Elliott Smith B-sides

Elliott Smith was once described by his label, DreamWorks, as “his generation’s most gifted songwriter”. But beyond his lyrical brilliance, Elliott Smith’s music writing was nothing less than prolific. In addition to six albums, Elliott Smith left behind hundreds of b-sides and unreleased songs. Some of these songs are of such high quality that they would bewilder any diehard Elliott fan as to why they remained relegated to import singles and compilations.

Here are three of my favorite Elliott b-sides for my first post. ‘The Enemy Is You’ seems especially fitting for Either/Or. It has the driving beat of ‘Speed Trials’ with subdued lyrics reminiscent of ‘Between the Bars’. ‘How To Take a Fall’, on the other hand, has a XO feel. It reminds me most of ‘Bottle Up and Explode’ but with the strong surges of ‘Tomorrow Tomorrow’. The last song, ‘Division Day’, is significantly more poppy than the other two (or than most of Elliott’s breadth of work for that manner). The turnaround after the chorus is somewhat cheesy but reminds me of very early works from The Beatles.

Elliott Smith – The Enemy Is You

Elliott Smith – How To Take A Fall

Elliott Smith – Division Day




  1. Good find. I’m a big Elliott Smith fan, and those songs are definitely deserving of more attention.

  2. I think Elliott Smith had a great love for the many music styles that he soaked up in his short life. His music is unabashedly filled with sounds,” sonic treasures” if you like, filtered from great techniques that preceeded him. It is the familiarity of his music that makes his songs both entrancing and comfortable on the very first listen. No breaking-in period is required. His tunes grab you and pull you in with their soothing familiarity, then the lyrics are delivered like sweet venom without a sting. These songs are like panned gold. Thanks.

  3. The b-sides web site has a number of good b-sides all for free. For unreleased songs I like “New Disaster” and “Everythings Okay” I also like the older acoustic version of “Happiness”.

  4. Elliott Smith will always be my favourite and most talented artist. B side I am sure is absolutly wounderful. He’s emotions and deep sence of thought are truly potrayed in each line, each strum, and each song. I want to thank him in spirit, he will be greatly missed, but those he has touched, hes changed their lives.

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