December 09, 1996 12:00 PM

Various Artists

As a marketing device, you can’t beat this musical component of the Space Jam onslaught. There are samplings of nearly every current musical style, including adult contemporary (Seal’s funked up remake of Steve Miller’s “Fly Like An Eagle”), black pop (R. Kelly’s schmaltzy but potent “I Believe I Can Fly”), disco, ballads, comedy (Barry White and Chris Rock’s hilarious take on Cheech and Chong’s “Basketball Jones”) and hip hop. Everyone is here, from Coolio and Salt-N-Pepa to Bugs Bunny. As a rule however, great marketing does not great music make, and this collection has the distinct aroma of product. To be sure, it’s always great to hear D’Angelo (“I Found My Smile Again”), and rapper Biz Markie’s destruction of “That’s The Way (I Like It)” is funny. But even the better tracks are sub-par. So when it comes to choosing your Space Jam merchandise, buy the toys, wear the T-shirt, but you might wanna skip the CD. (Warner Sunset/Atlantic)

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