The Sony Classical recording of the still-running 2003 Tony Award winner for Best Musical Hairspray — featuring the Tony-winning score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman — reaches 54 weeks on the chart. (The album dropped off the chart last week after a re-entry three weeks ago to the No. 3 spot, falling to No. 6 the week after.)
Meanwhile, behind chart-topper Wicked, a shuffling occurs. Rhino's Jersey Boys cast album — which has held steadily behind the Stephen Schwartz Oz-based musical — falls to No. 4 as Mamma Mia! and Spring Awakening (both on Decca Broadway) edge up one spot each to No. 2 and 3, respectively.
The release of Stephen Schwartz's Wicked has topped the chart for 52 of the 57 weeks the chart has been published. The recording has dominated the spot, only being toppled 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, also took hold of the top slot for four weeks. *
Billboard added the Top Cast Albums chart to its listings 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.