Have we really been missing Elliott Smith for five whole years? I didn’t blog about the anniversary of his death last Tuesday, in part because I didn’t quite focus on the specific date until a couple days later — but also, if I’m being completely honest, because thinking about the day when we lost one of my all-time favorite artists just gets me down. What is there to say? It was an awful, unreasonable tragedy. The only thing you can really do in the face of that is to keep remembering all the beauty he brought into the world.
That’s why I’m infinitely grateful to blogger (and former EW intern) Dave Greenwald for compiling a full set of the cover songs Elliott performed live over at The Rawking Refuses to Stop!. Lots of really great stuff there; many of these MP3s were in heavy rotation on my old laptop years ago, and they’ve only taken on more significance now. Putting on Either/Or or XO can still be pretty painful for this fan, much as I love those albums. Somehow it’s a little easier to hear Elliott singing someone else’s words and melodies. I’m particularly partial to his takes on the Beatles’ “Long Long Long,” the Kinks’ “Waterloo Sunset,” and, oddly enough, Oasis’ “Supersonic.” Feel free to share your own favorites among Elliott Smith’s live covers in the comments below, as well as any other memories you have of a talent gone far too soon.
UPDATE: As some of you have already noted in the comments section, the live covers compendium that I linked to has just been taken offline, apparently as a result of some misplaced copyright concerns from Google. You’ll find an explanation and a working link to all the MP3s in this post.