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New life for old albums of terminally ill rocker

As ailing singer-songwriter Warren Zevon faces death, three of his old albums are getting a new life.

The Capitol Records-Imperial label announced Wednesday it will reissue his first album, 1969's "Wanted Dead Or Alive," on May 6.

On the same day, Virgin Records plans to rerelease 1987's "Sentimental Hygiene" and 1989's "Transverse City."

"Sentimental Hygiene" was recorded with the band R.E.M. and featured Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Don Henley, while "Transverse City" included songs with Young and the late Jerry Garcia.

The terminally ill rocker, who announced in September that he has lung cancer, has faced his impending demise with the same dark humor that infused his hits "Werewolves of London" and "Lawyers, Guns and Money."

The 56-year-old has spent much of his time with his grown children, working on songs for a final album and visiting old show-business friends, including making an appearance on "The Late Show with David Letterman."

When Letterman asked him if the disease had taught him anything about life, Zevon responded: "How much you're supposed to enjoy every sandwich."

Zevon's publicist, Diana Baron, said Wednesday his energy has fluctuated in recent months, but he has completed nine tracks for the new album and is planning to return to the studio shortly.

"He had a tough end of the year and first part of the year, but he's feeling much better," Baron said. Although the cancer remains inoperable, Zevon is taking "treatments to slow things down and alleviate pain and make life better," she added.