Elliott Smith (US singer-songwriter)

~ Person


Steven Paul Smith (August 6, 1969 – October 21, 2003), known professionally as Elliott Smith, was an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Smith was born in Omaha, Nebraska, raised primarily in Texas, and lived much of his life in Portland, Oregon, where he first gained popularity. Smith's primary instrument was the guitar, though he also played piano, clarinet, bass guitar, drums, and harmonica. Smith had a distinctive vocal style, characterized by his "whispery, spiderweb-thin delivery", and often 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 was a heavy drinker and drug user at times throughout his life, and was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and depression. His struggles with drugs and mental illness affected his life and work, and often appeared 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 or the result of homicide. At the time of his death, Smith was working on his sixth studio album, From a Basement on the Hill, which was posthumously produced and released in 2004.

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1994Roman CandleElliott Smith4.355
1995Elliott SmithElliott Smith4.258
1997Either/OrElliott Smith4.659
1998XOElliott Smith4.79
2000Figure 8Elliott Smith4.258
2004From a Basement on the HillElliott Smith44

Album + Compilation

2001Roman Candle / Elliott Smith / Either/OrElliott Smith1
2007New MoonElliott Smith46
2010An Introduction to… Elliott SmithElliott Smith53

Album + Soundtrack

2016Heaven Adores You SoundtrackElliott Smith42


1994Shytown / No Confidence ManElliott Smith and Pete Krebs51
1995Needle in the HayElliott Smith2
1996Speed TrialsElliott Smith2
1997Division Day / No Name #6Elliott Smith44
1998Ballad of Big NothingElliott Smith3
1998Waltz #2 (XO)Elliott Smith3
1999Baby BritainElliott Smith4
1999HappinessElliott Smith3
2000Son of SamElliott Smith3
2003Pretty (Ugly Before)Elliott Smith2
2020Some Song (Live at Umbra Penumbra - September 17th, 1994)Elliott Smith1

Single + Live

2017Pretty (Ugly Before) (live at Largo)Elliott Smith1


2012Alternate Versions From either/orElliott Smith52
2020Elliott Smith Alternate VersionsElliott Smith1

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