(now say that in a Mike Tyson voice. That’s what I was going for.)

This week’s Billboard album chart is led by a pair of new entries. Atlanta rapper Ludacris bows on top with his latest album, “Battle of the Sexes”. Bolstered by the hits “How Low” and “My Chick Bad”, Luda scans 137,000 units in his opening salvo.  If that number sounds a little low, well, it is. Luda’s last album, “Theater of the Mind” opened with 213,000 units and the album before that, the Grammy-winning “Release Therapy” bowed with over 300,000. Nevertheless, a #1 album is a #1 album, so congrats, Ludacris.

One step below, Gorillaz score the highest charting of their three studio albums. “Plastic Beach” opens at #2 with 112,000 units sold. It’s a shade more than the 103,000 that their last album, “Demon Days” opened with. That effort, fueled by the hit “Feel Good, Inc.”, went on to sell over 2 million copies.

Three more albums debut in the Top Ten this week. The latest compilation of “unreleased” Jimi Hendrix tunes, “Valleys of Neptune”, starts off at #4 with a solid 95K. It’s the highest charting Hendrix album, since “Cry of Love”, which was released just a year after Jimi’s death back in 1970. Country singer Gary Allan is right behind with his latest, “Get Off on the Pain” (something I definitely don’t do). It’s at #5 this week, scanning 65K. Finally, the supergroup Broken Bells, featuring James Mercer of The Shins and producer Danger Mouse, opens at #7 with 49,000 scans.

Jimi Hendrix reissues dot the Billboard 200 this week-very similar to when The Beatles’ catalog was reissued last September. In addition to “Neptune” at #4, the classic albums “Are You Experienced?”, “Electric Ladyland” and “Axis: Bold as Love”, appear at #44, #60 and #67, respectively-proof that great music never dies.

In other chart news, one of the biggest increases comes from the “Crazy Heart” soundtrack. “Crazy Heart”, the movie, won two major Academy Awards-best actor for Jeff Bridges, and best original song for Ryan Bingham’s “The Weary Kind”. With all the attention, the soundtrack zips 30-18 with a 38% increase. Two bands that played “Saturday Night Live” recently get a lift as well. Vampire Weekend’s “Contra” moves from 54-42 with a 20% bump, and Pearl Jam’s “Backspacer” zooms from 168-88.

A nugget from the singles chart worth mentioning: Rihanna jumps from #4 to #1 with her latest single, “Rude Boy”.  It’s her sixth #1 single in just five years. Not bad at all.

Next week should be pretty slow-there are no major releases. However, March 23’s #1 album will likely be the upcoming effort from teen sensation Justin Bieber. How many screaming girls are going to run to the record store (or iTunes) to purchase “My World 2.0”? We shall see. In the meantime, I guess I have to figure out what to put in this column next week!

In the meantime, here are this week’s Top 20 albums:

1) “Battle of the Sexes” Ludacris
2) “Plastic Beach” Gorillaz
3) “Need You Now” Lady Antebellum
4) “Valleys of Neptune” The Jimi Hendrix Experience
5) “Get Off on the Pain” Gary Allan
6) “Soldier of Love” Sade
7) “Broken Bells” Broken Bells
8) “The Fame” Lady Gaga
9) “The E.N.D.” The Black Eyed Peas
10) “Hillbilly Bone” Blake Shelton
11) “My World” Justin Bieber
12) “Rebirth” Lil Wayne
13) “Almost Alice Soundtrack” Various Artists
14) “Animal” Ke$ha
15) “Passion Awakening” Passion
16) “My Best Days” Danny Gokey
17) “Foundation” Zac Brown Band
18) “Crazy Heart Soundtrack” Various Artists
19) “The Fame: Monster” Lady Gaga
20) “Fearless” Taylor Swift

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