Rock act Modest Mouse claims its first No. 1 album as "We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank" starts atop The Billboard 200 ... Joss Stone also scores her highest-charting album ever, as "Introducing Joss Stone" bows at No. 2 ... Elliott Yamin becomes the latest "American Idol" finalist to prove that not winning has little to do with your chart success -- his self-titled debut starts at No. 3 ... Other acts that debut on The Billboard 200 this week include Marques Houston, Insane Clown Posse, Baby Boy Da Prince, Devin the Dude, Crime Mob and Stephen Marley ... In Progress Reports, we check in with Pink's rosy success with "U + Ur Hand," Bon Jovi's country claim and R.E.M.'s return.




FLASH POINTS



• There's nothing modest about Modest Mouse's debut at No. 1 with "We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank." The group's fourth charting set starts with 129,000 units -- way better than the 68,000 that greeted its last album, 2004's "Good News for People Who Love Bad News." That effort debuted at No. 19 and peaked at No. 18. Powered by the multi-format hit single "Float On," the album has sold 1.5 million in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan ... The new album is led by the single "Dashboard," which rises 6-5 on the Alternative/Modern Rock radio chart this week. Overall, it garnered 6.2 million in radio audience during the week from 89 stations. It was the most-played song at six outlets, including KNDD Seattle and KPNT St. Louis. MTV2, Fuse and VH1 all aired the videoclip for the single last week, though strangely, MTV has yet to play it. Surprisingly, the album was not offered with any retailer-exclusive audio content anywhere. Only the Apple iTunes Music Store offered a music video for "A Fisherman's Tale" if the consumer preordered the album.

• R&B singer Joss Stone builds on the success of her 2004 set "Mind, Body & Soul" by starting at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 with her latest effort, "Introducing Joss Stone." The set, which was produced by Raphael Saadiq and boasts guest appearances from Lauryn Hill and Common, bows with 118,000 units and also starts at No. 4 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums ... "Mind, Body & Soul" opened at No. 11 on The Billboard 200 in the fall of 2004 with 73,000 and it spent 57 weeks on the tally ... The new album's lead single, "Tell Me 'Bout It," rises 21-17 on the Triple A radio chart this week, though its overall radio audience for the week ending March 25 totaled less than 1 million. However, VH1 and VH1 Soul have warmly embraced the video for the tune. The former played the clip 47 times during the week, making it the most-played on the channel. VH1 Soul ranked it No. 7 ... During release week, Stone played "Late Show With David Letterman" and PBS' "Tavis Smiley" (both on March 19), "Today" (March 20) and CBS' "Early Show" (March 24) ... "Introducing Joss Stone" was also available in a deluxe CD/DVD package, where the DVD features the standard behind-the-scenes footage, an interview with Stone and a music video. The standard single-CD album was sale-priced for less than $10 at Target, Best Buy, Kmart and Wal-Mart.


• Does anyone think you still need to win "American Idol" to have a successful career? Witness the debut of fifth-season third-place finisher Elliott Yamin as his self-titled debut bows at No. 3 on The Billboard 200 with 90,000 units ... He joins fellow contestant Chris Daughtry (who came in fourth place) in the chart's top five (No. 4) ... Yamin is the fifth finalist from last season to reach The Billboard 200. He follows Daughtry, winner Taylor Hicks, runner-up Katharine McPhee and sixth-place finisher Kellie Pickler. Waiting in the wings is the Lyric Street debut from Bucky Covington, who placed eighth. His album drops April 17 ... Yamin also bows at No. 11 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and at No. 1 on Top Independent Albums ... R&B singer Marques Houston bows at No. 5 on The Billboard 200 and at No. 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums with "Veteran" (68,000 units). It's the artist's third set, and it surpassed the debut and peak of his last effort, 2005's "Naked" (No. 13 with 65,000).

• Other big debuts on The Billboard 200 this week include ... Insane Clown Posse strikes at No. 20 with "The Tempest" (33,000 units). It's the act's 11th charting album ... Baby Boy Da Prince starts at No. 26 with 26,000 units. His "Across the Water" is led by the hit single "The Way I Live," which features Lil Boosie ... Devin the Dude debuts at No. 30 with "Waitin' to Inhale" (25,000). The rapper zooms 78-9 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums after street-date violations pushed the title onto the chart early last week ... Rap act Crime Mob bows at No. 31 with "Hated On Mostly" (22,000 units). Its 2004's self-titled effort debuted and peaked at No. 90 with 14,000 ... The debut solo album from Stephen Marley, "Mind Control," lands at No. 35 with 20,000 units. While he was a member of the Melody Makers, "Mind Control" marks his first release as a solo artist. The album also debuts at No. 1 on Top Reggae Albums, where he pushes last week's No. 1, his father Bob's "Forever Bob Marley" to No. 2 and forces brother Damian "Jr. Gong" down a slot to No. 3 with "Welcome to Jamrock." Bob is also represented by titles at No. 7 and 11.



