Elliott Smith pointers


Howdy, elliot smith is one of those musicians who anytime i hear one of their tracks i really like but i’ve never really spent time getting to know.
So what’s the best record, where to start etc?


start with self titled


Either/Or or XO for me chief. Then Roman Candle, Self Titled, From Basement and then Figure 8 (but maybe trim that town to an ep as there is a lot of fluff)


Gosh, you really could start anywhere. I don’t think he’s made an album that’s less than an 8.5/10 - even Figure 8 has some astonishing songs on it. But I’d probably go for XO (at his expansive best) and s/t (at his raw acoustic best).


XO then Either/Or then everything else imo. What a special musician he was.


Jeff Buckley bloodhounds


All of them are worth listening to, as other have said. The first two (Roman Candle and S/T) are very stark and quite lo-fi. The last two (XO and Figure 8) are bit lusher and more produced. The one in the middle (Either/Or) strikes a nice balance. There are great songs on all of the albums but Either/Or is possibly the most consistently great


I think Either/Or is a great starting point too. It’s a great bridge between early acoustic Elliott and later ‘full band’ Elliott.

You can’t really go wrong with any of his records though - XO is really full and lush thanks to Spielberg’s deep pockets, Figure8 turns down the lushness a bit but still keeps the band and then From A Basement sounds beautifully uncommercial and a bit otherworldly with to it’s big roomy production and the songs getting all stretched out of shape.


I think you’ll like Either/Or and then Self Titled the most, ma man. Then once we got you hooked move onto the later ones.


funnily enough it was watching an episode of rick & morty last night and they played this track that got m,e thinking again :slight_smile:
cheers Ruffers

  1. Listen to every album because they’re all great.
  2. Have a shower.
  3. Sit in the shower and cry.
  4. Take steps to book yourself into counselling


i’ll keep this in mind


let’s be real though the later albums (not from a basement) are overproduced and dont suit him that well. good songs on the whole but too much pomp.


I think it would be a shame to start with those albums, although I think a lot of songs on them are strong enough to show through the production sheen.


Nah if anything they’re more ‘him’ and what he was aiming for than anything else. The idea of doing as much as he can himself, and I guess emulating a band where there isn’t one.


i started with Figure 8 actually, after hearing the first couple of songs playing in a record shop. s/t is my favourite though


You really can’t go wrong. To me he’s easily one of the four greatest artists of all time and everything he’s released is a classic. You’re about to discover so much great music.

I’d start with either/or or self-titled, and then move on to the much more polished (and what I think is his best album) XO.

From there, if you’re in the mood for more of the lo-fi side of his work, go with New Moon (a b-side double album, but similar to the case with The Smashing Pumpkins’ Pisces Iscariot and Modest Mouse’s Building Nothing out of Something where the songs aren’t throwaways and just as good as those on any proper album) or his debut Roman Candle.

If you’re in the mood for the more polished side of his work, go with From A Basement on a Hill or Figure 8. From A Basement contains some of the absolute best music ever written. Figure 8 takes longer to get into but is also a solid A.


Either/Or is THE ONE imo boss x


The fact that no one can agree on where to start and which album is his best is a pretty good indication of how good his whole output is. Just jump in!


XO’s my favourite too, so underappreciated imo