The Replacements have a new box set out today, Dead Man’s Pop, which is focused on ephemera surrounding their 1989 Sire album Don’t Tell A Soul. It includes tracks from the band’s abandoned Bearsville Studios recordings with Tony Berg, a stripped-down remix of the album by original album producer Mike Wallace — done “as it was originally intended” (without the goop) — and a complete live show from 6/2/89 at the University Of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Among the rarities is a collection of previously unreleased studio recordings with Tom Waits, made during a drunken night together in 1988. The episode was detailed in Bob Mehr’s biography of the Replacements’ Trouble Boys:
The band got together with Waits and his wife and collaborator Kathleen Brennan at the Formosa Café in West Hollywood. Though Waits and Westerberg could both be shy in such situations, they hit it off grandly. Waits was particularly enamored of [guitarist Slim] Dunlap, who seemed like a character straight out of one of his own songs.
The band invited Waits back to Cherokee to hear their new tracks. “Waits’ wife was with him, and he was being really mild-mannered,” recalled Matt Wallace [producer of Don’t Tell a Soul]. “And the band is drinking a lot, of course.” Around midnight, Brennan got tired and taxied home. The moment she left Waits reached for a bottle of Jack Daniel’s and began chugging. “And he just turned into Tom Waits,” said Wallace. “It was like Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde.”
One of the tracks from this session, “Date To Church,” was included in the band’s 1997 compilation All For Nothing/Nothing For All, but the rest have not been released, though parts of them were buried in Paul Westerberg’s 2008’s 3oclockreep EP, which was presented all as one track. But on Dead Man’s Pop they are formally available for the first time ever. Listen to them alongside the rest of the box set below.
Dead Man’s Pop is out now via Rhino Records.