Elliott Smith (US singer-songwriter)

~ Person


Steven Paul Smith (August 6, 1969 – October 21, 2003), known as Elliott Smith, was an American musician and singer-songwriter. He was born in Omaha, Nebraska, raised primarily in Texas, and lived much of his life in Portland, Oregon, where he gained popularity. Smith's primary instrument was the guitar, though he also played piano, clarinet, bass guitar, drums, and harmonica. He 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 his final 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 the 1998 Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Smith was a heavy drinker and drug user, 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, at the age 34, he died at his Los Angeles home, from two stab wounds to the chest. The autopsy evidence did not determine whether the wounds were self-inflicted. At the time of his death, Smith was working on his album From a Basement on the Hill, posthumously produced and released in 2004.

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1994Roman CandleElliott Smith4.55
1995Elliott SmithElliott Smith4.458
1997Either/OrElliott Smith4.510
1998XOElliott Smith4.810
2000Figure 8Elliott Smith4.158
2004From a Basement on the HillElliott Smith4.24

Album + Compilation

2001Roman Candle / Elliott Smith / Either/OrElliott Smith1
2007New MoonElliott Smith46
2010An Introduction to… Elliott SmithElliott Smith54

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 Smith53
1998Waltz #2 (XO)Elliott Smith3
1999Baby BritainElliott Smith4
1999HappinessElliott Smith3
2000Son of SamElliott Smith53
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 Smith53
2020Elliott Smith Alternate VersionsElliott Smith1

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