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Prime-time albums

From ”The Jacksons: An American Dream” to ”Lincoln,” TV soundtracks are heading to stores

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Take something old, something new, and a great number of somethings borrowed, put them on a CD, and you get a new, strange genre of music, the TV soundtrack. A half dozen collections of TV tie-ins are now heading to stores:

*THE JACKSONS: AN AMERICAN DREAM blends Jackson 5 arcana with new tracks and covers by the non-Jackson actors in the miniseries.

*BEVERLY HILLS, 90210: THE SOUNDTRACK contains the series theme song and a hodgepodge of newly commissioned tunes by soul and dance artists (Color Me Badd, Vanessa Williams, Jody Watley).

*SINATRA, a two-CD spin-off of the CBS miniseries, is for veteran fans as well as the uninitiated, combining vintage performances from all the Chairman’s various labels.

*MUSIC FROM THE TELEVISION SHOW NORTHERN EXPOSURE combines the stylings of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Miriam Makeba, Nat ”King” Cole, and Frederica Von Stade with David Schwartz’s theme music; all have been heard in the series.

*LINCOLN, from the two-part Civil War-like documentary that will air on ABC Dec. 26 and 27, boasts the classiest credentials of the bunch: traditional renderings of period music alongside an original soundtrack composed by Oscar winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid).

*A TV FAMILY CHRISTMAS, on the end of the spectrum reserved for kitsch, is a seasonal must-have with caroling courtesy of The Monkees, The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, and the boys of Bonanza, along with the timeless ”A Howdy Doody Christmas.”