With the new movie version of the musical slated to debut nationwide at theatres July 20, the Hairspray Broadway cast album has seen a gradual rise over the past weeks to its current place at No. 5. Four weeks ago, the recording of the Marc Shaiman-Scott Wittman musical — based on the John Waters film of the same name — was at No. 13. The following week saw a jump to No. 9 (and continued to No. 8 and No. 7).
Over on the Top Soundtrack chart, the film's recording — with a cast including John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Michelle Pfeiffer, Nikki Blonsky, Zac Efron, Amanda Bynes, Elijah Kelley and more — debuted at no. 2 (hitting No. 20 on the Billboard 200).
For the last four weeks, Wicked (on Decca Broadway) and successive Best Musical Tony winners Jersey Boys (on Rhino) and Spring Awakening (also on Decca) have locked into the top three spots. Decca Broadway's Mamma Mia! 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 81 weeks since the chart's inception.
The release of Stephen Schwartz's Wicked has topped the chart for 74 of the 81 weeks the chart has been published. The recording has dominated the top spot, only being toppled by 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. In addition to its post Tony, four-week run at No. 1, Jersey Boys 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.