserables also climbs back on at No. 15.
* Legally Blonde recently joined the company of those that have unseated the release of Stephen Schwartz's Wicked — which has topped the chart for 81 of the 91 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.
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.