Song In My Head #80: The Replacements’ “If Only You Were Lonely”

Since I was one of those kids exposed to the Replacements via MTV back in the day, for many years I believed the old saw that ballads were reserved for the band’s later records. When I read Bob Mehr’s Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements last summer, I learned how mistaken I was. “If Only You Were Lonely,” cited by Mehr as one of Paul Westerberg’s first songwriting triumphs, was released as the B-side of the single “I’m In Trouble” back in 1981. It’s gritty yet strangely sweet, timeless in spite of the video game reference (which always brings a smile to my face).

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