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Titanic Sails to #158 on Billboard Top 200

By Robert Viagas and David Lefkowitz and Andrew Ku
July 10, 1997

Studio 54 One Year Anniversary

L-R: Victoria Clark and Judy Blazer; Maury Yeston and Peter Stone; Martin Moran and Michael Cerveris at the Titanic CD launch party.

Titanic winner of five 1997 Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Score, released its original cast album July 1 on RCA Victor. In its first week out of the box, the cast recording hit #158 on the Billboard Top 200, according to charts assistant Jan Perry.

RCA has made downloadable clips from the Titanic CD available to Playbill On-Line. They're now live. The show's cast celebrated its release with a party in New York. Playbill On-Line photographer Starla Smith attended the fete and her photos are posted above.

Titanic, the Maury Yeston/Peter Stone musical, was recorded Sunday, April 27, at The Hit Factory in New York City. Titanic features John Cunningham, Michael Cerveris, David Garrison, Victoria Clark and a sizeable ensemble, which is suited to the many choral numbers that distinguish this score. Production spokesperson Amy Jacobs said the entire score currently heard on the stage was recorded, but two songs cut in previews, "I Give You My Hand" and "Behind Every Fortune," were not preserved on the recording. An advance copy of the CD received at the Playbill On-Line offices June 25 also omits the Act II song "Wake up, Wake up!"

RCA Victor has also recorded original cast albums for two of the season's other big musicals, Steel Pier & Candide, both of which are due for release July 29. The company has already recorded and released the cast album to another of the season's major revivals, the Sarah Jessica Parker revival of Once Upon a Mattress (closed May 31).

Though debuting at #158 is quite good for a cast recording these days, the Titanic CD didn't match the debut of the Rent album, which hit stores Aug. 27 and entered the Top 200 at #19. Stephen Sondheim's Passion CD debuted in the 103rd spot with sales of 11,600 copies, while the highest Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera recording has reached on the Billboard chart has been #33.