Elliott Smith (album)

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Elliott Smith
Studio album by Elliott Smith
Released July 21, 1995
Recorded September 1994 at Tony Lash's house; January–February 1995 at Leslie Uppinghouse's house
Genre Lo-fi, Indie folk
Length 37:23
Label Kill Rock Stars
Producer Elliott Smith
Elliott Smith chronology
Roman Candle
(1994)
Elliott Smith
(1995)
Either/Or
(1997)
Singles from Elliott Smith
  1. "Needle in the Hay"
    Released: January 1, 1995

Elliott Smith is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Elliott Smith, recorded from late 1994 to early 1995 and released on July 21, 1995 through Kill Rock Stars; his first album on the label. It was preceded by the single "Needle in the Hay", released in early January.

Background[edit]

After being impressed by Smith, Mary Lou Lord invited him to tour with her, and helped him to sign to Kill Rock Stars.[1]

The album is of a similar musical style to Roman Candle in its minimalist, acoustic sound. Smith mostly appears alone on his acoustic guitar, although he is occasionally backed up by the odd musical instrument, such as a harmonica and drums.[2] Thematically, Smith said that he "personally can't get more dark" than his self-titled album.[3]

The album's lyrics contain many references to drug use, which Smith claims are metaphorical.[1] The album cover features a photograph by J. J. Gonson, who also photographed the cover for Roman Candle, depicting cut-out figures falling from buildings as if they were committing suicide.[1]

Release[edit]

"Needle in the Hay", the album's only single, was released early January, 1995.[4]

Elliott Smith was released on July 21 through Kill Rock Stars, making it his first full-length album on the label.[5] In contrast to Roman Candle, Elliott Smith was "promoted heavily", with posters of Smith appearing in the windows of record stores across the Northwest of Portland, Oregon, where Smith lived at the time.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Punknews.org 5/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone Album Guide 5/5 stars[7]

While not believed to have been reviewed by many, if any, critics at the time of its release, Elliott Smith has been critically well-received retrospectively. AllMusic wrote: "Elliott Smith contains the blueprint for his later successes, and more importantly, it's a fully-realized work itself."[2]

Legacy[edit]

Pitchfork Media rated "Needle in the Hay" as the twenty-seventh best song of the 1990s.[8]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Elliott Smith. 

No. Title Length
1. "Needle in the Hay"   4:16
2. "Christian Brothers"   4:30
3. "Clementine"   2:46
4. "Southern Belle"   3:06
5. "Single File"   2:26
6. "Coming Up Roses"   3:10
7. "Satellite"   2:25
8. "Alphabet Town"   4:11
9. "St. Ides Heaven"   3:00
10. "Good to Go"   2:24
11. "The White Lady Loves You More"   2:24
12. "The Biggest Lie"   2:39

Personnel[edit]

  • Elliott Smith – all instruments
Additional personnel
  • Neil Gust – electric guitar ("Single File"), sleeve photography
  • Rebecca Gates – backing vocals ("St. Ides Heaven")
Technical
  • Leslie Uppinghouse – mixing assistance
  • Tony Lash – mixing assistance
  • JJ Gonson – cover photography

References[edit]

External links[edit]