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Elliott Smith

Elliott Smith was born on August 6, 1969, and thus, August is Elliott Smith Month, according to his onetime label, Kill Rock Stars. To celebrate, KRS has been generously offering fans alternate versions of some old Elliott tracks: previously unheard versions of songs that appeared on Smith’s 1995 and ’97 releases, Elliott Smith and Either/Or, respectively. It’s been a bittersweet experience, hearing anew these songs that have been etched into our collective memory. Not only do they remind us of the talent lost, but they capture the artist just as he was approaching the peak of his abilities, when his promise still eclipsed his artistic output (to be sure, though, his artistic output was already estimable). Hearing that new-old music left me hungry for more, eager to revisit Smith’s catalog, to sort through some of my own feelings about the man. And that left me here, collecting my thoughts, making this list.

Before we begin, some notes about my methodology, and a confession.

Elliott Smith released five solo albums before dying in 2003; 2004 brought the posthumous From A Basement On A Hill, the album Smith was working on when he died, and in 2007, Kill Rock Stars gave us the two-disc New Moon set, which compiled previously unreleased material Smith recorded during his time with the Portland label. He also released three albums with his indie-rock band, Heatmiser. Then there are officially sanctioned non-album tracks, and countless bootlegs offering material that has yet to see the light of day via label release.

For this list, I considered for inclusion all (and only) officially released Elliott Smith solo material, album and non-album: no Heatmiser; no bootlegs. I saw two options in terms of approach: I could have made a list that took into account all phases of Smith’s career, or I could have spotlighted what I truly believe to be his 10 best songs. I went with the latter. This made the task much more difficult — Option A would have created some handy processes of elimination, taking out of my hands some tough choices — but the final product is, I hope, more honest.

Of course there are inherent problems in trying to view Smith’s career through such a limited scope. Smith’s musical ambitions and abilities evolved so rapidly and distinctly that trying to judge ES MK 1 against ES MK 2 or 3 does a disservice to all that material. On his first two albums, 1994′s Roman Candle and ’95′s Elliott Smith, the artist was subdued, shy. The albums function best as albums; the songs flow and blend into one. (It’s no coincidence that almost half the songs on Roman Candle are titled “No Name.”) Much of 1997′s Either/Or retains the modest beauty of those records (another “No Name” here), but tracks like “Ballad Of Big Nothing” and “Pictures Of Me” — which feature ferocious pop choruses and robust instrumentation — provide a roadmap for Smith’s eventual direction. On 1998′s XO, Smith moved from Kill Rock Stars to major label Dreamworks, brought in collaborators like Tom Rothrock and Jon Brion, and created an album bursting with ambition and melody, an album that is carefully constructed and arranged. To sort of borrow his own metaphor, in ’94 and ’95, Smith was shooting off Roman candles; by ’98, he was putting on fireworks displays. He followed that with 2000′s Figure 8, more baroque even than XO — bigger, bolder, weirder still — although much of Smith’s sweetness and reticence was buried in the elaborate productions.

Elliott Smith died in October, 2003, reportedly the result of self-inflicted stab wounds. The music released posthumously showcases Smith at his artistic extremes: From A Basement On A Hill picks up where Figure 8 left off, more or less; New Moon has the same spare beauty of those early albums.

It’s essential to note the very specific connection between Smith and the individual listener. Elliott Smith wrote intensely personal songs, and his fans feel an intensely personal connection to those songs. I mention this because I’m an Elliott Smith fan, and as such, my own bond with the artist is necessarily different than yours. I discovered Elliott Smith in 1996, when I was interning for the publicity company working his then-new self-titled album. One of the publicists at that office knew I had a fondness for deeply depressing music, so he gave me a cassette sampler, with Elliott on one side, and the Softies on the other. I was pretty quickly a convert: I identified with Smith’s introversion, his awkwardness, his sadness, his rage, his self-destructive impulses. (I remember when Smith came to NYC to do some press, one of the junior publicists was tasked with staying with him, at all hours, to keep him away from whiskey. Just whiskey. Anything else could be managed. But not whiskey.) I was also touched deeply by the wonder and beauty in his music, which invited me to get comfortable, get to know this person, lose myself.

