Top 100 Artists of the Decade: #71 Elliott Smith
The Top 100 Artists of the Decade list will be posted over the course of 100 days. On September 23rd, we will post one artist and continue every day until December 31st, when we will unveil our #1 artist of the decade!
Please read our introduction to learn about our nominating and ordering process.
#71 Elliott Smith
We can all agree that Elliott Smith's best work was released before 2000. Also, his albums released this decade were released posthumously and they don't really qualify for the list. 2004's From a Basement on a Hill was unfinished and re-worked after Smith's tragic death. 2007's New Moon was a collection of B-sides and rarities recorded in the late '90s. Although there are some beautiful standouts on both records, particularly "Twilight" and "Angel in the Snow," it's nearly impossible to argue that these are influential records. So, why would Elliot Smith be included in the Top 100 Artists of the Decade list? Elliot Smith is the 71st most influential artist of the decade because his legacy lives on through every anxious teen and every band that incorporates an acoustic guitar into their music. It is sad to say, but his death did increase his popularity, bringing new people into his shattered life and his long-time fans even closer. His death was impossible to comprehend, even though he struggled with massive depression, drug abuse, and alcoholism. He was a true artist that cut his chest open in every song and let you peer into his misery and occasional bouts of happiness. Just as Kurt Cobain inspired so many bands throughout the '90s, Smith did the same in the '00s.