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Either/Or [Import]

Elliott Smith Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Elliott Smith was born Steven Paul Smith in Omaha, Nebraska on August 6, 1969. His father Gary Smith was in medical school at the University of Nebraska, and his mother Bunny was an elementary school teacher. When Elliott was one year old his parents divorced, and he moved with his mother to Dallas, Texas. That same year, his father was drafted, assigned to the U.S. Air Force, and sent to the ... Read more in Amazon's Elliott Smith Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Import
  • ASIN: B00004V3K7
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 728,914 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

3 star
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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly Elliott's best album 12 July 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This is the first album I heard by Elliott Smith, and it left me so hungry to hear more of his work that I just had to buy all his albums.

Either/Or is perhaps his best work, it is an absolute dream for fans of lo-fi, stripped down, intimate, acoustic guitar mastery. The album lacks the polish of his later works XO and Figure 8 but in my opinion it has ten times the magic.

After all, what is a bit of tape hiss between friends? Yes, this album has that but to be honest, if Elliott re-recorded it in an all singing, all dancing 24-track studio, he couldn't better what he has made here.

It has a gentle, folky, campfire intimacy that makes you feel as though you know Elliott, you are chilling with him as he captivates you with his incredible guitar picking and his extraordinary voice.

Comparisons with Nick Drake are inevitable but perhaps a little misleading. The only real similarity is that, like Nick, Elliott is a poet who knows just how beautiful the simplicity of vocals and acoustic guitar can be. But I think Elliott sounds more like a Beatle. If he had been in the group his voice would have perfectly complemented John and Paul.

This is an album where every track has something beautiful about it - Between the Bars is a gorgeous ballad, while Speed Trials contains an infectious, haunting melody you will never get out of your head. Rose Parade is another amazing acoustic song with some humorous, wry lyrics - only Elliott could get away with mentioning the Duracell Bunny without looking silly.

Behind the bitterness and hurt of many of the lyrics on the album lurks an angry punk, not a wistful folkie, which in my opinion makes it all the more special. It amazes me that he does not have the public recognition that Radiohead enjoy - he clearly deserves it. A modern day genius. Sometimes five stars just don't seem enough.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In my top 5 albums of all time 26 Nov 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This is a great album. Excellent song writing, and wonderfully lo-fi sounding. The production makes it sound like Elliot is next door, playing live and it's all coming through the wall a little bit muffled. Very human sounding and very melodic.
Mind you, if you dont have his other first two albums I would buy the box set instead, that contains this and them for similar money. (they're good as well)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful 7 Mar 2007
Format:Audio CD
The impossibly exquisite tenderness with which Elliot sings songs such as " Say Yes, " " Angeles," and " Rose Parade, " have endeared him to millions of people. His songs have a melodic simplicity, purity and honesty that recall the folk-pop classics of the 60's and 70's such as George Harrisons " All Things Must Pass," Led Zeppelins " Thats The Way," and Paul Simons " April Come She Will. " If you liked those tracks then Elliot is the man for you. RIP.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The man's a genius, what more can I say. 11 Nov 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Subtle songs of love and life from one of the best songwriters of the decade. This, his third album is slightly less low key/low-fi than his first two albums but dosen't suffer the commercial pretention of it's succesor "XO". Smith writes short simple acoustic numbers that he backs with minimalist bass and drums which he plays himself. There are elemnts of Nick Drake in his folky blend. Smith like Drake is an extremely acomplished guitarist and this really shows on tracks such as "angelis" and its complex one guitar intro. This is his best album (much of which turns up on the "Good Will Hunting"soundtrack); Short, endlessly beutiful, soulful, subtle and understated, you will want to cherish this CD and play it till it melts. Everyone with a soul should own this CD.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable 9 Mar 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I wouldn't personally rate this as highly as his ... (admittedly more commercial) ... album XO, but it's still a magnificent demonstration of the immense talent of this man. 'Ballad of Big Nothing' is one of the best songs he's ever written, understated, heartfelt and moving, and the rest of the album comes extremely close to matching it. If I have one complaint it's that the album does tend to get a bit samey if you're listening to all 35 minutes at once - but that doesn't mean the songs aren't brilliant. You might recognise a lot of this album from the Good Will Hunting soundtrack but buy it on its own merits - it's superb.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars life changing album from underrated songwriter 2 Aug 2006
Format:Audio CD
i remember buying this album xmas 98 just after XO came out domino re-released his first three albums so I didn't know where to start but I had heard 'between the bars' on the UNCUT albums of year compilation, so I went for 'either/or'. The influence is still resonating to this day nobody I feel was writing pure acoustic pop up to that point and lo-fi production gained elliott his rabid cult following. On first listen 'Say Yes' is such brillant song using 60's style songwriting (simon & garfunkel/kinks/beatles) but with a contempory edge and is still in my opinon his finest song, closely followed by '2:45' the intimacy on this track is just so absorbing the conviction in elliott's voice is what stands him out from alot other more mainstream singer-songwriters you just know he means every single word. Probably the best place to start if your a virgin elliott smith listener.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This album is the only music that makes me feel good to be alone, from the haunting guitar to the sublime vocals, this is a must buy if youve ever enjoyed life, or radiohead
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 9 days ago by Pen Name
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 26 days ago by shah83
4.0 out of 5 stars Soft, pretty Americana
Picked it up from the closing credits of Good Will Hunting (Angeles, Say Yes among others).
Sunday afternoon music. Cup of tea, settle down into a comfy sofa and chill out.
Published 5 months ago by PSpud
5.0 out of 5 stars a gift for me
i just love elliott smith, this CD was just perfect. glad I bought it, a must for all elliott smith fans
Published 12 months ago by Catherine
5.0 out of 5 stars His best songs are on here
All I can say about this is that the person who chose the soundtrack for Good Will Hunting has a great taste in music. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Benjamin Blake
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing album
Elliott Smith's 3rd album is considered by many to be his best. It is the last of his lo-fi albums and is just brimming with fantastic songs. Read more
Published on 17 Dec 2010 by Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars Either this or 'XO'...
There's no disputing that the late, great Elliott Smith had a knack for catchy, pretty tunes. Unlike the average pop song, though, their beauty goes way more than skin deep. Read more
Published on 4 Oct 2007 by International Cowgirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Elliott Smith was a genius
Referring to the reviewer below who told of buying this album on the back of seeing Elliott's name mentioned on a James Blunt DVD, I'd like to make it clear that Elliott Smith is... Read more
Published on 3 Aug 2006 by Elliott fan
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful album
I was watching a james Blunt DVD and noticed that he was influenced by Elliott Smith. Who? I had never heard of him. Read more
Published on 27 Feb 2006 by "miriamlejean"
5.0 out of 5 stars elliott I love you.
This Mr Smith has talent and I have enjoyed every CD of his but this is by far my favourite.
Perfect for listening to with a good bottle of wine on a cosy night in or too sing... Read more
Published on 7 July 2005
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