LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Adele returned to the top spot on the U.S. pop album for a 10th nonconsecutive week on Wednesday, bumping Lady Gaga to No. 2 after a two-week reign.
But the real news was the stunning re-entry at No. 3 of the original Broadway cast recording of “The Book of Mormon” on the heels of the show’s nine Tony Award wins on Sunday.
It is the highest-charting Broadway cast album -- and first top 10 -- since 1969, when “Hair” spent 13 weeks at No. 1.
And, with sales of 61,000 units, “Mormon” claims the largest sales week for any cast album since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. The previous best week for a cast set belonged to the original London cast recording of “Phantom of the Opera” (Highlights), which sold 54,000 copies during the Christmas week of 1992.
“The Book of Mormon” debuted at No. 31 on the Billboard 200 three weeks ago after selling 13,000 copies as a digital download, fell to No. 124 the following week and then dropped off the chart. The CD came out last Tuesday, just in time to capitalize on its Tony Awards momentum: It went into the June 12 ceremony with a leading 14 nominations.
Sales were doubtless spurred on by AmazonMP3’s multi-day sale-pricing of the digital album. The retailer offered it at just $1.99 for three days during the sales tracking week that ended on Sunday night.
The show -- with music and lyrics by “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and “Avenue Q” co-writer Robert Lopez -- opened March 24 at the Eugene O‘Neill Theater. Ads touting the cast album have been running during airings of “South Park” on Comedy Central, while Parker and Stone have chatted up the show on everything from NBC’s “Today” to “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.” The nine Tony wins for “Mormon” included best musical, direction, featured actress (Nikki M. James) and score.
Meanwhile, Adele’s “21” sold 114,000 copies and Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” 100,000 copies.
Rapper Tech N9ne’s “All 6’s & 7‘s” debuted at No. 4 with 56,000, his first top 10 album and best sales week. Ronnie Dunn, one-half of retired country combo Brooks & Dunn, came in at No. 5 with his self-titled debut (45,000).
Rock band All Time Low’s “Dirty Work” debuted at No. 6 with 44,000. Its last studio release, 2009’s “Nothing Personal,” arrived at No. 4 with 63,000.
Jason Aldean’s “My Kind of Party” rose one to No. 7 with 41,000. Fellow country star Brad Paisley’s “This Is Country Music” dropped two to No. 8 with 38,000. The “Now 38” compilation fell two to No. 9 (31,000), and Death Cab for Cutie’s “Codes and Keys” slid seven to No. 10.
Overall album sales totaled 5.51 million units, down less than 1% compared with the previous week, and down 2% compared with the comparable sales week of 2010. Year-to-date album sales stand at 136.9 million, up less than 1% compared with the same total at this point last year.