Top 5 Hold Steady on Billboard Cast Albums Chart While Grey Gardens Re-Enters List

News   Top 5 Hold Steady on Billboard Cast Albums Chart While Grey Gardens Re-Enters List The Off-Broadway recording of Grey Gardens pops back onto the Billboard Top Cast Albums chart, while the top five spots are carry-overs from last week with Wicked still at the top of the countdown.

PS Classics released the world-premiere recording of Grey Gardens Aug. 22 with the original Off-Broadway cast. The album — which places at No. 13 — initially entered the chart the first week of September 2006 and has appeared sporadically since (this is its 8th week on the chart). The Playwrights Horizons hit — by composer Scott Frankel, lyricist Michael Korie, and librettist Doug Wright based on the cult documentary film — now plays on Broadway. (PS Classics recently released a new original Broadway cast recording of Grey Gardens — considered the definitive version by the creators.)

Holding steady from last week, the top slots on the chart are filled by Decca Broadway's Wicked, followed by Rhino's Jersey Boys, Decca Broadway's Mamma Mia! and Spring Awakening with Walt Disney's The Lion King rounding out the top five.

Along with Wicked and Mamma Mia!, the cast recordings of Monty Python's Spamalot and Avenue Q have remained on Billboard's Top Cast Album Chart for the full 66 weeks since the chart's inception.

The release of Stephen Schwartz's Wicked has topped the chart for 60 of the 66 weeks the chart has been published. The recording has dominated the top spot, only being toppled by 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 also had a four-week run at No. 1 following its big Tony win and 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.

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