The latest batch of songs from the Neptunes rocketed the producing duo to the top of the Billboard album chart. ''The Neptunes Present…Clones,'' in which Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo twiddle the knobs for Busta Rhymes, Ludacris, and the Artist Formerly Known as Ol' Dirty Bastard, sold 249,000 copies to earn the No. 1 spot, according to SoundScan.
Overall, it was a good week for new records, with top 10 debuts for four other new discs. The no-longer-lil' Bow Wow let loose ''Unleashed,'' and 120,000 buyers sent it to No. 3. Right behind, at No. 4 (109,000 sold), was ''Trap Muzic,'' the sophomore release from Georgia rapper T.I. Another rapper, Diplomat Juelz Santana, sold 74,000 copies of ''From Me to U,'' for a No. 8 debut. And newlywed pop thrush-turned-reality TV star Jessica Simpson entered the chart at No. 10 with ''In the Skin'' (64,000 units).
Other strong debuts included Rancid's ''Indestructible'' (No. 15), Sara Evans' ''Restless'' (No. 20), and Neil Young's ''Greendale'' (No. 22). Meanwhile, the soundtrack to ''Chicago'' made a dramatic leap from No. 99 to No. 6, thanks to last week's release of the Best Picture Oscar-winner on home video.
Rounding out the top 10 were Alan Jackson's ''Greatest Hits Volume 2'' (last week's chart-topper, down one rung to No. 2), the ''Bad Boys II'' soundtrack (slipping two slots to No. 5), Evanescence's ''Fallen'' (sliding three spaces to No. 7), and Beyoncé's ''Dangerously in Love'' (down four spots to No. 9).