"Rent" Soundtrack Hits Billboard Charts; Menzel Signs Record Deal

News   "Rent" Soundtrack Hits Billboard Charts; Menzel Signs Record Deal The soundtrack for the forthcoming film of "Rent" makes an appearance on both The Billboard 200 and Billboard's Top Soundtracks charts.

The double CD, released Sept. 27 by Warner Bros. Records, ranks #99 on the current Billboard 200. Gretchen Wilson's "All Jacked Up" (Sony Music) ranks in the first position on that chart. The new recording of Jonathan Larson's musical fares even better in the Top Soundtracks chart. The two-CD set ranks #3, following "No Direction Home: The Soundtrack —The Bootleg Series Vol. 7 (Bob Dylan)" and "The Longest Yard."

"Love Heals," a song penned by the late Jonathan Larson but not included in the original Broadway production of Rent, can be heard on the new recording, which has a retail price of $27.98. The Chris Columbus-directed film of "Rent" — which is due in movie theatres Nov. 23 — stars Adam Pascal (as Roger Davis), Anthony Rapp (as Mark Cohen), Rosario Dawson (as Mimi), Taye Diggs (as Benjamin "Benny" Coffin III), Wilson Jermaine Heredia (as Angel Schunard), Jesse L. Martin (as Thomas B. "Thom" Collins), Idina Menzel (as Maureen Johnson) and Tracie Thoms (as Joanne Jefferson).

In related news, Liz Smith reports that Tony Award winner Idina Menzel has just signed a solo artist deal with Warner Bros. Records.