"Mamma Mia!" ABBA rules multiple album charts

Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:01pm EDT
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By Geoff Mayfield

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - To write about the top of this week's sales charts, only the first two letters of the alphabet are necessary, because thanks to the film "Mamma Mia!," everything's ABBA.

The soundtrack takes over the lead on the Billboard 200 album chart. It also logs its fourth week at No. 1 on Top Soundtracks, its second week ruling Top Digital Albums and moves from No. 5 to No. 1 on Top Internet Albums.

Meanwhile, the original repertoire that inspired the musical locks its fourth straight week at No. 1 on Top Pop Catalog Albums. Sealing the Swedish group's monopoly, the original cast recording from the stage production rules Top Cast Albums for a third straight week. In short, ABBA songs dominate almost every album chart.


Following the triumph of the "Juno" soundtrack in February, this marks the second time in 2008 that a feature film's audio souvenir leads the Billboard 200. That might not sound like a rare feat, but not since 1998 have two film soundtracks taken charge of the album chart within a calendar year. And 1998 was a landmark year for soundtrack sales.

In the first sales week of 2003, the soundtrack to Eminem's "8 Mile" registered the last of its four weeks at No. 1. The July release of that year's "Bad Boys II" also led the Billboard 200, but the former had been a carryover from the prior year.

No other film soundtrack led the chart until Jack Johnson's "Curious George" album in February 2006. That was the first of six soundtracks that would reach No. 1 through the end of 2007, but four of those were from Disney Channel projects, "Dreamgirls" being the only other chart-topping album from a theatrical release within that span.

You need to drift back 10 years to find the last occasion when two or more film soundtracks started Billboard 200 reigns in the same year: "Titanic" (16 weeks at No. 1, 16-times platinum), "City of Angels" (three weeks, five times platinum) and "Armageddon" (two weeks, four-times platinum).   Continued...

<p>Cast and members of Abba appear together at the premiere of the motion picture version of the musical 'Mamma Mia' in Stockholm July 4, 2008. REUTERS/Bob Strong</p>