The red-hot Beastie Boys achieved the musical equivalent of a three-peat by winning the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart this week -- a feat reserved in the past for a few select artists and professional basketball's world champion Chicago Bulls.
As big basketball fans themselves, the punk-rap trio would likely be happy to be in the company of the team that first inspired the "three-peat" term by taking three championships in a row twice during the '90s.
The Beasties' fifth -- and, so far, fastest-selling -- disc, Hello Nasty, moved another 244,000 copies in the past week, according to SoundScan, to top the sales ranking for the third week since its release. That pushed total sales for the old-school-flavored album up to 1.2 million, or well past the 1 million-sold platinum mark.
High-debut honors for the week go to R&B diva Mary J. Blige; her new collection, The Tour, moved 52,000 copies to land at #21. Meanwhile, rapper Celly Cell took the #53 position with G-Filez, and
metal monsters Fear Factory placed their latest, Obselete, at #77.
Elsewhere on the charts, the big-band revival showed itself to be in full swing, with three notable releases continuing their climbs. The
Dirty Boogie, the third album from the Brian Setzer Orchestra, jumped
10 spots to #18, while Cherry Poppin' Daddies' Zoot Suit Riot rose
four places to #20. A little further down the line, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's self-titled release vaulted 17 notches to #50.
Finally, the fun-loving Canadian pop-rockers Barenaked Ladies are likely giving themselves high-fives, as their latest release, Stunt -- which nearly fell out of the top 10 last week -- enmeshed itself in the chart's higher reaches at #6.
As if that weren't enough to celebrate, their 1996 release, Rock Spectacle, riding the new album's coattails, cracked the top 100, moving from #103 to #96.
Again, film soundtracks and rap/R&B albums filled out the top of the chart.
The rest of the top 10: Various Artists, Armageddon -- The Album (#2); Various Artists, City Of Angels soundtrack (#3); Jermaine Dupri, Jermaine Dupri Presents: Life In 1472 (#4); Various Artists, Dr. Dolittle: The Album (#5); Brandy, Never S-A-Y Never (#7); Backstreet Boys, Backstreet Boys (#8); 'N Sync, 'N Sync (#9); and Will Smith, Big Willie Style (#10).