Elliott Smith’s incredible 1997 album Either/Or will reach its 20th anniversary this year, and his old label Kill Rock Stars is commemorating the milestone by reissuing the LP with previously unheard bonus material. In addition to a remastered version of the original tracklist, Either/Or: Expanded Edition features a number of rarities and live tracks.
In a New York Times feature, Smith’s friend Larry Crane explains that the reissue was originally intended for Either/Or’s 10th anniversary in 2007, but there was so much material that they opted to release the posthumous compilation New Moon instead. The material reserved for this release includes five live tracks from the 1997 Yo Yo a Go Go festival in Olympia, Washington; says Crane, “They really demonstrate how adept he was live as a guitarist — the fingerpicking, slap-picking and different techniques.” There are also several unheard studio recordings:
The new collection also includes a previously unheard studio rendition of the song “I Figured You Out”; a new version of “I Don’t Think I’m Ever Gonna Figure It Out,” the B side to the 1996 Either/Or single “Speed Trials”; a short and playful keyboard take on “New Monkey,” from New Moon; and an alternate recording of “Bottle Up And Explode!,” from the 1998 album XO, with completely different lyrics.
Along with the announcement comes “I Figured You Out.” Smith originally recorded the track as a demo for Mary Lou Lord with Neil Gust on doubled drums. Eventually Lord recorded the song, and a lo-fi duet between Smith and Lord appears on YouTube. Hear the original demo below along with a trailer for the reissue.
01 “Speed Trials” (remastered)
02 “Alameda” (remastered)
03 “Ballad Of Big Nothing” (remastered)
04 Between The Bars” (remastered)
05 “Pictures Of Me” (remastered)
06 “No Name No. 5″ (remastered)
07 “Rose Parade” (remastered)
08 “Punch And Judy” (remastered)
09 “Angeles” (remastered)
10 “Cupid’s Trick” (remastered)
11 “2:45 AM” (remastered)
12 “Say Yes” (remastered)
13 “My New Freedom (Live)” (unreleased)
14 “Pictures Of Me (Live)” (unreleased)
15 “Angeles (Live)” (unreleased)
16 “Some Song (Live)” (unreleased)
17 “Rose Parade (Live)” (unreleased)
18 “New Monkey (keys)” (unreleased)
19 “I Don’t Think I’m Ever Gonna Figure It Out” (remixed/remastered)
20 “I Figured You Out” (unreleased)
21 “Bottle Up And Explode (Alternate Version)” (unreleased)
Either/Or: Expanded Edition is out 3/10 on Kill Rock Stars. Pre-order it here.