Limited 2LP / Limited 2CD : Include 52 page hard cover photo book with black fabric wrap with black and white foil stamping
When Elliott Smith was released in July 1995, it was so dramatically out-of-step with the later stages of grunge—and with the indie rock and Riot Grrl sounds associated with the Kill Rock Stars label—that it was completely ignored by the press but championed by artists from the Beastie Boys to Fugazi. “I’ve always felt like this record is underappreciated,” says Kill Rock Stars founder Slim Moon. “A lot of people overlook Elliott’s first two records—they think of them as a prelude to the bigger albums that followed—but when you go back, you discover they’re really great. This is Elliott’s most fragile and delicate music, and we wanted to honor that with a special and beautiful package.”
For this release, producer/engineer Larry Crane, the official archivist for the Smith family, dug through files, reels, cassettes, and DAT tapes to find the closest sources to the original Elliott Smith first-generation mix downs and spent days to carefully transfer and clean up the audio from the Umbra Penumbra high-quality cassette provided by Casey Crynes. “There are fan-traded MP3s out there of this show, but when people hear what I was able to extract from this original tape, they’ll be shocked,” says Crane.
The Umbra Penumbra show gives a sense of the contrast between Smith’s live and studio approaches. “He was goofier on stage, making jokes and messing with his own words,” says Gonson. “He worked the words very carefully—he was very admiring of Joni Mitchell and how she wrote. So it was fun, you’d hear a song and then it would change.” What emerged from this challenging creative evolution was a set of songs with the intimacy and intensity of an acoustic-based singer-songwriter and the gut-punch power of a rocker.
Smith’s joy and connection to the creative community in Portland, his home at the time, is beautifully documented by the photos and reminiscences in this new package. A few years after Elliott Smith was released, the singer himself looked back on the album that in many ways laid the groundwork for his image and his triumphant, ultimately tragic career.
LP1 + CD1 – Elliot Smith Remastered
Needle in the Hay
Coming Up Roses
St. Ides Heaven
Good to Go
The White Lady Loves You More
The Biggest Lie
LP2 + CD2 – Live at Umbra Penumbra
Whatever (Folk Song In C)
No Name #4
No Name #1
No Confidence Man