Rapping/singing Canuck Drake slams into the top spot on this week’s Billboard 200 album chart with a vengeance. “Thank Me Later” scores 2010’s biggest week for a debut album, with 447,000 units sold. It’s the third overall biggest week for an album this year, following the first weeks for the latest albums by Lady Antebellum and Sade.

A couple more interesting things to note: in just one week, Drake practically equals the entirety of what his introductory EP “So Far Gone” has sold in 40 weeks (485K), AND “Thank Me Later” is already the second highest selling rap album of 2010 (unless you count The Black Eyed Peas as rap, which they are clearly not these days). Only Ludacris’ “Battle of the Sexes” has sold more this year.

Of course, that will all change next week when Eminem’s “Recovery” hits the shelves. It’s expected to debut with a number north of 600,000 copies, possibly even exceeding the first week number of Eminem’s comeback album from last year, “Relapse”.

Five albums debut in the Top 20 this week, four of which arrive in the chart’s first four spots. Following Drake, there’s Tom Petty’s “Mojo” making a strong entry at #2 with 125K sold, Sarah McLachlan’s latest at #3 with 94K sold, and the 34th edition of the “Now That’s What I Call Music” at #4 with 88K. That middling sales total might just signal the end of the long-running compilation series as a commercial force. What’s the point in even buying these anymore when you can just make your own playlist or mix CD on the computer? Other debuts include the Gaslight Anthem at #16, Devo at #30 and the Steve Miller Band at #37.

Two artists I mentioned in last week’s column continue their winning ways this week. Carole King and James Taylor’s “Live at the Troubadour” experiences a 41% increase in sales to land at #11 this week. It’s sold a healthy 267,000 copies in 7 weeks, and stands as proof that people of a certain age still buy CDs. Meanwhile, the Zac Brown Band’s “Foundation” continues it’s upward trend with a 35% increase to land in the #12 spot.

Remember a while back when I was ready to proclaim Usher’s “Raymond v. Raymond” a flop? My bad y’all. Thanks to the hit single “OMG”, the album’s proven to have surprisingly sturdy legs. It’s 2010’s 4th biggest selling album, with 850,000 units moved so far. It’s looking like this one will actually surpass the sales of Usher’s previous album. However, this is kind of a hollow victory, considering that 5 singles have already been released from the album to get it to this point, and it’s only 12 weeks old.

We’re over the hump and the weekend is closing in on us. Starting to get the urge to boogie? Well, the #1 song in the country 33 years ago this week was Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up, Part 1”. It was the legendary Motown crooner’s last #1 song in the U.S. and is a certified dance classic. If you want to make a Soul Train line right now, go ahead. I won’t tell anyone.

Oh yeah. Here’s this week’s Top 20 albums

1-“Thank Me Later” Drake
2-“Mojo” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
3-“Laws of Illusion” Sarah McLachlan
4-“Now 34” Various Artists
5-“To the Sea” Jack Johnson
6-“Twilight Saga: Eclipse” Various Artists
7-“My World 2.0” Justin Bieber
8-“Need You Now” Lady Antebellum
9-“Bionic” Christina Aguilera
10-“Glee: Journey to Regionals” Glee Cast
11-“Live at the Troubadour” Carole King and James Taylor
12-“Foundation” Zac Brown Band
13-“Raymond v. Raymond” Usher
14-“Glee: the Music Vol. 3” Glee Cast
15-“The Fame” Lady GaGa
16-“American Slang” Gaslight Anthem
17-“The Adventures of Bobby Ray” B.O.B.
18-“Goon Affiliated” Plies
19-“The E.N.D.” The Black Eyed Peas
20-“Up on the Ridge” Dierks Bentley

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