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