Composer and lyricist of Wicked, Stephen Schwartz, produced the album aided by Frank Filipetti, Jill Dell'Abate, Jason Spears, Justin Shturtz, Jason Stasium and Ted Jensen. The original cast album of Wicked was recorded on November 10, 2003, with the full cast and orchestra, at then-Right Track Studios and mastered at Sterling Sound in New York City.
The cast recording has received positive reviews and has received substantial commercial success. It received the 2005 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album in 2005 and although initially peaking at number 125 on the Billboard 200 in 2003, has since reached the new peak of 66 in 2013. The album was certified platinum on November 30, 2006 by the RIAA, but has since been certified double platinum, four years later, on November 8, 2010. It has sold 2,670,000 copies in the U.S. as of January 2017.
The reprise of "No One Mourns the Wicked" is attached to the beginning of "Thank Goodness".
"The Wicked Witch of the East", sung by Nessarose, Elphaba, and Boq, is missing from the album. Producers deemed it too difficult to arrange for the album and thought the song would give too much of the plot away to an audience who had never seen Wicked before.
Short reprises of "The Wizard and I" and "A Sentimental Man", that appear in Act I and II respectively, are not included. This is mainly because they are not technically considered full musical numbers.
A fifth anniversary special edition of the original Broadway cast recording was released on October 28, 2008, with a bonus CD including tracks "Dancing Through Life", "Popular", "As Long as You're Mine" and "No Good Deed" from the Japanese and German cast recordings of Wicked, "I'm Not that Girl" by Kerry Ellis, "Making Good" – a song that never made the final show – by Stephanie J. Block, Menzel's dance mix of "Defying Gravity" and "For Good" sung by LeAnn Rimes and Delta Goodrem.
The set of two CDs included new deluxe packaging featuring the show's tenth anniversary artwork, and a booklet with new essays by composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz, and Gregory Maguire, the author of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, the novel on which the musical is based.
In 2007, the original Stuttgart cast rerecorded the Wicked album in German, ahead of the opening of the German production in Stuttgart that year. The title of this album was Wicked Das Musical - Die Hexen von Oz. The German lyrics are by Michael Kunze and German dialogue by Ruth Deny, conducted by Sebastian de Domenico. The orchestral music conducted by Stephen Oremus and has identical musician credits—presumably the cast simply sung to the original orchestral recording.
The album was re-released on February 8, 2019, with four bonus tracks. These tracks were taken from live performances on the show A Very Wicked Halloween: Celebrating 15 Years On Broadway, which was broadcast by NBC on October 29, 2018.
Julia Murney recorded "I'm Not That Girl" for her album, I'm Not Waiting (2006). She recorded this particular song because she deemed it one song of the entire musical "that had nothing to do with flying or wizards".