Thursday, March 30, 2006

Replacements Reunion? Don't Believe the Hype

This would be cooler if there was actually a reunion taking place. But former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson has been a member of Guns N Roses for seven years, and they are about to embark on a tour. So, he's out. Drummer Chris Mars has abandoned music and is a successful full-time artist. He's out. While it is cool that the guys were photographed together and worked on two new songs for a best-of (which are essentially Westerberg solo songs), don't believe the hype on a potential reunion.
(Billboard) by Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
As tipped yesterday (March 28) on Billboard's Jaded Insider blog, Replacements members Paul Westerberg, Tommy Stinson and Chris Mars have 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, 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. At deadline, it is unclear if any further activity is brewing within the Replacements' camp.

Westerberg told 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."

Westerberg also said he tried to reunite the Replacements for an October 2004 benefit concert for Soul Asylum's Karl Mueller, who later died of cancer. "I didn't call the guys myself," he admitted. "One of our old roadie pals came over who owns a bar now and runs a club and was asking if I would do a benefit for Karl and I said, 'See if the boys want to play.' And he kind of went around and got various answers and it didn't come back real strong like, 'Hey let's do it.' And I felt like that was the opportunity, that was the chance and we just missed it.

"Now I say, there's probably no chance we'll get back together again," he said, without pinpointing which of his former colleagues were not interested. "It bothered me for like an afternoon," he laughed. "But, it did bother me for that long because I was secretly excited and some of them weren't."

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.

The Mats in 2006: Chris Mars, Tommy Stinson, Josh Freese, Paul Westerberg

Here is the track list for “Don't You Know Who I Think I Was?”:

"Takin a Ride"
"Shiftless When Idle"
"Kids Don't Follow"
"Color Me Impressed"
"Within Your Reach"
"I Will Dare"
"Answering Machine"
"Here Comes a Regular"
"Kiss Me on the Bus"
"Bastards of Young"
"Left of the Dial"
"Alex Chilton"
"Can't Hardly Wait"
"Achin' To Be"
"I'll Be You"
"Merry Go Round"
"Message to the Boys"
"Pool & Dive"

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