Putting together a list of the best Elliott Smith songs is difficult for a couple of reasons. First of all, Elliott is not the kind of artist with a few big hits and a bunch of throwaways and filler. Ask 50 Elliott Smith fans what their favorite Elliott song is and you won’t get much overlap in responses. The second reason this list was so hard to put together is that going through 50 Elliott Smith songs will leave even the most cheerful of people in a slump of depression.
It’s been almost nine years since Elliott committed suicide, and time has only proven what we already knew: Elliott Smith was a one-of-a-kind artist. From the lo-fi acoustic style of his early days to the lush arrangements of his later albums, his music was crafted with precision and an attention to melody that rivals (gasp) The Beatles. But there was a recklessness about Elliott that separates him from other singer/songwriters and bands with a knack for catchy tunes. Brutally honest lyrics about drug use, alcohol, and emotional issues bleed through Elliott’s work and even at his most gentle and poetic, there’s a punk rock ethos that adds a layer of complexity to his entire body of work.
Nobody has filled the void left by Elliott. Most likely, it will be avoid that exists forever when somebody entirely unique comes along and leaves. Luckily, he’s left us with plenty to remember him by. Here are The 50 Best Elliott Smith songs.
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