Before today, Elliott smith had made 25 appearances as a Song of the Day artist. Thirteen of those were by my choice, while the other 12 were Random Weekend selections.
Today’s random SOTD evens up the score, making it a baker’s dozen of both random and intentional selections.
One thing is certain: every one of those 26 songs is a gem. In his short career, Smith seemed incapable of recording a song that wasn’t special in some way or another.
A little less than a month ago, I posted an Elliott Smith song on a Random Weekend and pointed out that, with 11 Random Weekend posts, Smith was far outpacing the number pure chance would suggest. Now I’m back with the 12th.
Random chance, of course, predicts that clusters like this will appear. Smith is the beneficiary of a phenomenon that was bound to happen to somebody. I’m glad it was him.
A month ago, the Random iTunes Fairy served up Elliott Smith songs on back-to-back weekends. Now she’s back with another one, the 11th from his catalog to appear on Random Weekends.
The RIF must really like Elliott Smith. He is outperforming the percentages considerably. The law of averages would predict about half as many Smith posts as we’ve gotten.
The Random iTunes Fairy chose an Elliott Smith song exactly one week ago, and now she’s back with another.
Hearing those songs back-to-back gives a great glimpse at how much Smith’s sound evolved over the three years between his acoustic self-titled 1995 album and XO, the expansive album featuring today’s SOTD. His Figure 8, released in 2000, went even further down a path of baroque instrumentation and production.
Like pretty much every song on Elliott Smith’s self-titled 1995 album, ‘Single File’ is about heroin. Or at least it is using heroin as both a subject and a metaphor.
In this case, the lyrics describe a visit to a methadone clinic, where you wait in a “single file” line to receive your treatment for heroin addiction.