Trading places from last week, Hairspray (Sony Classical) and The Lion King (Walt Disney) switch to No. 6 and 7, respectively. Similarly, Beauty and The Beast (Walt Disney) flips up to No. 14 while The Phantom of the Opera London highlights album (Polydor) takes the 15 spot. (Those two exchanges represent the only movement on the chart.)
Along with Wicked, the cast recordings of Mamma Mia!, Monty Python's Spamalot and Avenue Q have remained on Billboard's Top Cast Album Chart for the full 89 weeks since the chart's inception.
* Legally Blonde recently joined the company of those that have unseated the release of Stephen Schwartz's Wicked — which has topped the chart for 80 of the 89 weeks the chart has been published. The only other recordings to topple the stronghold are 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. Jersey Boys enjoyed a four-week run at No. 1 following its Tony win and 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.