Two decades after its release, and more than 13 years after his tragic passing, the Kill Rock Stars label will reissue Elliott Smith’s breakthrough studio album Either/Or.
Either/Or found Smith, then just 27 years old, moving away from the spare acoustic folk of his previous, self-titled album from 1995 and toward a fuller band sound. Smith recorded all the instruments on the album, and tracks like “Between the Bars” and “Say Yes” reflect his growth as an artist.
These songs also gained the attention of director Gus Van Sant, who included several songs from Either/Or in his breakthrough film, Good Will Hunting. (An original song Smith wrote for the film, “Miss Misery,” was nominated for an Oscar for Best Song, where it had the unfortunate timing of going head to head with Titanic juggernaut “My Heart Will Go On.”) The greater exposure earned Smith a major label deal with DreamWorks Records, but Smith’s issues with substance abuse and depression took their toll, leading to his passing in 2003.
The reissue of Either/Or, it turns out, was considered a decade ago, though a surplus of outtakes manifested itself into its own collection, the double album New Moon (2007). Engineer and archivist Larry Crane, a longtime friend of Smith’s, will oversee both the remaster and the bonus material, which includes five live tracks, unreleased tune “I Figured You Out,” a new mix of B-side “I Don’t Think I’m Ever Gonna Figure It Out,” and alternate versions of tracks “New Monkey” and “Bottle Up and Explode!” which first appeared on Smith’s DreamWorks debut XO in 1998.
The package will be available March 10 as a 2CD or 2LP set, which will feature the original liner notes, a postcard of the original master tapes and unseen photos in a gatefold jacket. Amazon links will be made available upon availability.
Elliott Smith, Either/Or: Expanded Edition (Kill Rock Stars, 2017)
Disc 1: Remastered album (originally released as Kill Rock Stars KRS-269, 1997)
- Speed Trials
- Ballad of Big Nothing
- Between the Bars
- Pictures of Me
- No Name No. 5
- Rose Parade
- Punch and Judy
- Cupid’s Trick
- 2:45 AM
- Say Yes
Disc 2: Bonus material
- My New Freedom (Live @ The Yoyo a Go Go Festival, Olympia, WA – 7/15/1997)
- Pictures of Me (Live @ The Yoyo a Go Go Festival, Olympia, WA – 7/15/1997)
- Angeles (Live @ The Yoyo a Go Go Festival, Olympia, WA – 7/15/1997)
- Some Song (Live @ The Yoyo a Go Go Festival, Olympia, WA – 7/15/1997)
- Rose Parade (Live @ The Yoyo a Go Go Festival, Olympia, WA – 7/15/1997)
- New Monkey (Keys)
- I Don’t Think I’m Ever Gonna Figure It Out (Remix)
- I Figured You Out
- Bottle Up and Explode! (Alternate)
Track 5 previously released on Yoyo A Go Go: Another Live Compilation – July 15-20, 1997 (Yoyo Recordings YOYOLP-10, 1999)
Original version of “New Monkey” released on New Moon (Kill Rock Stars KRS-455, 2007)
Original mix of “I Don’t Think I’m Ever Gonna Figure It Out” from “Speed Trials” single (Kill Rock Stars KRS-265, 1998)
Original version of “Bottle Up and Explode!” from XO (DreamWorks DRMD-50048, 1998)