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Checking Out the Sound-Track Albums

January 10, 1988|ROBERT HILBURN

Here's a guide to current sound-track albums.

"Dirty Dancing" (RCA)--Good, if overly familiar oldies (the Ronettes' "Be My Baby," the Five Satins' "In the Still of the Night") coupled with mostly disposable, middlebrow originals. * *

"Good Morning, Vietnam" (A & M)--The selection of lively '60s music (from Motown and California sunshine to some British Invasion) is good, but not spectacular. The best thing about the album (and the film) is Robin Williams' frenzied deejay humor (Did you ever notice, he asks, that Richard Nixon sounds like Mr. Ed?) * * *

"Hearts of Fire" (Columbia)--The selling point is three Bob Dylan tracks (two original tunes plus a rendition of John Hiatt's "The Usual"), but most of the LP is devoted to overwrought power-rock ballads from Fiona and two lifeless vocals by actor Rupert Everett. * 1/2

"Hiding Out" (Virgin)--This collection of marginal new-wave pop-rock might be a good way for Virgin Records to showcase lots of its artists (from newcomers Lolita Pop to veteran Roy Orbison, who duets with K.D. Lang on "Crying"), but they used to call this kind of package a sampler and issue it at a bargain price. * 1/2

"Less Than Zero" (Def Jam)--An album first; a sound track second. See accompanying story. * * * 1/2

"Walker" (Virgin Movie Music)--The Latin-flavored music of former Clash leader Joe Strummer may work fine in Alex Cox's surreal film (about a Yankee invasion of Nicaragua in the 19th Century), but it lacks pop sensibilities and focus on record. * *

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