The new Masterworks Broadway release of the Marvin Hamlisch-Edward Kleban musical score joins its predecessor on the chart; the original 1975 Broadway cast album entered the chart (for the first time) three weeks ago and currently maintains a spot at No. 11.
Decca Broadway's Wicked and Rhino's Jersey Boys maintain their lock on the top two slots for the 15th consecutive week. Mamma Mia! (also on Decca Broadway) had completed the triumvirate at the top of the chart until A Chorus Line bumped it to No. 4 this week. Walt Disney Records' recording of The Lion King (which surged up the chart last week from No. 12 to No. 4) rounds out the top five.
Along with Wicked and Mamma Mia! the cast recordings of Monty Python's Spamalot, Hairspray and Avenue Q have remained on Billboard's Top Cast Album Chart for the full 42 weeks since the chart's inception.
PS Classics' recent release of the Broadway musical Grey Gardens re-enters the chart after a two-week absence at No. 14.
The release of Stephen Schwartz's Wicked has topped the chart for 37 of the 42 weeks the chart has been published. The recording has dominated the spot, only being toppled before 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, took hold of the top slot for four weeks. *
A new addition to Billboard's listings, the Top Cast Albums chart debuted in Billboard on 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.