Published Apr 18, 2007Sound engineer/Elliott Smith archivist Larry Crane has an easy job frankly, bereaved fans will buy anything with the tragic figures name attached. Not for nothing, as Smiths music is the kind that can soundtrack a lifetime, from "awkward years to post-college vacuum to 30-something loneliness, and after a while one might reasonably pine for something new. Its hard to write about a dead guy without eulogising or using clichés, particularly when the album to be written about is not a "best of or themed compilation there are no curatorial decisions to be contested. New Moon is a two-disc set of unreleased tracks made between 1994 (after the release of Roman Candle) to 1997. It was compiled with care by Smiths Estate, Kill Rock Stars and Crane the latter even interviewed fans of the artist to determine which tracks were in demand and contains detailed liner notes explaining the origins of Smiths work and its biographical context. The quality is consistent and the time and place are firmly established. Simply said, New Moon is not a cash-grab the songs are all true-to-form, and the collection is of considerable value to any fan of the artist. To use the inevitable cliché, Smiths genius is apparent theres no argument to be made on behalf of the music contained here.
(Kill Rock Stars, www.killrockstars.com)
How did you come to preside over Elliott Smiths archives?
Crane: The Estate was curious if Id want to work on this album; my question was if someone was going to back all the tapes of Elliotts up to digital and catalogue them? I was asked if Id do it and I said yes. When Elliott and I started Jackpot! Recording Studio ten years ago I recognised that someday this would need to be done and used to make copies of tapes he left around, "just in case.
How do you think Smiths work will be viewed 20 years from now?
One of the reasons for archiving his work is that the Estate and I imagine there will be continued interest in his work as time goes by. He was a unique songwriter and his work spoke to a lot of people. Even now, I see people posting on forums about Elliott Smith that were too young to have seen him perform or buy his records when they came out. Comparisons to an artist like Nick Drake are inevitable, where the albums receive more acclaim in the future. For those that adore Elliotts music, they know how good it is. Maybe in the future others will find out. (Kill Rock Stars)