Sony Classical's Hairspray original Broadway cast album — which has seen a gradual rise over the past weeks (with the new movie version now in theatres) — reaches the No. 3 slot this week.
The Phantom of the Opera highlights album (from the London cast on Polydor) joins its Original London Cast Recording counterpart (from Really Useful) on the countdown and Ghostlight/Sh-K-Boom's The Drowsy Chaperone also climbs back onto the countdown.
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 85 weeks since the chart's inception. *
Legally Blonde recently joined the company of those that have unseated the release of Stephen Schwartz's Wicked — which has topped the chart for 76 of the 84 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.