Call it the 'Boxxx-ing Ring. The upper reaches of the Billboard album chart were a melee this week, with a three-way brawl resulting in a near tie for first place among OutKast, Rod Stewart, and Clay Aiken. In the end, OutKast won, returning to No. 1 after a two-week absence and selling another 142,000 copies of ''Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.'' Stewart held on to second place with ''As Time Goes By: The Great American Songbook Part II,'' shifting another 141,100 units, just 200 ahead of Aiken's ''Measure of a Man,'' which fell from first to third place in its third week on the chart.
The highest-charting debut was the Strokes' sophomore effort ''Room on Fire,'' debuting at No. 4 on sales of 126,100. It was a good week to have the word ''stroke'' on your album cover; R&B singer Gerald Levert's ''Stroke of Genius'' debuted at No. 6 (97,000 sold). R.E.M.'s two-disc ''In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1993-2003'' entered the chart at No. 8 on sales of 75,500, while a single-disc version debuted at No. 16 and sold 51,100; combined, the anthology's sales of 126,600 would have been enough to beat the Strokes at No. 4.
Ludacris' ''Chicken & Beer'' held at No. 5. ''Eagles -- The Very Best Of'' slipped four slots to No. 7. Dido's ''Life for Rent'' slid two spots to No. 9. Up from No. 15 to No. 10 was 3 Doors Down's ''Away From the Sun.'' Look for a chart shakeup next week with the releases of Ja Rule's ''Blood in My Eye,'' P.O.D.'s ''Payable on Death,'' and Sarah McLachlan's ''Afterglow.''