When Smith moved from Portland to Brooklyn, where I lived at the time, my feeling of connection intensified. My misery now had company. I knew he spent days at Brooklyn bars, writing lyrics and drinking, and even though I did not expect to run into him, it brought me some degree of comfort to imagine him a few miles (or blocks!) away, lost in booze and words. When he left Brooklyn for Los Angeles, a city I had been conditioned to dismiss as vacuous and culturally empty, I felt betrayed. It was an irrational reaction, of course, but a strangely intense one. I’ve never been able to fully embrace his L.A. album, Figure 8, for exactly that reason. I saw him live twice: once in 1997, at Brownies, where he was magnificent; once in 2003, at Bowery Ballroom, opening for Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, where he could barely play a full song. He fumbled, sheepishly, clumsily. I sneered; I blamed L.A. He died nine months later. I’ve never fully accepted his death, and I’ve had trouble listening to his posthumous releases.

These are my biases, just as you have yours. But I stand by the selections below. I only wish there were more.

10. “Roman Candle” (from Roman Candle, 1994)

After two albums of squealing, frenetic indie-punk with Portland’s Heatmiser, Elliott Smith’s decision to record a solo album must have initially seemed like something of a lark: the type of sensitive singer-songwriter stuff that rock frontmen do in their spare time to decompress and make use of material not suitable for the real band. But that album, 1994′s Roman Candle, surely put to rest any such notions pretty quickly. The album opens with its title track, which is immediately more compelling and powerful than anything Heatmiser had recorded to that point. Structurally, the song is bare-bones, lo-fi: two guitars, one acoustic and one electric, and one vocal track doubled up on the chorus. The guitars quiver like hummingbirds, and Smith’s vocal trembles above them, a whisper that attempts to contain rage more than convey intimacy. The chorus is cathartic and unforgiving; sings Elliott, “I want to hurt him / I want to give him pain / I’m a Roman candle / My head is full of flame.” In 3:37, it captures perfectly the quiet torment that will come to plague most of Smith’s narrators and protagonists over the next eight songs and five albums.

9. “Tomorrow, Tomorrow” (from XO)

By XO, Smith had basically elevated his guitar game to virtuoso levels, and there’s absolutely no better example of this than “Tomorrow, Tomorrow,” a gorgeous, multilayered production worthy of Brian Wilson, at the center of which is Smith’s intricate, fleet picking. It’s probably the single best-sounding song in his catalog (although much of XO could qualify for that title, and no other Elliott Smith album sounds anything like XO). The lyrics are much darker than the music, voicing fear and frustration with the music industry, and more troublingly, with writer’s block and failure: “I got static in my head / The reflected sound of everything / Tried to go to where it led / But it didn’t lead to anything.”

8. “Baby Britain” (from XO, 1998)

Elliott Smith’s much-noted love of the Beatles grew more apparent in his music as his songwriting progressed, and it reached an apotheosis in “Baby Britain” (there’s even a Revolver reference in here!), possibly the catchiest and most buoyant track in his catalog. The exact subject of the lyrics is unclear, but alcohol is clearly involved; I’ve always read it as an account of two friends spending a long night at a bar, boozing and talking, the narrator frustrated by his partner’s self-pity. It’s also a great drinking song about drinking — fun to sing along to, the lively piano making everything seem more vibrant. Sings Smith: “We knocked another couple back / The dead soldiers lined up on the table / Still prepared for an attack / They didn’t know they’d been disabled.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sung those own lines to myself as the dead soldiers amassed around me.

7. “The Biggest Lie” (from Elliott Smith, 1995)

Elliott Smith had a practice of closing his albums with the lightest, gentlest song — perhaps in some way to provide an easier transition to reality for the listener after 40-or-so minutes of dark, hard emotions addressed in rather specific detail. “The Biggest Lie” is the last song on Elliott Smith, and his loveliest album-closer (no small accomplishment when the competition includes “Say Yes” and “I Didn’t Understand”). On the surface, it’s a straightforward, immensely sad breakup ballad. The guitar isn’t especially intricate, the melody is direct and very catchy, and the lyrics appear to simply lament the dissolution of love. That said, it’s an unusually vague song for Smith, and there’s plenty of subtext to decode: It could be about how a shared addiction destroyed the narrator’s relationship; it could be about suicide (or, more generally, death). But when Smith sings, “Oh we’re so very precious, you and I / And everything that you do makes me want to die,” the implied meaning becomes irrelevant — it’s about as viscerally affecting and emotionally resonant a moment as music can produce.

6. “Needle In The Hay” (from Elliott Smith, 1995)

“Needle In The Hay” opens Elliott Smith, and it has a lot in common with the album-opener that preceded it — it’s quiet, minimalist (just acoustic guitar and voice), and its rhythm is like a heart palpitation. Still, Smith had made clear leaps already, finding new confidence in his already abundant gifts, namely his ear for melody, his intricate guitar work, and his detailed lyrics. Here, the razor-sharpness of Smith’s words draw blood. The song is a portrait of heroin addiction told from two perspectives: first, the junkie’s enabler (probably his father, based on the line, “He’s wearing your clothes / Head down to toes, a reaction to you), and then, the junkie. Not a word is wasted, as the song gets darker and darker, until the crushing last line of the last verse: “You ought to be proud that I’m getting good marks.” The “marks” here are track marks, the play on words intentional and mean spirited; the “You ought to be proud” is a sarcastic “fuck you” to the person who looks on, frustrated, bewildered, scared, and angry as the person they love is “strung out and thin / calling some friend trying to cash some check.” It’s bleak and harrowing storytelling, delivered with enviable deftness and grace.

5. “Between The Bars” (from Either/Or, 1997)

It is, of course, impossible and irresponsible to try to determine the degree to which Elliott Smith’s songs are autobiographical, but considering his known bouts with numerous demons, it’s hard not to see “Between The Bars” as a cry for help. Sonically, it is perhaps the gentlest track in Smith’s catalog — a lullaby, or a serenade — but beneath the surface, the lyrics describe the numbing, destructive lure of alcohol, as understood by an alcoholic. The first line could be an invitation to party — “Drink up, baby, stay up all night” — but it soon becomes clear that the narrator doing the coaxing is alcohol itself: “Drink up with me now / and forget all about / the pressure of days / Do what I say / and I’ll make you okay / and drive them away / the images stuck in your head.” It’s one of five Smith songs included in Good Will Hunting, and it’s actually featured twice in the film: an orchestral version and the bleak original. Nothing in the film approaches the darkness of the song’s subject matter, but there’s a certain warmth here, too, that actually makes sense in such a role — “Between The Bars” doesn’t treat alcoholism as a thing to be feared; more like pleasant place from which to watch ambition slowly atrophy.

4. “Condor Ave.” (from Roman Candle, 1994)

While most of Roman Candle was the work of a massively talented but unformed artist, “Condor Ave.” is an example of Smith momentarily achieving the huge potential he would reach pretty regularly on his next three albums. Smith’s shuffling, lovely guitar-playing and sweet melody are sharper here than they are anywhere else on the album, but more thrilling are his lyrics, which are worthy of Raymond Carver, and the flow with which he delivers them, which makes these exactingly crafted verses jump from Smith’s tongue as if they were spontaneous. The first verse, in which the narrator recounts the moment his lover drove out of life, is nothing short of perfection: “She took the Oldsmobile out past Condor Avenue / and she locked the car and slipped past / into rhythmic quietude / Lights burning / voice dry and hoarse / I threw the screen door like a bastard back and forth / The chimes fell over each other / I fell onto my knees / The sound of the car driving off made me feel diseased.” From there, things get really fucked up. The driver, exhausted, falls asleep at the wheel, accidentally killing an old alcoholic who’s sitting on the side of the road. The driver takes off, leaving behind a police investigation and a spurned lover who’s caught between confusion and rage. It’s compelling, breathtaking storytelling, delivered in one of Smith’s prettiest arrangements.

3. “Division Day” (from the “Division Day/No Name #6″ 7″, 2000)

Initially released as the front half of a double-A-side 7″, “Division Day” was a like a marriage of Elliott Smith’s Kill Rock Stars material and the much-more robust music he produced on XO and beyond (fitting that it was released on neither KRS nor Dreamworks, but the comparatively tiny Seattle-based Suicide Squeeze). It has the fuller arrangements and instrumentation Smith explored on his Dreamworks albums, but the lo-fi intimacy of his earlier work — and for that, it’s truly exceptional. Its also just a magnificent song. Driven by a rollicking piano and one of Smith’s most exuberant vocals, the song recalls “Sweet Jane” or “Good Day Sunshine”; sonically, it’s an expression of pure joy. Lyrically, it’s one of the most disquieting and confessional moments in Smith’s catalog. Some biographical background: Smith claimed to have been molested by his stepfather, which led to Smith moving out of the family’s Texas home at age 14, and moving in with his father in Portland, Oregon. (As an adult, Smith got a tattoo of Texas on his arm, about which he said: “I didn’t get it because I like Texas — kind of the opposite.”) The lyrics of “Division Day” seem to document that awful time in Smith’s young life: “Mostly they’d meet when he was asleep / and have some sick exchange / that struck him as wrong and moved him along / closer to division day.” The “he” in this scenario is probably Elliott, the “sick exchange[s] that struck him as wrong,” are likely sexual encounters with his stepfather, and “Division Day” would then be the day he moved away from his mother. I swear, it sounds like such a happy song.

