May 7, 2009

Elliott Smith//Baby Britain

It’s rainy. It’s dour. It’s Elliott Smith time.

I want to say that this is not my favorite Elliott Smith song because how can you have just one favorite Elliott Smith song? You can’t. What I will say about Baby Britain is that it holds giant significance for me namely because it was the first Smith song I ever heard, and as such, I consider it as a major gateway to the rest of the Smith cannon as well as a number of other artists I found through my enjoyment of Smith.

I can remember the exact moment when I first heard this. It was rainy and grey, just like today. It was likely 1999. I was sitting in the office of my parent’s house listening to WFUV, my middle school/early high school favorite radio station, on the antique radio that sounds all warm and sweet and old timey. This song came on and blew my mind.

When they announced that this was a new song from a new album by Elliott Smith, I remembered that my recent ex-boyfriend had been talking this dude up. I immediately went onto…wait for it...NAPSTER (don’t tell my parents I had NAPSTER installed on the home computer—are you guys reading this? I have no idea what I’m typing right now) and grabbed everything I could find, which was roughly six tracks, including a few from Roman Candle. I’m sure each track also took roughly five hours to download. YOU KIDS DON’T KNOW HOW GOOD YOU HAVE IT! I HAD TO TRUDGE THREE MILES TO SCHOOL IN THE SNOW AND USE DIAL-UP 56KB INTERNETS!!!!

Smith is a melodic genius and a lyrical craftsman whose bizarre and premature death made him into an indie rock legend. It sounds over-the-top, but I don’t think many would argue that each song and album he created in his too-short life was highly exceptional in its own way. Of course, this track follows suit.

Baby Britain.mp3

We knocked another couple back,
The dead soldiers lined up on the table,
Still prepared for an attack.
They didn't know they'd been disabled.


Adam Cecil said...

Elliott Smith is one of the few artists I have gone out and actually bought a CD for. X/O was my first Elliott Smith experience and I'm glad you picked this song.

g said...

Thanks for reading, Adam. I agree. This album is incredible.

megan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
g said...

Hey Megan,

Glad we could stroll down dial-up memory late together.


tipsorg ( said...

Thanks for the post. I've just published an elliott smith tribute.

g said...

Totally cool, tipsorg. Thanks for the link.