Elliott Smith – The Complete Live Covers

Elliott Smith

This will be the third and hopefully final time I’ve posted my 51-track compilation of Elliott Smith’s complete live cover recordings. It is, in large part, the reason I moved from the old blogspot page to this shiny new space — its unexpected Google deletion. But we’re here for Elliott. The below tracks have been culled from years of research and dozens of live shows. Not every song has the greatest recording fidelity, but as much as possible, I chose the tapes with the best combination of performance and sound for this collection. If you can point me toward better versions or copies of any of these tracks, please feel free to post them in the comments and we’ll update accordingly. It should be noted that Elliott was really a fan of the bands he covered — most of these were not one-offs, but songs he performed regularly. His Texas heritage is on display when he sings Willie Nelson; his pop influences hang on his sleeve as he strums tracks by the Kinks, Big Star and his beloved Beatles. He took his covers very seriously, too: at many a live show, he wouldn’t play a request because he didn’t feel he could do it justice that night. Hear the ones he did play, lovingly, below:


For everything else: Visit the new Elliott Smith archive page.

The Beatles:

Elliott Smith – “I’m So Tired”: mp3
Elliott Smith – “Something”: mp3
Elliott Smith – “I’m Only Sleeping”: mp3
Elliott Smith – “I Me Mine”: mp3
Elliott Smith – “Yer Blues”: mp3
Elliott Smith – “Long Long Long”: mp3
Elliott Smith – “Blackbird”: mp3
Elliott Smith – “For No One”: mp3

Beatles Solo Material:

Elliott Smith – “Jealous Guy” (John Lennon): mp3
Elliott Smith – “Isn’t It A Pity” (George Harrison): mp3
Elliott Smith – “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)” (George Harrison): mp3
Elliott Smith – “My Sweet Lord” (George Harrison): mp3

The Kinks:

Elliott Smith – “Waterloo Sunset”: mp3
Elliott Smith – “Set Me Free”: mp3

The following tracks are from Smith’s Kinks tribute set on August 3, 2003 — one of his last shows ever.

Elliott Smith – “Do It Again”: mp3
Elliott Smith – “Dead End Street”: mp3
Elliott Smith – “Here Comes Flash”: mp3
Elliott Smith – “Big Sky”: mp3

Bob Dylan and traditional songs:

Elliott Smith – “When I Paint My Masterpiece”: mp3
Elliott Smith – “Ballad of a Thin Man”: mp3
Elliott Smith – “Blackjack Davey”: mp3
Elliott Smith – “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”: mp3
Elliott Smith – “Little Maggie” (1995 version): mp3
Elliott Smith – “Little Maggie” (2000 version): mp3
Elliott Smith – “Oh Sister”: mp3
Elliott Smith – “Moonshiner”: mp3

Neil Young:

Elliott Smith – “Harvest Moon”: mp3
Elliott Smith – “Out on the Weekend”: mp3

Big Star:

Elliott Smith – “Thirteen”: mp3
Elliott Smith – “Nighttime”: mp3
Elliott Smith – “Stroke It Noel”: mp3


Elliott Smith – “Chelsea Girls”: mp3
Elliott Smith – “These Days”: mp3 (A Jackson Browne song, for the record, but it’s Nico’s version that Elliott played)

Assorted Country:

Elliott Smith – “Lost Highway” (Hank Williams, Sr.): mp3
Elliott Smith – “They’ll Never Take Her Love Away From Me” (Hank Williams, Sr.): mp3
Elliott Smith – “All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down” (Hank Williams, Jr.): mp3
Elliott Smith – “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain” (Willie Nelson): mp3 (an official release of a different performance of this track is available on Elliott’s Live at Largo album, which you can find packaged with Autumn de Wilde’s wonderful book.)

Assorted classic rockers:

Elliott Smith – “Friends (Led Zeppelin): mp3
Elliott Smith – “Don’t Fear The Reaper” (Blue Oyster Cult): mp3
Elliott Smith – “Whispering Pines” (The Band): mp3
Elliott Smith – “Walk Away Renee” (The Left Banke): mp3
Elliott Smith – “Walk Away Renee” (The Left Banke, with keyboard): mp3
Elliott Smith – “Care of Cell 44″ (The Zombies – solo acoustic): mp3
Elliott Smith – “Care of Cell 44” (The Zombies – full band, with the Minders): mp3
Elliott Smith – “Last Boat Leaving” (Elvis Costello, partial song – 1996 soundcheck): mp3

Modern bands:

Elliott Smith – “Supersonic” (Oasis): mp3
Elliott Smith – “Trouble” (Jon Brion): mp3
Elliott Smith – “Car” (Built To Spill): mp3
Elliott Smith – “Clouds” (Quasi): mp3
Elliott Smith – “Hooray for Tuesday” (The Minders, acoustic): mp3
Elliott Smith – “Hooray for Tuesday” (The Minders, electric): mp3
Elliott Smith – “Golden Street” (The Minders): mp3

Elliott recorded a number of covers in the studio that were officially released, as well as a few that weren’t (which I’ve posted below). For reference, a list of Elliott’s studio covers (which you’ll have to pay for):

“Trouble” (Cat Stevens) – from the Thumbsucker soundtrack
“Because” (The Beatles) — from the American Beauty soundtrack
“Figure 8” (Blossom Dearie/Schoolhouse Rock) — A Figure 8 b-side
“Thirteen” (Big Star) – from the Thumbsucker soundtrack

And from his unreleased studio recordings:

Elliott Smith – “I’ll Be Back” (The Beatles): mp3
Elliott Smith – “Revolution” (The Beatles): mp3

More Elliott Smith:
Elliott Smith – Complete Unreleased Material: Live
Elliott Smith Live: The Definitive Guide
The Rawkblog Elliott Smith Archives