Two weeks ago, the 2007 Tony Award winner for Best Musical Spring Awakening shot up to the top spot for the first time (in its then-27 weeks on the chart) following its big win. This week, like last, the Duncan Sheik-Steven Sater musical (on the Decca Broadway label) takes its place behind Wicked (also on Decca) and the previous season's Best Musical Tony winner Jersey Boys (on Rhino).
Decca Broadway's Mamma Mia! and Disney's The Lion King round out the top five. Also of note is the continued climb of Sony Classical's recording of Hairspray (at No. 8 this week, up last week's jump from No. 13 to No. 9) — which will likely spike again in the coming weeks once the movie version of the musical is released later this month.
PS Classics/Nonesuch's recording of the revival of Company — after a one-week absence — edges back onto the chart (at No. 14). Of last season's offerings not already mentioned, Broadway Angel/Manhattan's Curtains as well as PS Classics' Grey Gardens and Walt Disney's Mary Poppins also placed.
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 79 weeks since the chart's inception.
The release of Stephen Schwartz's Wicked has topped the chart for 72 of the 79 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.