PRIME-TIME TUNES

TV SOUND TRACKS USED TO BE GOOFY, BUT ALBUMS TIED IN WITH POPULAR SHOWS NOW FEATURE HIP GROUPS AND HIT SINGLES

OVER AND OVER AGAIN, ROCK critics have made the point that the angst-drenched songs of Nirvana and Pearl Jam are generational anthems for the under-30 set. But how true is it, considering that more 25-year-olds can probably recite the lyrics to the theme songs from Green Acres or Gilligan's Island than they can to, say, Kurt Cobain's Rape Me? Upbeat TV tunes are the hymns of the young in part because of good memory, in part because of Nick at Night, and very occasionally because of a sound-track album. From Henry Mancini's jazzy music for Peter Gunn through LPs for such...

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