The Billboard 200

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
*1 New MODEST MOUSE We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank (Epic / Sony BMG) 11 11 JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE FutureSex/LoveSounds (Jive / Zomba)
*2 New JOSS STONE Introducing Joss Stone (Virgin ) 12 12 ROBIN THICKE The Evolution Of Robin Thicke (Star Trak / Interscope)
*3 New ELLIOTT YAMIN Elliott Yamin (Hickory ) 13 13 FERGIE The Dutchess (will.i.am / A&M / Interscope)
4 4 DAUGHTRY Daughtry (RCA / RMG) 14 14 NORAH JONES Not Too Late (Blue Note / BLG)
*5 New MARQUES HOUSTON Veteran (T.U.G. / Universal Motown / UMRG) 15 10 CARRIE UNDERWOOD Some Hearts (Arista / Arista Nashville / RMG)
6 5 AKON Konvicted (Konvict / Upfront / SRC / Universal Motown / UMRG) 16 9 FALL OUT BOY Infinity On High (Fueled By Ramen / Island / IDJMG)
7 2 LLOYD Street Love (The Inc. / Universal Motown / UMRG) 17 17 NICKELBACK All The Right Reasons (Roadrunner )
8 1 MUSIQ SOULCHILD Luvanmusiq (Atlantic / AG) 18 19 NELLY FURTADO Loose (Mosley / Geffen / Interscope)
9 3 RICH BOY Rich Boy (Zone 4 / Interscope) 19 6 NEIL YOUNG Live At Massey Hall 1971 (Reprise / Warner Bros.)
10 7 AMY WINEHOUSE Back To Black (Universal Republic / UMRG) *20 New INSANE CLOWN POSSE The Tempest (Psychopathic )
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week





MARKET WATCH

• Album units, current chart week: 8.72 million units
• UP 2.6% from last issue's charts: 8.50 million units
• DOWN 18.2% from same week, 2006: 10.66 million units
• This week: The top two albums sell more than 100,000 copies.
• This week last year on The Billboard 200: Prince scored his first No. 1 since 1989, as "3121" debuted atop the chart with 183,000. Three more albums debuted in the top 10 from B.G., Ben Harper and Teddy Geiger. The top three albums sold more than 100,000 units.



BORDERLINES

• The No. 200 album this week, Peter, Bjorn&John's "Writer's Block" (AlmostGold), sold 4,000.
• The No. 200 album for the same week of 2006, "One Tree Hill Volume 2: Friends With Benefit" (Warner Sunset/Maverick/Warner Bros.), sold 5,000.
• Average total of the No. 200 album for the same week of the year during the past 10 years (1998-2007): 5,905.



PROGRESS REPORTS

• Pink earns her eighth top 10 on the CHR/Top 40 chart, and her first since "Family Portrait" in February 2003, as "U + Ur Hand" climbs 14-10 in its 17th chart week. In the more than 14-year history of the list, only two other songs by female artists have taken as long or longer to reach the top 10: "Insensitive" by Jann Arden (18 weeks) in 1996 and "These Words" by Natasha Bedingfield (17 weeks) in 2005. "Hand" marks a return to familiar territory for Pink, who began her chart career in 2000 by scoring top 10s with seven of her first eight singles ... "U + Ur Hand" is the third U.S. single from the singer's "I'm Not Dead" album. The first, "Stupid Girls," peaked at No. 17 while the second track, "Who Knew," failed to chart ... "I'm Not Dead" rises 84-68 on The Billboard 200 (12,000) with a 30% increase this week.

• After Bon Jovi hit No. 1 on Hot Country Songs last year with "Who Says You Can't Go Home" (with Jennifer Nettles), it's perhaps only natural that the sometimes twangy band charges in at No. 39 with its new single "(You Want To) Make a Memory." It's the lead radio track from the band's 10th studio album, "Lost Highway," due June 19 ... Bon Jovi's Billboard chart history dates back to Feb. 11, 1984, when "Runaway" debuted on the Mainstream Rock chart ... Bon Jovi is one of a handful of heritage rock acts that have had recent success on the Hot Country Songs chart. John Mellencamp and Bob Seger have also had minor hits in the past year.

