I worked with him on From a Basement on the Hill

what

“I worked with him on From a Basement on the Hill, befriended him, and helped him put together the pieces of the torment he carried with him in his jigsaw puzzle of a heart in order to transmute it into peaceful wholeness (…) Because I knew Elliott as I did, my account is a personal one, not a musicological or psychological one, and I vividly remember the first time I met him. Continue reading

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‘Suicide Machine’ was originally recorded for Figure 8

with joe ranieri

“‘Suicide Machine’ was originally recorded for Figure 8, but in light of everything, I just thought it would have taken the focus off the music. I was uncomfortable with that. There is already enough in the lyrics to make the thing sound like a suicide note; that would have put it over the top. Look, I think it sucks to be Monday-morning-quarterbacking the outcome.”

Rob Schnapf

Please remember I’ve only been working with Elliott

“Please remember I’ve only been working with Elliott for a little while, so I’m still finding out some of the things you guys are asking about. There’s what I know… In November [2001], I was in L.A. and went to Elliott’s house – he played about eight tracks to [my wife] Jennifer and me. Some of the tracks had vocals, most of them were in a “full band” mode with him playing all of the instruments. There was one song that totally rocked that had Steven from the Lips and the drummer from Beachwood Sparks both playing drums at the same time. The tracks that didn’t have vocals, he sat next to me and sang the words – it was amazing! Continue reading

Cleaning up today and found the lyrics

chris chandler
©Chris Chandler

“Cleaning up today and found the lyrics and notes that Elliott Smith wrote when we were working on an album together back in 2001.”

Chris Chandler

“Many years ago, a friend of mine named Chris did some tracking with Elliott for his last record. He said Elliott had a stash of old old recording gear he liked to track with. Valve and solid state stuff I think. Did he ever bring any toys to the party when you were working with him? Chris let me listen to a couple of acoustic guitar takes. I was knocked out by how clean and effortless his fingerpicking was, beautiful. I hope all is well with you.”

Nog

Une petite note informative à l’attention des futurs chroniqueurs de From a basement on the hill…

studionst
©Peter Larsson

“Puisque j’ai de la place, une petite note informative à l’attention des futurs chroniqueurs de From a basement on the hill, pour leur éviter de tomber dans le piège “décortiquons les paroles pour y trouver des raisons à son suicide” (écueil dans lequel même Nick Kent est tombé). Voici donc la date (et le lieu, accessoirement) à laquelle les chansons de l’album ont été pour la première fois jouées en live. Continue reading

It is bittersweet that one of Elliott Smith’s finest albums would be one which was released posthumously

joedalessandrowaw

“It is bittersweet that one of Elliott Smith’s finest albums would be one which was released posthumously. From a Basement on the Hill is a masterwork of dexterity and achievement, with Smith exploring his love of The Beatles’ recording techniques. Using an array of instruments, the album was largely made at Smith’s home studio. It was left unfinished when Smith tragically took his own life in 2003, his family and friends collaborated after he passed so that the album would see the light of day. It is the one grace to come from the terrible event, for From a Basement on the Hill is one of the strongest and most powerful records of the last twenty years. King’s Crossing is a song about Smith’s demons, as well as his disillusion with the Music scene at the time. ‘The method acting that pays my bills keeps a fat man feeding in Beverly Hills’ he sang, lamenting the exploitation of his emotions to generate record sales. This is my top Elliott Smith record, which I revisit very regularly. I love the visual portraits Smith creates within this song. It is so full of regret, hopelessness and contemplation; be it about his career, his addictions or his existence. Powerful stuff.”

Joe Dallesandro

Let this dignified CD not be the start of a multi-label Elliott Smith refabrication

rmb98
©Renaud Monfourny

“Let this dignified CD not be the start of a multi-label Elliott Smith refabrication issuing forth several unsatisfactory “best-of” collections bittersweetened with rarities and “never-before-heard” vault finds and overdubbed demos. Fans of Tupac, Nick Drake, Johnny Cash, the Beatles and Jeff Buckley may maintain a philosophy of the-more-the-merrier regarding posthumous releases, but I’m always reminded by them of Steven Patrick Morrissey’s ominous verses from the Smiths’ “Paint A Vulgar Picture”: Continue reading

I’m just crazy about Elliott Smith’s From A Basement On The Hill

joaquin-phoenix

“I’m just crazy about Elliott Smith’s From A Basement On The Hill – the lyrics, the music, everything about it is fantastic. There’s something about his vocal melodies that I love – they remind me of John Lennon and The Beatles. It’s sad music, yes, but I don’t feel sad when I hear it and I listen to it all the time. And when I listen to it, I think about nothing else. It’s beautiful.”

Joaquin Phoenix