Record buyers had a hankering for ''Chicken & Beer'' this week. The CD of that name debuted on top of the Billboard chart, giving Ludacris his first-ever No. 1 album. (The rapper's last release, 2001's ''Word of Mouf,'' spent months on the chart and sold 3.3 million copies but never reached higher than No. 3.) Selling some 429,000 copies, according to SoundScan, ''Chicken'' ended the two-week chart reign of OutKast's ''Speakerboxxx/The Love Below,'' pushing the duo's album to No. 2. The two-CD set saw a modest sales drop (just 20 percent) to 282,000, for a three-week total of 931,000.
Debuting at No. 3 was a guy who would have liked ''Chicken & Beer,'' probably as a palate cleanser between courses. It's Elvis Presley, whose hits collection ''Elvis 2nd to None'' sold 181,000 platters. Holding in fourth and fifth places, respectively, were Dido's ''Life for Rent'' (110,000 copies) and Dave Matthews' ''Some Devil'' (103,000 sold).
Sliding three slots to No. 6 in its second week was Sting's ''Sacred Love.'' ''Too Hot for T.V.,'' by P. Diddy proteges Da Band, also slipped its second week, losing five spots to land at No. 7. R. Kelly's '' The R. in R&B Collection, Vol. 1'' remained at No. 8. Hilary Duff's ''Metamorphosis'' returned to the top 10, coming in at No. 9 and displacing Nickelback's ''The Long Road,'' down one notch to No. 10.