Elliott Smith was an American singer-songwriter and musician that created beautiful inward and sad-hearted songs with stunning harmonies. He suffered from depression, alcoholism and drug dependence. His lyrics reflect there topics a lot.
After having remarkable success with his first three records (Roman Candle, Elliott Smith, Either Or), his music for Good Will Hunting became extremely popular, which worsened his mental situation even more.
He stated: "After Either/Or, the Oscar stuff happened and that kind of derailed my train. Although it took a lot for it to fully derail."
In 1998 he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Smith didn't want to perform at The Oscars but unbelievably he was threatened that Richard Marx would play his tune. So he agreed to perform.
Smith later said: "I walked out and Jack Nicholson was sitting about six feet away, so I avoided that area and I looked up at the balcony in the back and sang the song. It was surreal enough that it didn't seem like it happened to me. Everything was in slow motion, and i didn't feel particularly nervous. I just felt like I was in some odd dream that was probably meant for someone else. Everyone was really nice, but the point of the show is the show. It's certainly not me. The point of it is to have a big parade of celebrities."
Elliott Smith at The Oscars in 1998
|Elliott Smith - Figure 8 cover|
After the release of his most successful records (XO and Figure 8) he started to work on his 6th album From a Basement on a Hill with Jon Brion in 2001.
After finishing half of the record Brion and Smith divided when Brion tried to stop Smith's excessive drug usage and Smith's own discussions about his suicide.
In 2003 - at the age of 34 - he died in Los Angeles. The circumstances of his death are still unclear.
From a Basement on the Hill was posthumously completed and released.
Discography (studio records):
- 1994 Roman Candle
- 1995 Elliott Smith
- 1997 Either/Or
- 1998 XO
- 2000 Figure 8
- 2004 From a Basement on the Hill
- 2007 New Moon