Elliott Smith is arguably one of the most influential musician of our time. His influence – both before his untimely death and, sadly afterwards (which is, unfortunately, when way too many artists are finally recognized for their talents) – has been so wide spread that it would take way too much time for me to list all of the artists who have tried to emulate his signature sound.
Two CD’s of new material has been released since Smith’s death. The first, titled From a Basement on the Hill was release in October 2004, almost a year to the day of his death. The second, a double disc titled New Moon, was released in May of 2007. Let’s not forget to mention all the hordes of singles that have leaked out through the years. The newest leaked single “Suicide Machine” came out earlier this month. It was recorded mere hours before his death. This song was leaked after his family had successfully kept it close to the chest, understandably, for so many years. The song itself is quite upbeat considering his alleged state of mind at the time.
My point in all of this is that all of these posthumous releases by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Buckley and Smith, just to name a few, are starting to mess with me mentally. I start to toy with the idea that these great musicians are still alive, writing and recording fantastic music, just waiting for the perfect time to make a reappearance and go on an “I’m Still Alive” tour. But, Alas, I know this is all for naught. So, all we can do now is be grateful that they put more material down on tape than they intended to release and hope that it keeps finding it’s way to us for our enjoyment.