Westerberg Anthology, 'Mats Reissues On The Horizon

Paul Westerberg will be the subject of a solo retrospective this spring via Rhino. According to the artist's official Web site, the 20-track set will feature two new songs, B-sides and rare tracks, We

Paul Westerberg will be the subject of a solo retrospective this spring via Rhino. According to the artist's official Web site, the 20-track set will feature two new songs, B-sides and rare tracks, Westerberg's soundtrack contributions and highlights from his post-Replacements releases.

The artist is in the midst of a North American tour backed by the three-piece His Only Friends band, which rolls into Tempe, Ariz., tomorrow (Feb. 25). Earlier this week in Los Angeles, confessed Westerberg fanatic Lucinda Williams joined the band for a cover of the Kitty Wells-popularized "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels."

While appearing on Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones' Los Angeles radio show earlier this week, Westerberg revealed he recently recorded a song with Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson, which is expected to appear in Cameron Crowe's forthcoming film "Elizabethtown."

And while the likelihood of a Replacements reunion remains slim ("It can't be the Replacements without Chris [Mars] the drummer, and he's moved on into art and doesn't really want to come back," Westerberg told Jones), a host of reissues are in the works.

Rykodisc, which owns the rights to the band's Twin Tone releases, will reissue the Replacements first four albums in the fall, bolstered with rare bonus tracks. Rhino will give the same treatment to the group's late-period albums for Warner Bros.

Asked last summer if there were unreleased gems still in the archives, Westerberg told Billboard.com, "There probably are, but that haven't already been bootlegged in some way? The real fans have probably heard most of it. The only stuff that might be [unreleased] is cassettes of things that I have from real early on -- down in the basement kind of stuff when we were rehearsing."

Westerberg admitted he still reflects fondly on the 'Mats' 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."