As the soul of the Replacements, Paul Westerberg not only crafted glorious world-weary lyrics, but wielded one mean guitar. Influenced equally by the disparate threads of Kiss, R.E.M., Alex Chilton’s Big Star, and punk, the Replacements were angst set to melody.
The band’s disintegration and breakup was so perfectly rocked out that one might suspect it was staged. But alas, gone was one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time. Westerberg followed with a variety of solo albums, some brilliant, others wishfully so.
This greatest hits collection is a fine retrospective of his post-Replacements work. Here are 20 tracks with three previously unreleased – including an alternative mix of “Once Around the Weekend.” It’s the hard-to-find stuff, such as B sides and outtakes that make this disc, such as “Dyslexic Heart” from the Singles soundtrack and other TV and movie tunes. And better yet are Westerberg’s own, admittedly quicky notes and one-liners about each song’s creation.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Nov. ’05 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.