Elliott Smith

Born 6 August 1969. Died 21 October 2003.

US singer-songwriter

Elliott Smith

Biography

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.

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Links & Information

BBC Reviews

  1. Review of An Introduction To…

    An Introduction To… 2010

    Reviewed by Chris White
    A retrospective which reinforces Smith’s status as an intriguing but flawed artist.
  2. Review of Roman Candle

    Roman Candle 2010

    Reviewed by James Skinner
    As a genesis of exceptional talent this is flawless, and heartbreakingly so.
  3. Review of New Moon

    New Moon 2007

    Reviewed by Brian McCluskey
    There ain't no 'hello sky, hello sunshine' type of songs to be found here.
  4. Review of From A Basement On The Hill

    From A Basement On The Hill 2004

    Reviewed by Sue Wilkinson
    This album is destined to build on Smith's iconic status, but it's hard to listen to...
  5. Review of XO

    XO 1998

    Reviewed by Mike Diver
    XO remains a heart-breaking listen several years after its release.
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