• R.E.M.'s cover of John Lennon's "#9 Dream" enters the Triple A radio chart at No. 30, placing the newly inducted Rock and Roll Hall of Famers in a tie for fourth-most hits in the chart's history. Only Dave Matthews Band (20), U2 (18) and Sheryl Crow (14) have made more appearances than R.E.M. and the Wallflowers, each with 12 ... The cover is from the upcoming benefit album, "Instant Karma: The Campaign to Save Darfur," and it marks R.E.M.'s first trip to the Triple A list since 2005's "Aftermath." With departed band member Bill Berry returning on drums, it's also R.E.M.'s first single in a decade to feature all four of the group's founding members.





Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
*1 New MARQUES HOUSTON Veteran (T.U.G. / Universal Motown / UMRG)
2 1 MUSIQ SOULCHILD Luvanmusiq (Atlantic / AG)
3 2 LLOYD Street Love (The Inc. / Universal Motown / UMRG)
*4 New JOSS STONE Introducing Joss Stone (Virgin )
5 3 RICH BOY Rich Boy (Zone 4 / Interscope)
6 6 ROBIN THICKE The Evolution Of Robin Thicke (Star Trak / Interscope)
7 5 AKON Konvicted (Konvict / Upfront / SRC / Universal Motown / UMRG)
8 4 8BALL & MJG Ridin High (Bad Boy South / Bad Boy / AG)
*9 78 DEVIN THE DUDE Waitin' To Inhale (J Prince / Rap-A-Lot 4 Life / Asylum)
*10 New CRIME MOB Hated On Mostly (Crunk / G's Up / Reprise / Warner Bros.)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week
Top Country Albums

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
1 1 CARRIE UNDERWOOD Some Hearts (Arista / Arista Nashville / RMG)
2 2 GARY ALLAN Greatest Hits (MCA Nashville / UMGN)
3 3 RASCAL FLATTS Me And My Gang (Lyric Street / Hollywood)
4 5 TAYLOR SWIFT Taylor Swift (Big Machine )
5 4 DIXIE CHICKS Taking The Long Way (Columbia / Sony Music)
6 6 KEITH URBAN Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing (Capitol Nashville )
*7 New WILLIE NELSON / MERLE HAGGARD / RAY PRICE Last Of The Breed (Lost Highway / UMGN)
8 7 SUGARLAND Enjoy The Ride (Mercury / UMGN)
9 8 JOSH TURNER Your Man (MCA Nashville / UMGN)
10 9 RODNEY ATKINS If You're Going Through Hell (Curb )
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week
Top Pop Catalog Albums

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
1 1 GUNS N' ROSES Greatest Hits (Geffen / Interscope)
2 3 PINK FLOYD Dark Side Of The Moon (Capitol )
3 2 NORAH JONES Come Away With Me (Blue Note / BLG)
*4 8 ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST RECORDING Wicked (Decca Broadway / Universal Classics Group)
5 7 EVANESCENCE Fallen (Wind-up )
6 9 SELAH Hiding Place (Curb )
*7 11 CREED Greatest Hits (Wind-up )
*8 13 AC/DC Back In Black (Legacy / Epic / Sony Music)
9 5 BOB SEGER & THE SILVER BULLET BAND Greatest Hits (Capitol )
10 4 VARIOUS ARTISTS The Wonderful Cross: 12 Modern Worshop Songs Celebrating The Cross (Worship Together )
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week




A LOOK AHEAD

• Among the titles released this week, due on next week's charts: Tim McGraw's "Let It Go," Young Buck's "Buck the World," Mims' "Music Is My Savior," Good Charlotte's "Good Morning Revival," the "Now 24" compilation, Lil' Flip's "I Need Mine," Macy Gray's "Big," Kaiser Chiefs' "Yours Truly Angry Mob," Jennifer Lopez's "Como Ama Una Mujer" and Mika's "Life in Cartoon Motion."
• Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2006 when: T.I. was tops with "King," shifting a smashing 522,000 in its first week. McGraw's "Greatest Hits Vol. 2: Reflected" settled for the runner-up slot in its debut week (242,000). Ghostface Killah, Rob Zombie and Atreyu also bowed in the top 10 with new releases. The top five albums sold more than 100,000 units.