POP MUSIC SPECIAL : The Record Industry's Big Push

The fall season is always the most active time for pop record releases, as the music industry gears up for its November-December season, during which nearly a third of all records, tapes and CDs are sold. But that can mean confusion for even the most serious music fans, as old favorites compete with newcomers for consumers' attention.

These are the albums expected to generate the most critical and commercial interest of all the post-Labor Day releases during the hectic year-end rush. The selections, presented in alphabetical order, cover all parts of the pop music spectrum, from heavy-metal fathers (Aerosmith) and sons (L.A. Guns) to rap innovators (the D.O.C., Young M.C.); from rock kings on the rebound (Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones) and pop queens living the lush life (Linda Ronstadt, Barbra Streisand) to country chartbusters (Randy Travis) and folkie mavericks (Tracy Chapman, Michelle Shocked).

The comments are by the Times pop writers indicated, but the star ratings (one is poor, five a classic) sometimes reflect additional pop staff input.

The reviewers are Robert Hilburn, Dennis Hunt, Mike Boehm, Richard Cromelin, Jonathan Gold, Steve Hochman, Connie Johnson, Craig Lee, Kristine McKenna, Randy Lewis, Don Snowden, Chris Willman, Paul Grein, Duff Marlowe and Don Waller.

*** DANIEL LANOIS, "Acadie,"Opal/Warner Bros. The big-hit producer (U2, Peter Gabriel) jettisons modern rock for a folkie flavor reaching back to his French-Canadian roots in his first solo album. Aided by members of U2, the Neville Brothers and Brian Eno, "Acadie" combines guitar-around-the-campfire ambiance and themes of migration and personal search with Lanois' trademark atmospheric studio touches. (Snowden)

Coming Up:

Other albums scheduled for release in the coming weeks include:

ABC, Art of Noise, Basia, Bobby Brown (dance mixes), Club Nouveau, Phil Collins, Erasure, Gipsy Kings, Ofra Haza, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Joan Jett, Quincy Jones, Kid Creole, Kris Kristofferson, Yngwie Malsteem, Roches, Shinehead, Keith Sweat, Tiffany, the Time, Jody Watley (dance mixes), Whitesnake and Peter Wolf.

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