Elliott Smith covers Bob Dylan
“My father taught me how to play ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right’. I love Dylan’s words, but even more than that, I love the fact that he loves words.”
– Elliott Smith
Steven Paul “Elliott” Smith (August 6, 1969 – October 21, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter and musician. Smith was born in Omaha, Nebraska, raised primarily in Texas, and lived for much of his life in Portland, Oregon, where he first gained popularity. Smith’s primary instrument was the guitar, but he was also proficient with piano, clarinet, bass guitar, drums and harmonica. Smith had a distinctive vocal style, characterized by his “whispery, spiderweb-thin delivery”, and used multi-tracking to create vocal layers, textures and harmonies.
In his time, Elliott Smith did some very fine cover songs. From rock, country and folk standards, to Neil Young, Oasis, Beatles, Bob Dylan and his beloved The Kinks (and many more), Smith took covering a song very seriously.
We have found some of his Bob Dylan covers, all live and some with terrible sound. But, he adds a touch of sadness to most of them and he sings them like he loves them.
Elliott Smith @ Newbury Comics in Boston (10/05/1998) covering Bob Dylan’s When I Paint My Masterpiece:
Elliott Smith – Oh Sister:
Ballad of a Thin Man – Elliott Smith (Live, Oct 11, 1998):
A barely audible Don’t think twice, it’s all right:
Let us end with a song that is not a Dylan cover, but I think Elliott Smith heard Dylan’s version of this murder ballad before performing it, Blackjack Davey: