The Time Life release of the movie-turned-musical, which hit stores April 24, enters the chart at No. 4. Featuring music by Frank Cipolla, Christopher Bond, Melissa Morris and George Reinblatt with lyrics (and book) by Reinblatt, the recording features original cast members Ryan Ward, Jennifer Byrne, Jenna Coker, Renée Klapmeyer, Tom Walker, Brandon Wardell, Darryl Winslow, Ryan Williams and Amy Shute.
Holding steady from the past five weeks, the top three slots on the chart are filled by Decca Broadway's Wicked, followed by Rhino's Jersey Boys and Mamma Mia! (also Decca Broadway). Spring Awakening — which had held steadily at No. 4 — is bumped down to No. 6. Walt Disney's The Lion King rounds out the top five.
Along with Wicked and Mamma Mia!, the cast recordings of Monty Python's Spamalot and Avenue Q have remained on Billboard's Top Cast Album Chart for the full 70 weeks since the chart's inception.
Disney also enjoys three other spots on the list with the original London cast recording of Mary Poppins and the original Broadway cast albums of Tarzan and Beauty.
The release of Stephen Schwartz's Wicked has topped the chart for 64 of the 70 weeks the chart has been published. The recording has dominated the top spot, only being toppled by 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 also had a four-week run at No. 1 following its big Tony win and 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.