20 years ago now, Elliott Smith released Either/Or, his third studio solo record and perhaps the most critically acclaimed of all of his albums. On March 10th, to commemorate the 20th anniversary Universal are releasing Either/Or: Expanded Edition. There’ll be a double album for fans of vinyl available in May.
Either/Or: Expanded Edition is essentially the entire original album remastered from the original tapes by the renowned studio engineer, friend and Elliot Smith archivist, Larry Crane. The second disc is a mixture of live and unreleased studio recordings and a beloved b-side.
The previously unreleased tracks are currently being streamed on youtube and you can listen here:
I Figured You Out
Elliott Smith was born in Omaha, Nebraska, raised in Texas and lived for a long stretch in Portland. A multi-talented musician, he played guitar primarily but was comfortable laying down all of the instruments on his recordings. His indie releases earned him huge acclaim before he signed to a major. He was nominated for an oscar for his song Miss Misery which appeared on the soundtrack to Gus Van Zandt’s Goodwill Hunting.
Elliott Smith battled substance abuse and severe depression and made at least one well documented attempt on his life when he jumped off a cliff. Though he received huge support from his friends, in their stories you can sense their enervating desperation that they could do little to amelorate the situation. Tragically he was found dead from two stab wounds to the chest, at the apartment he shared with his girlfriend on Lemoyne in Echo Park, Los Angeles in 2003.
There was one more full length release, the excellent, From a Basement on a Hill, the record he was working on at the time of his death.
Mary Lou Lord said Elliott Smith made music for the sad kids, safe to say I think, if those sad kids go on they often just grow into sad old folks. Either that Or... That said, Elliott Smith’s remastered, reissued Either/Or is not just for them, it’s an opportunity for all to Discover/Rediscover Elliott Smith's remarkable songwriting talent.
In outsideleft 2005, Kirk Lake recalled interviewing Elliott Smith for Dazed and Confused even further back in 1998. You can read that interview and Kirk’s preamble here, as lovely as anything we’ve published in the lifetime of this magazine: Remembering Elliott Smith.
The remastered Either/Or can be pre ordered from your local record store or Amazon UK | US
1. Speed Trials (remastered)
2. Alameda (remastered)
3. Ballad of Big Nothing (remastered)
4. Between the Bars (remastered)
5. Pictures of Me (remastered)
6. No Name No. 5 (remastered)
7. Rose Parade (remastered)
8. Punch and Judy (remastered)
9. Angeles (remastered)
10. Cupid's Trick (remastered)
11. 2:45 AM (remastered)
12. Say Yes (remastered)
1. My New Freedom (Live) (unreleased)
2. Pictures Of me (Live) (unreleased)
3. Angeles (Live) (unreleased)
4. Some Song (Live) (unreleased)
5. Rose Parade (Live) (unreleased)
6. New Monkey (keys) (unreleased)
7. I Don’t Think I’m Ever Gonna Figure It Out (remixed/remastered)
8. I Figured You Out (unreleased)
9. Bottle Up And Explode (Alternate Version) (unreleased)