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Elliott Smith

The celebrated indie folk singer/songwriter Elliott Smith rose from indie obscurity to mainstream success in 1997 on thestrength of "Miss Misery," his Academy Award-nominated song from the film Good Will Hunting. A native of Portland, OR, Smithbegan writing and recording his first songs at age 14, later becoming a fixture of the city's thriving music scene. As a memberof the band Heatmiser, he debuted in 1993 with the LP Dead Air, issuing his first solo effort Roman Candle on the tiny CavitySearch label a year later. For his 1995 self-titled album, Smith signed with the noted Kill Rock Sta ...read more

The celebrated indie folk singer/songwriter Elliott Smith rose from indie obscurity to mainstream success in 1997 on thestrength of "Miss Misery," his Academy Award-nominated song from the film Good Will Hunting. A native of Portland, OR, Smithbegan writing and recording his first songs at age 14, later becoming a fixture of the city's thriving music scene. As a memberof the band Heatmiser, he debuted in 1993 with the LP Dead Air, issuing his first solo effort Roman Candle on the tiny CavitySearch label a year later. For his 1995 self-titled album, Smith signed with the noted Kill Rock Stars label. Either/Or followed in1997, around the same time that filmmaker and longtime fan Gus Van Sant requested permission to use the singer's music inhis upcoming Good Will Hunting.

Smith also composed a handful of new songs for the soundtrack, among them "Miss Misery," and when the Academy of MotionPicture Arts and Sciences announced its Oscar nominations the following February, the track was a surprise entry in the BestOriginal Song category. Although he did not win, Smith performed the song live at the televised Oscar broadcast, appearingon-stage alongside superstars Trisha Yearwood and Celine Dion in one of the most notably surreal musical moments in recentmemory. Smith's DreamWorks label debut, XO, followed later in 1998. Two years later he delivered Figure 8, which delvedfurther into lush arrangements and orchestrations. For the next two years, Smith labored over what was to be his nextalbum, From a Basement on a Hill. He would not live to see the album's completion, however.

To the shock of friends and fans alike, Smith's body was found on October 21, 2003, with two stab wounds in his chest. Todate, the coroner has been unable to determine the cause of death, and the Los Angeles Police Department's investigationremains open. From a Basement on a Hill was released one year later, just two days shy of the first anniversary of his death,and received warm critical nods. In 2007, the Kill Rock Stars label issued a two-disc set of Smith's unreleased work, all ofwhich had been recorded between 1994 and 1997. Entitled New Moon, the 24-track collection contained three songs thathad been previously released on hard to find compilations or soundtracks, including an early version of "Miss Misery" and acover of Big Star's "Thirteen." « hide

Similar Bands: Nick Drake, Mount Eerie, American Wolf, Heatmiser, The Microphones

LPs
From a Basement on the Hill
2004

4.1
679 Votes
Figure 8
2000

4.1
854 Votes
XO
1998

4.3
1,161 Votes
Either/Or
1997

4.5
1,797 Votes
Elliott Smith
1995

4.3
1,076 Votes
Roman Candle
1994

4.2
729 Votes
EPs
Division Day/No Name #6
2000

3.9
19 Votes
Needle in the Hay
1995

4.3
12 Votes
Live Albums
Live at Largo
2007

4.1
45 Votes
Compilations
Heaven Adores You
2016

3.1
8 Votes
An Introduction To... Elliott Smith
2010

3.9
26 Votes
New Moon
2007

4.1
351 Votes

Contributors: elliootsmeuth, rockandmetaljunkie, Mad., geasoftime, TheFonz123, Josh-D, Funeralopolis, TheBoss88, Dave de Sylvia, Satellite, Willie, Marsygra, crazyblinddude, Pizza, Mikesn, LeMartien, MonorailCat, ClearTheLane, Polaris, MrKite, pulseczar, Hewitt, morrissey, mx, Frippertronics, tommygun, TRMshadow, Satellite, Romulus, Metalstyles, Skimaskcheck,

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