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Editors’ Notes

For many fans, 1997's low-key but gorgeous Either/Or is the crucial Elliott Smith album to own. Before this, Smith had delivered two lo-fi glimpses of his brilliance (not to mention his output for Portland rock group, Heatmeiser). After this stunning record, we'd get major label budgets and a much poppier sound. But this is Smith at his most raw, performing 12 inspired, near-perfect ballads on his acoustic guitar that would forever get him compared to Nick Drake. "No Name No. 5" and "2:45 A.M." establish Smith as a lost loner and outcast. "Alameda" and "Between the Bars" reveal delicate acoustic guitar chops that matched his prodigious lyrical depth. "Angeles" would go on to be featured on the Good Will Hunting soundtrack, and provide Smith with a taste of mainstream stardom. Simply put, it's the masterpiece of a lost genius.

Customer Reviews


Mandatory listening for anyone with ears.

Best Yet

Absolutely Smith's best album. Songs like 2:45 A.M. and Ballad of Big Nothing are so poigniant they'll have you staring into space crying, while Alameda and Cupid's Trick will bob your head and strum your heart. Between the Bars is a stinging heartbreaker. "You wont but you might," pretty much says it all - the pain of unfulfilled dreams, of holding on to something forever, looking at that old lady who tells you she wants to be an actress, she smiles that sad drunk smile and you see her lonely death in your mind. You know what I mean. 5 stars.

Amazing Album

This is an awesome album! Definitely five stars. Elliott Smith creates wonderful music full of meaning and depth, I only wish more people could here of him despite his death. Songs like Angeles, Rose Parade, and Between the Bars would have to be some of my favorites. I recommend this album to anyone, especially people just getting into Elliott Smith.


Born: August 6, 1969 in Omaha, NE

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

The celebrated folk-punk singer/songwriter Elliott Smith rose from indie obscurity to mainstream success in 1997 on the strength of "Miss Misery," his Academy Award-nominated song from the film Good Will Hunting. A native of Portland, OR, Smith began writing and recording his first songs at age 14, later becoming a fixture of the city's thriving music scene. As a member of the band Heatmiser, he debuted in 1993 with the LP Dead Air, issuing his first solo effort Roman Candle on the tiny Cavity Search...
Full Bio