Saturday, November 17, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Elliott Smith

Artist:Elliott Smith
Song:Miss Misery
Album:An Introduction To...Elliott Smith

Singer songwriter Elliott Smith became an overnight sensation when Miss Misery was nominated for A Best Song Oscar and Smith performed it on the Oscar broadcast. But fame didn't help Smith overcome depression and alcoholism and he died in 2003. The obvious parallel to Smith is Jeff Buckley. Both were talented guys with problems. He was born Steven Paul Smith Aug. 6, 1969 in Omaha. His parents divorced and his mom remarried and they moved to Duncanville, TX. He renamed himself Elliott because he thought it was cooler than Steve. He didn't get along with his stepfather and moved to Portland to live with his father at age 14. He was in a few bands as a teen. While attending Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, he and classmate Neil Gust formed the band Heatmiser after moving to Portland after graduation. They signed with Virgin Records but Smith left in 1994 to go solo. While still under contract to Virgin, Smith recorded a couple of CDs independently. His big break came when director Gus Van Sant, a Portland native, asked Smith if he could use a couple of songs in his film Good Will Hunting. Smith also recorded some new songs including Miss Misery. The film was a big hit and Miss Misery was nominated for a Best Song Oscar. After performing Miss Misery on the Oscar broadcast, Smith signed with DreamWorks Records. They bought out his Virgin contract. He performed Miss Misery on Conan O'Brien May 5, 1998. Through all this, Smith was drinking heavily and took anti depressants. He even tried to commit suicide when he jumped off a cliff in North Carolina. He lived when he was impaled by a tree. He recorded two CDs for DreamWorks and then a third one was scrapped. Friends and business acquaintances always confronted him with these problems. When he met with DreamWorks, he complained about this intrusion into his personal life. He was apparently able to recover in Aug. 2003. While working on a new album, he argued with his girlfriend. While taking a shower, she heard him scream and found him holding a knife that was stuck in his chest. Elliott Smith died on Oct. 21, 2003 at age 34. The coroner's report was inconclusive but he left a suicide note. He was still on anti depressants. There was a CD released posthumously and this comp is a good intro to his music. Certainly Elliott Smith had talent but his addictions led to a life cut short. Here's the video for Miss Misery by Elliott Smith.

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