The purpose of Boink!! has never been entirely clear -- though released in 1986, two years after the Replacements' critical breakthrough Let It Be, this eight-track mini-LP instead compiles the majority of its selections from the band's earlier, lesser Twin/Tone releases Stink and Hootenanny. The record is nevertheless something of a Holy Grail among Replacements fans, however, for its inclusion of two much sought-after rarities: "If Only You Were Lonely," the B-side of their "I'm in Trouble" single, and the previously unreleased "Nowhere Is My Home." The former is a sardonic acoustic ballad that's perhaps the first Paul Westerberg song to fully articulate the self-deprecating angst and alienation at the heart of the band's very best work; the latter is a blistering rocker produced by cult icon Alex Chilton, brilliantly continuing along the same thematic lines. Long out of print, but well worth the effort of tracking the damn thing down.
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