By Ernio Hernandez
10 Jan 2008
Decca Broadway released the new Mel Brooks-Thomas Meehan Broadway musical version of Brooks' film comedy Dec. 26. Young Frankenstein debuted on the chart two weeks ago at No. 7 and climbed to No. 3 last week.
Decca Broadway's Wicked topped the chart for its third consecutive 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/Sh-K-Boom) and The Lion King (Walt Disney) round out the top five.
Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's musical tale Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street — no doubt enjoying a new life because of the Tim Burton film — charted twice. The original Broadway cast recording (Masterworks Broadway), with Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou, placed at No. 8, while the new Broadway cast recording (Nonesuch), with Patti LuPone and Michael Cerveris, charted at No. 15.
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 106 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 87 of the 106 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.