Hear a Previously Unreleased Alternate Version of Elliott Smith’s “Alameda”


This coming Monday, August 6th, would have been Elliott Smith’s 43rd birthday, and although he’s already had plenty of posthumous material released, his label is bringing us even more. To kick off an “Unreleased Track of the Week” series, Kill Rock Stars has posted an alternate version of “Alameda,” a track that appeared on 1997’s Either/Or. As Pitchfork notes, the primary difference between the versions is in the lyrics to the chorus: “See what you’re gonna start / All you’re good at now is breaking your own heart,” Smith sings on the alternate recording, in place of, “Nobody broke your heart / You broke your own because you can’t finish what you start.” As an addition to the archive and a reminder of this song’s sad, quiet beauty, it’s a gift. Stream “Alameda (Alternate Version)” below, and click through on the widget to buy it for $1. Also be sure to keep an eye on Kill Rock Stars’ Elliott Smith page for more promotions this month; if you sign up for their mailing list, they’ll send you a link to download a previously unreleased version of “Needle in the Hay.”