After 16 years, new ones from the 'Mats
Replacements Reunite For New Songs
(Info from Billboard.com, Pioneer Press, and Pitchfork)
The web was abuzz earlier this week after a mysterious photo circulating on the Internet sparked rumors that the Replacements had reunited to record new material.
The picture, which was posted Monday on the gossip site Buddyhead.com, shows Replacements drummer Chris Mars, bassist Tommy Stinson and vocalist/guitarist Paul Westerberg posing in a recording studio with session drummer Josh Freese. By mid-day Tuesday, it had been removed from Buddyhead.com as well as from a Westerberg fan site.
However, as of today 'Mats fans everywhere are doing the happy dance after it was confirmed that Paul Westerberg, Tommy Stinson and Chris Mars reunited to record two new songs for an upcoming retrospective, Don't You Know Who I Think I Was?: The Best of the Replacements. Due June 13 via Rhino Records, the set will feature "Message to the Boys" and "Pool & Dive," the band's first new recordings in 16 years.
Session drummer Josh Freese was behind the kit for the new recordings, while Mars, who in recent years has foregone music for an art career, contributed backing vocals. The songs were written by Westerberg and were recorded at producer Ed Ackerson's Flowers studio in Minneapolis. Currently it is unclear if any further activity is brewing within the Replacements' camp.
Westerberg said in 2005 that he still reflects fondly on the Replacements' early days, especially "when we were riding in the van and we ripped the seats out and would just listen to tapes and listen to Black Flag. [We would] sort of slam dance and stuff around in the back of the van and be drinking hard liquor at noon and it was just, you know, carefree times. We didn't give a damn."
Meanwhile, sources say the long-awaited Replacements boxed set is still in the planning stages and will not be out until 2007 at the earliest. Rhino is also working on expanded editions of the Replacements' albums, but no release date has yet been announced for those packages either.
Here is the track list for Don't You Know Who I Think I Was?:
01. Takin a Ride
02. Shiftless When Idle
03. Kids Don't Follow
04. Color Me Impressed
05. Within Your Reach
06. I Will Dare
07. Answering Machine
09. Here Comes a Regular
10. Kiss Me on the Bus
11. Bastards of Young
12. Left of the Dial
13. Alex Chilton
15. Can't Hardly Wait
16. Achin' to Be
17. I'll Be You
18. Merry Go Round
19. Message to the Boys *
20. Pool & Dive *
On a related note, Jerry Yeti has recorded an interesting observation about the Replacements. And the zip files of Westerberg and Replacements rarities that I posted a few weeks ago are still live links for the taking.