A whole lot of Eels music will hit stores next month via two different albums aimed at two different types of fan.

A whole lot of Eels music will hit stores next month via two different albums aimed at two different types of fan.

Due Jan. 15 via Geffen, "Meet the Eels: Essential Eels Vol. 1 1996 - 2006" rounds up material from the band's major-label heyday. Also arriving that day is "Useless Trinkets," a 50-song collection of B-sides, rarities and unreleased tracks.

"We wanted to make something nice for the fans," Eels principal "E" tells Billboard.com. "And now seems like a good time. I listened to everything and typed my own note for each song."

E says the group was very much involved in both projects, including picking the track order. "Some stuff I sit on, and it gets earmarked for another project," he says. "To me, a song is not really a B-side. It's not scrapped because it's inferior. Sometimes they just don't fit thematically with what we were doing."

Eels fans will also to be happy to learn that the band hasn't been dormant, as E says a new record for Vagrant Records is finished, and another is halfway done.

In addition, the group will hit the road for a month-long European tour, beginning Feb. 18 in Paris. U.S. dates will follow.