2. “Angeles” (from Either/Or, 1997)

One of Elliott Smith’s most-beloved and best-known songs (due, in no small part, to its inclusion on the Good Will Hunting soundtrack, the place many fans first heard Elliott Smith), “Angeles” is the quintessential early-Smith composition: hushed, layered vocal delivery; dueling acoustic guitars; a rhythm that seems both furious and still. Lyrically, it defies easy interpretation. It could be about gambling or drug addiction, though it reads most logically as a discussion of the Faustian bargain that once came with being a musician moving from an independent label to a major. The “someone” in the first line (“Someone’s always coming around here, trailing some new kill / Says I’ve seen your picture on a hundred dollar bill”) is probably an A&R rep, of whom Smith’s then-home (the Pacific Northwest) saw their share in the ’90s. Then, of course, there is the promise made by that someone (“I could make you satisfied in everything you do / All your secret wishes could right now be coming true”) and the fine print (“And be forever with my poison arms around you”). Honestly, that’s probably what the lyrics are about. But it’s such a powerful, immediate song — it resonates so vibrantly with listeners — that its lyrical intention is almost irrelevant; it means what the listener hears, what the listener needs it to mean. Faustian bargains are in no way limited to art and commerce, and “poison arms” wrap around us in shadows and alleys everywhere.

1. “Waltz #2″ (XO) (from XO, 1998)

Ambitious, bold, intoxicating, and beautiful, “Waltz #2 (XO)” is the apex of Elliott Smith’s career: the fulfillment of every promise ever made by his Kill Rock Stars records and then some. Rhythmically, the song is indeed a waltz — written in 3/4 time signature — and listening to it, it’s not hard to imagine a room full of couples dancing close, drunk, alive. Again, all of Smith’s lyrics are open to individual interpretation, but this one seems pretty obviously about his mother, his mother’s decision to build a home with Elliott’s allegedly abusive stepfather (“That’s the man she’s married to now / That’s the girl that he takes around town”), and Elliott’s decision to leave (“I’m so glad that my memory’s remote / ’Cause I’m doing just fine hour to hour, note to note”). The bridge is one of the most aching and moving moments of music in a catalog that is entirely aching and moving, as Elliott sings of the prison-home provided by his mother, “I’m here today, expected to stay on, and on, and on,” his voice going higher and higher. But again, the intention of the song has been erased by its audience, almost surely for the better. When Elliott sings, “I’m never gonna know you now, but I’m gonna love you anyhow,” he’s singing to his mother, the woman whose choices forced him to leave. But since his death, the subject has changed. Now, it’s us singing to him, individually, imagining what was lost, reading between the lines, feeling grief and anger and frustration, never knowing, but loving him anyhow.


You can also listen to our playlist of Elliott Smith’s 10 Best Songs on Spotify.

Comments (101)
  1. Wes Anderson could have paired that scene in The Royal Tenenbaums with any other track and it would never have been as good, or as absolutely heart-breaking as it was with Needle In The Hay. Something else.

  2. Alameda is my personal favorite, but this is definitely a good list by a great musician.

  3. I’d have “St. Ides Heaven” and “No Name #3″ in there, but it’s all good.

  4. A distorted reality is a necessity to be free

  5. no independence day?? i am disappoint.

  6. Say Yes! But I like this list.

  7. I think “Already Somebody’s Baby” is a huge oversite

  8. You could have pretty much put any 10 of his songs in a list and called it a top ten. With that said, this is a really solid list.

  9. L.A. didn’t completely twist his music. Stupidity Tries fits anywhere on a solid Elliot Smith playlist.

  10. This will be a hard list to find consensus on. Elliott’s music had the power to creep into your soul. It hit on a very personal level. Because of this, it’s hard to be objective about it because it carries with it so much more baggage (both our own, and Elliott’s). How could someone possibly say that one song has a better rhythm section and bridge and is therefore better than another song where Elliott softly pours his sad little heart out in the most poetic way possible? Or that either of those songs could be better than the track that soundtracked the break up of a significant relationship in a listener’s life? It’s just too much.

    No. Elliott’s discography needs to be laid out like a photo album of old fading photographs without numbers, so the world can look into it and smile and weep at the beautiful family that lived, and loved and was lost too soon.

