Elliott Smith (US singer-songwriter)

~ Person


Steven Paul "Elliott" Smith (August 6, 1969 – October 21, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter and musician. Smith was born in Omaha, Nebraska, raised primarily in Texas, and lived for much of his life in Portland, Oregon, the area in which he first gained popularity. Smith's primary instrument was the guitar, but he was also proficient with piano, clarinet, bass guitar, drums and harmonica. Smith had a distinctive vocal style, characterized by his "whispery, spiderweb-thin delivery", and used multi-tracking to create vocal layers, textures and harmonies.

After playing in the rock band Heatmiser for several years, Smith began his solo career in 1994, with releases on the independent record labels Cavity Search and Kill Rock Stars (KRS). In 1997, he signed a contract with DreamWorks Records, the label for which he recorded two albums. Smith rose to mainstream prominence when his song "Miss Misery"—included in the soundtrack for the film Good Will Hunting—was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Original Song category in 1998.

Smith suffered from depression, alcoholism and drug dependence, and these topics often appear in his lyrics. At age 34, he died in Los Angeles, California, from two stab wounds to the chest. The autopsy evidence was inconclusive as to whether the wounds were self-inflicted. At the time of his death, Smith was working on his sixth studio album, From a Basement on the Hill, which was posthumously completed and released.

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Year Title Artist Rating Releases
1994 Roman Candle Elliott Smith 5 4
1995 Elliott Smith Elliott Smith 5 3
1997 either/or Elliott Smith 5 4
1998 XO Elliott Smith 5 5
2000 Figure 8 Elliott Smith 4 6
2004 From a Basement on the Hill Elliott Smith 4 2

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist Rating Releases
2007 New Moon Compilation Elliott Smith 3
2010 An Introduction to… Elliott Smith Compilation Elliott Smith 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist Rating Releases
2000-03-17: South by Southwest Music Festival, Austin, Texas, USA Live Elliott Smith 1


Year Title Artist Rating Releases
1994 Shytown / No Confidence Man Elliott Smith and Pete Krebs 1
1995 Needle in the Hay Elliott Smith 1
1996 Speed Trials Elliott Smith 1
1997 Division Day / No Name #6 Elliott Smith 3
1998 Ballad of Big Nothing Elliott Smith 3
1998 Waltz #2 (XO) Elliott Smith 3
1999 Baby Britain Elliott Smith 4
1999 Happiness Elliott Smith 3
2000 Son of Sam Elliott Smith 3
2003 Pretty (Ugly Before) Elliott Smith 2


Year Title Artist Rating Releases
2012 Alternate Versions From either/or Elliott Smith 2


Year Title Artist Rating Releases
2007 Live at Largo Live Elliott Smith 1
1999-02-22: End Sessions, KNDD Radio, Seattle, WA, USA Live Elliott Smith 1

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