Owing some credit (if not all) to the new movie version of the Henry Krieger-Tom Eyen musical — featuring Beyoncé Knowles, Anika Noni Rose and Jennifer Hudson — the Decca Broadway original 1982 release as well as the Hip-O/Geffen special edition both hit their second week on the chart.
The cast recording of the new Broadway musical Spring Awakening climbs one slot to No. 3 with Mamma Mia rounding out the top five.
The release of Stephen Schwartz's Wicked has topped the chart for 48 of the 53 weeks the chart has been published. The recording has dominated the spot, only being toppled by the Columbia Records two-disc "Harry" release (comprised of the recording of Broadway's The Pajama Game revival and selections of Connick, Jr.'s 2001 show Thou Shalt Not) and The Color Purple for one week each. Rhino's release of Jersey Boys, following its big Tony win, also took hold of the top slot for four weeks. *
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.