ranking elliott smith’s solo albums pt. 1

hi hi hi hi. it’s me. the only person who blogs about elliott. (please let it stay that way) i’m going to be ranking all of elliott’s solo albums, from my favorite to my least favorite (least doesn’t mean it’s bad, because trust me, all of these albums are 10/10’s). the top album in this ranking is actually my favorite album of all time!! so let’s get into it:) starting with my least favorite:


#7: xo – 1998

XO is elliott’s most popular album. (either that or either/or) (that was a confusing sentence) (either/or is an album) it includes songs such as waltz #2 and on the deluxe version, miss misery, which was featured in the film good will hunting by gus van sant. it’s not a bad album by any means, but it is… different than his other ones. it’s around this time that elliott began experimenting with a fuller sound, a contrast to his previous title of lo-fi acoustic tracks. some of my favorites on this album include i didn’t understand, pitseleh, and tomorrow tomorrow. i listen to elliott everyday, so i’m bound to get tired of some songs and then later get back into them. but as of now, those are the only songs i still go out of my way to listen to. (unless they come on, i never skip an elliott song). this album is still a 10/10 of course. now, onto the next one. 

#6: figure 8 – 2000 

this one hurts to do. but sadly, i just like his other albums more. but please do not think this is a bad album, it’s far from it. this album is absolutely beautiful and so well written. the reason it’s so far on this list is solely because i just don’t listen to some tracks that often, and that plays a part in how much i enjoy it. this was also a huge hit when it was dropped, but it was also around the time that elliott got introduced to drugs and had a plight with usage. my favorites from this album are better be quiet now, happiness, everything reminds me of her, and everything means nothing to me. still a masterpiece, still influential. just not one i listen to obsessively. now, the next one. 

#5: from a basement on the hill – 2004

i bet you’re wondering how this album came to be, considering elliott died in 2003. (none of you were wondering it i just wanted to talk) well, this is a posthumous album, meaning it was released after his death. right before his…. unusual death, he was working on the tracks for this album. because of this, some of these tracks aren’t entirely finished, but they are still enjoyable. thing is, the songs that were left off the album weren’t chosen by elliott, but rather uh, i don’t know, record people. what i’m saying is, elliott didn’t choose to exclude any songs, but someone else did. because of this, the album is missing a lot of seriously great tracks. but i still enjoy it a lot. elliott was beginning to take his music in a harder direction, but sadly we did not get to see that development. favorite tracks from this album are let’s get lost, the last hour, memory lane and twilight

#4: roman candle – 1993

this is elliott’s debut album, with only 9 tracks on it. it was at this time that elliott decided to depart from his band, heatmiser, and set off on his own (which ended up with him being nominated for an oscar.) this album is incredibly lo-fi and entirely acoustic, a trait he began to lose when he gained the attention of the mass media. this album is beautiful. i say that for all of them, but this one truly is nothing other than beautiful. some of these songs were written by elliott when he was only 17, such as condor ave. if you’ve heard condor ave, then you know how impressive it is to know he wrote THAT at 17. this album makes me incredibly emotional, especially no name #3, which is not only my favorite song on this album, but one of my favorites by elliott in general. besides no name #3, my favorites include no name #1, condor ave, and last call


annnnnnd that’s a wrap for this post! i decided to put it into two parts so in the next one, we can just see my top 3 picks:) !! super excited for you guys to see, hope you enjoyed!! until next week!!<3

Author: Erin Erter

“i liked the idea of a self-contained, endless pursuit of perfection. but i have a problem with perfection. i don’t think perfection is very artful. but there’s something i liked about the image of a skater going in this endless twisted circle that doesn’t have any real endpoint. so the object is not to stop or arrive anywhere; it’s just to make this thing as beautiful as they can.” -elliott smith

3 thoughts on “ranking elliott smith’s solo albums pt. 1”

  1. I like that you rank them and tell what year they were released, because I think that’s very important, and I like that you’re the only person who blogs about Elliot Smith.

  2. I think you did a good job in describing how each of these albums make you feel in different ways. It really shows how passionate you are about the topic and the artist.

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