  11. One artist for whom I have like 50 favorite songs. (Solid list here.)

  12. Really love “Somebody That I Used to Know”

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    • Dude I am with you. That is a great song. And anyone who doesn’t immediately recognize that as a fantastic Elliott Smith song and is commenting on this page has no business being here, IMHO.

    • I thought of Elliott Smith immediately when I started seeing that viral video with the 5 people on a guitar. Took me a long time to actually watch it and realize that someone else had made a song with the same name, or to hear the radio hit. The comments you’ve gotten are funny. Elliott Smith fans would associate that song title with Elliott Smith before anyone else. I mean, we’ve been listening to the same albums over and over for this many years.

  13. I’ve always really liked “Southern Belle” and “The White Lady Loves You More” and I have to say that “A Fond Farewell” is very underrated.

    • Yeah those are two great Elliott songs. My favorite Elliott songs really depend on what is going on in my life at the time. “Happiness” from Figure 8 will always hold a special place in my heart as it was on repeat in my life during the end of a relationship. “What I used to be will pass away and then you’ll see
      That all I want now is happiness for you and me.”

  14. No “Say Yes”?

    • I had it in an earlier draft, actually, but was forced to cut it. If I had more space, I would have included it for sure (not that I needed to write any more about Elliott Smith than I did here). Great song.

  15. although i understand your reservations with his posthumous work (tho not really with Figure 8), some of his strongest material is on from the basement, and to disgregard it is unfortunate. thing is tho, elliott wrong about 100 songs that are between good and really good/amazing so the choice from any ‘era’ is going to be massive. anyway, i enjoyed the article and the methodology behind your selections…not that i agree with them! ;)

    • I didn’t disregard it, honestly: If this thing had been 15 deep, you would have seen songs from Figure 8 and Basement. There are some BEAUTIFUL songs on those albums. But I honestly didn’t think any of them were better than the 10 I ended up writing about.

  16. “The “he” in this scenario is probably Elliott, the “sick exchange[s] that struck him as wrong,” are likely sexual encounters with his stepfather, and “Division Day” would then be the day he moved away from his mother.”

    Well duh.

  17. These lists are hard. Mine would have absolutely included 2 or 3 songs from Figure 8 (“LA”, “Wouldn’t Mamma Be Proud?”, “Junk Bond Trader”) as well as “Say Yes” but I can’t imagine making a top 10 list that would feel satisfying. There’s just too much to pick from.

  18. Such an amazing artist that my Top 10 would probably be completely different from this, and yet at the same time I can’t complain about this one.

  19. I feel like any list without “King’s Crossing” has a huge hole in it.

    “The judge is on vinyl, decisions are final, and nobody gets a reprieve.”

  20. Yeah King’s Crossing is a must in my opinion.

  21. “Everything Means Nothing To Me, Everything Means Nothing To Me, Everything Means Nothing To Me”

  22. i’ve gotta say that i really believe FIGURE 8 is elliot at his absolute best and although i really do love his soft acoustic albums i think it is his magnum opus in the fullest sense. lyrics like ‘ i don’t feel afraid to die ‘ or ‘ all i want now is happiness for you and me ‘ show a once tormented soul beyond the point of no return and reflecting on the whole plane of human existence through his long deserved nirvana. awful as it his that he had to go away, releasing that album right before the end sort of makes it all okay. its the pre humous complete moment of clarity that most writers never see and it makes me so happy that elliot got there in the end. i think this list should have four or five figure 8 songs at least. it is one of the few albums i can truly call PERFECT !

  23. Couple of left-field picks on here, and very strange to see absolutely nothing from Basement, but as long as XO is #1 I’m satisfied.

  24. Waltz XO always brings a soft smile to my face, everything about that song is perfect.

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  27. ‘I Better Be Quiet Now’ one of my faves. Great list.

  28. Finally… a decent Top 10 list from Stereogum. After screwing up on “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” and “Tender” on the Wilco and Blur lists, I was sure they’d screw up “Waltz #2″… but no dice. Gj, Sg.

  29. absolutely brilliant list! feeling chills just recalling the profound affect each of these had on my musical interests at the time

  30. fantastic list and very good commentary about the tracks. Glad to see “Division Day” given its due. I am surprised no mentioned “Son of Sam”. That’s the song that cemented Elliott in my head after the initial curiosity caused by “Good WIll Hunting” and the Oscars.

