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, where he first gained popularity. Smith's primary instrument was the guitar, though 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, 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 (1997)—was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Original Song category in 1998.

Smith abused alcohol and drugs, while suffering from depression, and these topics often appear in his lyrics. In 2003, aged 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 in 2004.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1994 Roman Candle Elliott Smith 4.5 4
1995 Elliott Smith Elliott Smith 5 3
1997 Either/Or Elliott Smith 5 5
1998 XO Elliott Smith 5 5
2000 Figure 8 Elliott Smith 4 6
2004 From a Basement on the Hill Elliott Smith 4 3

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2007 New Moon Elliott Smith 4 4
2010 An Introduction to… Elliott Smith Elliott Smith 5 2

Album + Soundtrack

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2016 Heaven Adores You Soundtrack Elliott Smith 2


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
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 4 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 RatingReleases
2012 Alternate Versions From either/or Elliott Smith 2


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

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