By Ernio Hernandez
03 Jan 2008
Decca Broadway's Wicked held steady at No. 1 after returning to the top of the chart last week. Rhino's Jersey Boys cast recording (which again places at No. 2) had recently enjoyed a month-long stint in the first spot.
Legally Blonde's original Broadway cast recording on Ghostlight Records slid to No. 4 with the Sweeney Todd original cast recording (RCA Red Seal) rounding out the top five.
Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's musical tale of The Demon Barber of Fleet Street — no doubt enjoying a new life because of the Tim Burton film — also charted at No. 11 with the new Broadway cast recording (Nonesuch). The original Sweeney CD with Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou debuted for the first time last week (at No. 11) while the recent revival's album with Patti LuPone and Michael Cerveris made a re-entrance (at No. 14).
Along with Wicked, the cast recordings of Mamma Mia! (Decca Broadway), Avenue Q (RCA Victor) and Monty Python's Spamalot (also on Decca) have remained on Billboard's Top Cast Album Chart for the full 105 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 86 of the 105 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 has held the top spot on the chart for the most times (15 total weeks) other than constant chart-topper Wicked. The Four Seasons musical had previously enjoyed a four-week run at No. 1 following its Tony Award win as Best Musical and also reclaimed the countdown's lead position the week of Feb. 8. Then prior to its recent four-week streak, it also held the top spot for a six-week run (ending Nov. 8, 2007).
Billboard can be found on the web at www.billboard.com. Full charts are available by subscription at www.billboard.biz.