  31. Waltz #2 is the closest humankind has gotten to the perfect song.

  32. My favorite is “Can’t Make a Sound” from Figure 8. Wouldn’t expect it to make most top 10 lists, but good God that song gets me every time. Something about the opening line “I have become a silent movie / the hero killed the clown / can’t make a sound.” *shivers*


  34. Excellent list. I myself love Southern Belle. I can listen to that song over and over again.

  35. My avatar compels me to comment. Elliott was a true artist. There is a LOT of musical sophistication in his songs, but he was never trying to hit you over the head with it. He just loved writing songs and always put a huge level of care into his work. Not to mention dude fucking ripped at guitar. Check out the solo on this shitty-quality live take of one of my favorite unreleased tunes:

    And here’s an alternate Top 10 in no particular order because come on:

    Clementine (s/t)
    Alameda (either/or)
    Tomorrow Tomorrow (xo)
    Independence Day (xo)
    No Name #3 (roman candle)
    Say Yes (xo)
    Let’s Get Lost (from a basement on the hill)
    Somebody I That I Used to Know (figure 8)
    The Biggest Lie (s/t)
    Everything Means Nothing To Me (figure 8)

    R.I.P. Dude </3

  36. no figure 8 or basement on the hill? also, you just picked all the most popular ones and singles

  37. I love this list, I really do, but it could have been even more perfect if “Alameda” was included. I have never identified more with a song than I do with that one. “If you’re alone it must be you who wants to be apart.” Anyway, as someone already mentioned, is nearly impossible to be objective to Elliott’s music, you involve yourself, you take in consideration your experiences with every song, which is why I don’t think any top ten of Elliott’s is bad or wrong. Observation: “Needle in the Hay” could be higher, N°3 for me. And I absolutely adore that “Between the Bars” the song by which I fell in love with him, is in here. I’ll stop my rambling now.

  38. This is a really good list. I think the acoustic version of Division Day that KCRW has is the best version of that song.I also like Shooting Star a lot.

  39. I like all the songs listed however I would probably only put between the bars and Angeles in my top ten. I can’t decide between Southern Belle and Son of Sam as number 1.

  40. I love this list, but I’d have to add Twilight. I love that song, think it’s one of his best! But, there are very few I don’t enjoy!

  41. Kings Crossing. ‘decisions are final and nobody gets a reprieve’

  42. This is a pretty good list, however, I am disappointed “Pitselah” didn’t make it. It is probably my favorite besides “Waltz #2″.

  43. Going Nowhere
    2:45 am
    Angel In The Snow
    Let’s Get Lost
    Bottle Up & Explode
    Grand Mal
    Single File
    Between The Bars
    Everything Means Nothing To Me
    A Passing Feeling
    True Love
    Independence Day
    Now You Wanna Show Me How
    Coast To Coast
    Southern Belle
    Junk Bond Trader
    Somebody That I Used To Know…

    Oh, my god. Someone stop me. I could go on like this forever. Between Elliott Smith, Fiona Apple, Lana Del Rey, & Salyu, I have found peace. Each song its own universe wherein I somehow manage to both lose, & find myself, simultaneously. How can one attribute numbers to such unquantifiable bliss? This music is transcendent.

  44. So disappointed “Pitselah” didn’t make the list.

    • “Pitseleh”…actually is the correct spelling.

      • This comment makes me smile, because, while I agree Pitseleh is great (although not in my top 10), i remember watching a youtube performance of Elliott’s, where someone called out for him to play it, and he replied… “Pitseleh’s long and boring”… Then he obviously felt bad about saying it, and added something like “but that’s just one opinion”.

  45. I definitely understand why “Angel in the Snow” wasn’t included on this list but it’s definitely a top 3 song for me.

  46. Needs more “Bled White.”

  47. Every time I hear “I can’t prepare for death any more than I already have…” A little voice in my head says “Yes you can!” and a single tear comes to my eye. Then he whisper-yells “I’ve got a heavy metal mouth, it hurls obscenities… and again I think, “there is no one who could whisper such rage.”

    “Gimmie one good reason not to do it…(because I love you)” I guess that wasn’t a good enough reason.

    Obviously, he was tortured. But the one bit of solace we can take is that his pain brought forth beautiful fruit. It’s a sad truth that those who see the world best, and feel its pain the most, are the best ones to help us realize how the world truly is, but they also can’t stand to live in the world and rail to get back to wherever we came from. At least we have this much from him.Maybe in another 100 years he’ll decide to incarnate again and our future selves can again witness the beauty.

  48. Where are you on @Spotify?

  49. too many GIFs in this thread…

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