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The Confabulators

Elliott Smith Lives Again! From a Basement on the Hill V.2

By Jordan

This is as back from the dead as he is going to get, folks. About two years after his untimely death a whole bunch of unreleased songs from the “From a Basement on the Hill” sessions and earlier (since their was no later) surfaced.

FTP: click here to download it direct!

According to […]

Elliott SmithThis is as back from the dead as he is going to get, folks. About two years after his untimely death a whole bunch of unreleased songs from the “From a Basement on the Hill” sessions and earlier (since their was no later) surfaced.

FTP: click here to download it direct!

According to Ramirez, tracks that are definitely outtakes from Basement sessions include “Abused,” “The Worst Part Is Almost Over” and possibly “High Times,” “New Disaster” and “Riot Coming.” Other leaked tracks like “Placeholder,” “See My City Dead” and “Georgia” date from the Either/Or era (1996-97). Much of the leaked material is in Smith’s traditional folk mode, though “Abused” explodes suddenly with rockist tendencies and features the lyric “You feel bruised now/ Body and mind/ You feel used now almost all of the time.”

Basement was originally to be produced by Jon Brion (Fiona Apple, Kanye West), who played on both X/O and 2000’s Figure 8. But according to Benjamin Nugent’s 2004 unauthorized biography, “Elliott Smith and the Big Nothing,” the sessions ground to a halt when Brion could no longer tolerate Smith’s spiraling drug abuse. Smith himself alluded to this in his last interview, which appeared in the Los Angeles-based magazine Under the Radar, where he said the early Basement sessions had been scrapped because of a botched friendship.

While Smith’s family asked longtime producer Rob Schnapf and Smith’s ex-girlfriend Joanna Bolme to put together the final version of Basement, producer Dave McConnell — who recorded more than half of the songs that appeared on the released album — said he was disappointed that he wasn’t asked to participate. He said he’d kept “about three years’ worth of notes” regarding Smith’s plans for the material’s mixing and presentation, but was never asked for them. He notes that “Ostrich & Chirping,” a whimsical instrumental that appears on the album, was actually performed by him, not Smith, and was probably not meant for inclusion on the record.

“I think it was one of those situations where the family was so sad and taken down by the loss of their son that I think they wanted to work with somebody they knew,” McConnell said, referring to Schnapf and Bolme. “Somebody that would be there emotionally as well as doing the work … and I can’t say I blame them, really.”

According to McConnell and Nugent, three songs were removed from the proposed final version of From a Basement on the Hill at the family’s behest, presumably for their lyrical content: “Abused,” “Suicide Machine” and another track.

In response to the inevitable question about how Smith might have felt about the released version of Basement, McConnell said, “I think maybe after a long fight and kicking and screaming for a few weeks, he might have acquiesced. I don’t think he would have delivered [that] record. The record he would have delivered would had more songs, would have had different mixes and [been] a little more in your face.”

Tracklisting:

1)Placeholder 2)See My City Dead 3)Abused 4)Either/Or 5)Georgia 6)Riot Coming 7)High Times 8)Angel in the Snow 9)New Disaster 10)I Don’t Think I’m Ever Gonna Figure It Out 11)Whatever (Another Folk Song in C) (used to be known as “Hanging Out with Me”) 12)Another Standard Folk Song (used to be known as “Crazy Fucker”) 13)No Name #6 14)Going Nowhere 15)The Worst Part is Almost Over 16) Untitled (Sticks and Stones) 17)Thirteen (Big Star) 18)Trouble (Cat Stevens) 19)Taking A Fall 20)The Last Hour 21)Amanda Cecelia 22)Let’s Get Lost

And for those of you who don’t want to ever run out of “new” Elliott Smiths songs, don’t fret - there are apparently at least 17 songs still left to be released in studio version (”True Love”, “Stickman”, and “See You in Heaven” among them). For now, though, these 22 songs are a blessing.


One Response to this post
  1. Jonathan Said:

    Thanks so much, I’ve heard the live versions of many of these songs but never this with this quality. Thanks Confabulators!

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