New Deal For Ex-Replacements' Leader Westerberg

We hope the label switch will be good for both Westerberg's career, and his music.

Even as the first Replacements' career retrospective is being

prepared (see story in Monday, May 26 edition of "Music News of the World"),

two key members of that legendary Minneapolis band are preparing for the

future.

Singer/songwriter Paul Westerberg, who released two poorly-selling

albums on Reprise Records (1992's 14 Songs and 1996's

Eventually), has agreed in principle to a deal with Capitol Records,

although the papers are not signed yet. Capitol is headed by Gary Gersh, the

man who signed Nirvana and Sonic Youth to Geffen Records in the early

'90s.

The glib songwriter recently penned some songs with Carole King that

a source at his old record label describe as "huge power ballads" (but which

are not slated for release by either label).

Meanwhile, former 'Mat Tommy

Stinson has freshly inked a deal with Medium Cool Records, the label run by the

Replacements original manager. After months of limbo, during which Stinson was

courted by a bevy of major labels and then considered doing a solo album, the

youngest ex-Replacement chose to return to his roots and sign with the Peter

Jesperson-run Medium Cool.

"We just signed a five album deal last

Wednesday," an elated Jesperson said. In addition to managing the group,

Jesperson founded and ran Twin/Tone Records, the indie label the Replacements

recorded for prior to signing with Reprise. "It's so cool because I've been

with Tommy since the beginning and after he spent all this time getting his

head spun by the major labels and waiting around for something to happen, he

finally just said, 'Why don't I just do it with you?' "

Jesperson, who

acted as legal guardian for Tommy when he joined the group in his early teens,

said Stinson's new band Perfect is just "a song or three" short of being ready

to enter a studio to record the follow up to last year's debut EP, When

Squirrels Play Chicken.

"He's got 10 or 12 killer songs already," said

Jesperson. "I'm just really psyched to have signed him for a second time."

Jesperson expects the Perfect album to appear in early '98.