Witches Soar Over Sorority Sisters: Wicked Back Atop Billboard Chart

News   Witches Soar Over Sorority Sisters: Wicked Back Atop Billboard Chart Wicked returns to the top of the Billboard Cast Albums chart after being dethroned last week by the debut of Legally Blonde: The Musical on the countdown.
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Ghostlight Records released Legally Blonde's original Broadway cast recording July 17. Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin's score for Legally Blonde — based on the Amanda Brown novel and the 2001 film — entered the chart at No. 1 and slips one spot this week.

Decca Broadway's Wicked — which has remained atop the chart steadily since the debut of the chart in Jan. 2006 — reclaims its top spot. Sony Classical's Hairspray original Broadway cast album — which has seen a gradual rise over the past weeks (with the new movie version now in theatres) — holds steadily at the No. 4 slot.

Successive Best Musical Tony winners Jersey Boys (on Rhino) and Spring Awakening (also on Decca) round out the top five.

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 83 weeks since the chart's inception.

Legally Blonde joins the company of those that have unseated the release of Stephen Schwartz's Wicked — which has topped the chart for 74 of the 82 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.