Wicked Back on Top of Billboard Cast Album Chart; Hairspray Climbing

News   Wicked Back on Top of Billboard Cast Album Chart; Hairspray Climbing Wicked reclaims its usual place at the top of the Billboard Top Cast Album chart from last week's No. 1, Spring Awakening.

Last week, the 2007 Tony Award winner for Best Musical hit the top spot for the first time (in its then-27 weeks on the chart). This week, the Duncan Sheik-Steven Sater musical (on the Decca Broadway label) takes its place behind Wicked (also on Decca) and the previous season's Best Musical Tony winner Jersey Boys (on Rhino).

Broadway Angel/Manhattan's Curtains and Decca Broadway's Mamma Mia! round out the top five. Also of note is the climb (from No. 13 to No. 9) of Sony Classical's recording of Hairspray — which will likely see a spike in the coming weeks once the movie version of the musical is released in July.

Of last season's offerings not already mentioned, Grey Gardens and the recording of the 110 in the Shade revival (both on PS Classics) and Walt Disney's Mary Poppins place on the countdown. The recording of the revivals of Company (PS Classics/Nonesuch) and A Chorus Line (Masterworks Broadway) — which found their way back onto the chart last week — have both dropped off again as Disney's Beauty and the Beast and Tarzan re-enter.

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 78 weeks since the chart's inception.

The release of Stephen Schwartz's Wicked has topped the chart for 71 of the 78 weeks the chart has been published. The recording has dominated the top spot, only being toppled by 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. In addition to its post Tony, four-week run at No. 1, Jersey Boys 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.