Song of the Day #4,797: ‘Fear City’ – Elliott Smith

‘Fear City’ is a track from the 2007 Elliott Smith compilation album New Moon, which included songs recorded during sessions for the mid-90s albums Elliott Smith and Either/Or.

This album and 2004’s From a Basement on a Hill were the two major posthumous releases after Smith’s 2003 death (which was initially reported as a suicide but later classified as a possible homicide — the investigation remains open).

In a cruel twist of fate, those two records are Smith’s top-selling releases. Record studios love to capitalize on tragedy.

As Morrissey wrote in The Smiths’ ‘Paint a Vulgar Picture’:

At the record company meeting
On their hands – a dead star
And oh, the plans they weave
And oh, the sickening greed

Re-issue! Re-package! Re-package!
Re-evaluate the songs
Double-pack with a photograph
Extra track (and a tacky badge)

Dragged down into lowercase
Trying to get your cops to talk right
‘Cause they can’t put the paper to your face
When you’re just trying to walk by

So now I got a new game, baby
No one’s gonna recognize it
Your broken English over their flat, tired rhymes
Still trying to bring some dead beauty back to life

Isn’t it pretty?
Yeah
I’m gonna see my city dead

I can do everything that your man does except for better
Got no interest now in addressing you kids
With cheap angst love letters
You write your name in all of the places no one goes
Some can’t be satisfied until everybody knows

Isn’t it pretty?
Yeah
I’m gonna see my city dead

Isn’t it pretty?
Yeah
I’m gonna see my city dead (come on)
Isn’t it pretty?
Yeah
I’m gonna see my city dead

One thought on “Song of the Day #4,797: ‘Fear City’ – Elliott Smith

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    A homicide? Wow!

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