XO Studio album by Elliott Smith Released August 25, 1998 Recorded 1997–1998 at Sunset Sound Recorders, The Sound Factory, Ocean Way Recording, and Sonora Recorders in Los Angeles, California except for "Amity" recorded at Jackpot! Studios in Portland, Oregon Genre Indie rock Length 44:46 Label DreamWorks Records Producer Tom Rothrock
Elliott Smith chronology Either/Or
Professional ratings Review scores Source Rating Allmusic  BBC (very positive)  Pitchfork Media (8.1/10)  Rolling Stone  Spin 
XO is the name of the fourth album recorded by American singer-songwriter Elliott Smith. Smith's first work on a major label, it was released by DreamWorks Records on August 25, 1998. Bong Load Custom Records released it on vinyl LP, which has since gone out of print. Vinyl copies of XO remained rare until a re-release by Plain Records in 2008. The album is also available as digital download.
The singles from XO were "Waltz #2 (XO)" and "Baby Britain". An early working title for the album was Grand Mal. Smith recorded numerous songs during the XO sessions that did not make it to the album.
Spin magazine included XO on their list of the best albums of the last 25 years, ranking it at No. 90. Writers at pitchfork.com placed the album at No. 23 (1st edition, 1999) and No. 68 (2nd edition, 2003) on their lists of favorite albums from the 90s. The album was placed at #5 on the 1998 "Pazz and Jop" poll.  Matthew LeMay has written a book about XO as part of the 33⅓ series, released on April 6, 2009 by the Continuum International Publishing Group.
All songs written by Elliott Smith.
- "Sweet Adeline" – 3:15
- "Tomorrow Tomorrow" – 3:07
- "Waltz #2 (XO)" – 4:40
- "Baby Britain" – 3:13
- "Pitseleh" – 3:22
- "Independence Day" – 3:04
- "Bled White" – 3:22
- "Waltz #1" – 3:22
- "Amity" – 2:20
- "Oh Well, Okay" – 2:33
- "Bottle Up and Explode!" – 2:58
- "A Question Mark" – 2:41
- "Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands" – 4:25
- "I Didn't Understand" – 2:17
Available on CD, cassette and LP. A DreamWorks release.
Recorded at Sunset Sound, The Sound Factory, Ocean Way and Sonora Recorders, Los Angeles, CA, except "Baby Britain" and "Amity" which were recorded at Jackpot! Studios, Portland, OR.
Strings and horns arranged by Elliott Smith with Tom Halm and Shelly Berg.
Sleeve by Johnson and Wolverton, Portland, OR. Photographs by Eric Matthies.
"Amity" was named after a friend who can be seen in photographs from Smith's 1997 tour.
- Jon Brion – chamberlin and vibraphone on "Waltz #1", "Bottle Up and Explode!", and "Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands".
- Tom Rothrock – drum loop on "Independence Day"
- Rob Schnapf – guitar on "Baby Britain"
- Paul Pulvirenti - drums on "Baby Britain"
- Joey Waronker – drums on "Bled White" and "Bottle Up and Explode!"
- Bruce Eskovitz – Bass saxophone, Baritone saxophone, and flute
- Ray Poper – Trumpet
- R. James Atkinson – French Horn
- Elliott Smith – everything else
Outtakes, B-sides, and non-album tracks
The following tracks were recorded during the XO sessions but ultimately did not make the album:
- "Miss Misery" - Featured on the Good Will Hunting soundtrack.
- "Our Thing" - Featured on the "Waltz #2 (XO)" single. According to Larry Crane, "I'm pretty sure Quasi backs him on this."
- "Division Day / No Name #6" - Released as a single in 1998.
- "Waltz #1" (Demo) - According to Larry Crane, "the version released is same as the Jackpot! demos version. There were no rough or final mixes, just the one! Never titled 'I Wish'! It did have a temp title as 'Bushmills'!"
- "First Timer" - Featured on New Moon (later renamed and re-recorded as "From a Poisoned Well").
- "Miss Misery" (early version) - Featured on New Moon.
- "Cecilia/Amanda" (Jackpot! version) - Released by Kill Rock Stars as a free download on occasion of Roman Candle and From a Basement on a Hill being added to their catalog on April 6, 2010. Recorded at Jackpot! Recording Studio in 1997 by Larry Crane. An earlier version of this song was initially written and recorded by Elliott's high school band, Stranger Than Fiction, and was known as "Time is Ours Now". "Cecilia/Amanda" is a reworking of that song with almost completely different lyrics.
- "A Silver Chain" - instrumental version; no vocals were ever recorded on the master from Jackpot!, although the song was played live with vocals.
- "A Question Mark" - alternate instrumental version.
- "Bled White" - alternate version.
- "Brand New Game" – the process of recording this song at Jackpot! Studios after XO was recorded can be seen briefly in Strange Parallel. This song would be attempted again during the Figure 8 and From a Basement on the Hill sessions.
- "Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands" - alternate version.
- "Division Day" - alternate version.
- "I Didn't Understand" - alternate version.
- "Taking a Fall"
- "Instrumental No. 2 (Waltz)"
- "Grand Mal" (two versions appear to have been recorded; at the end of this surfaced version, Smith comments that it is too fast)
- "Cecilia/Amanda" (XO version) - The XO sessions version of this song remains unreleased.
- "Rock #1" (may be a working title for another XO-era song)
- "Echo Park" (mentioned in Autumn DeWilde's Elliott Smith book)
- "Grand Mal" (two versions appear to have been recorded; the reel of this recording has "slow version" written on it)
- "Piano Thing" (may be a working title for another XO-era song)
- "Sweet Adeline" - alternate version, featuring Paul Pulvirenti on drums. According to Larry Crane: "As far as we know, it has no vocals. It's on the same reel as 'Baby Britain', which is Interscope's property."
- "Tom's Start" (also known as "Back in the Day") - Later renamed as "Happiness" (with added instrumentation and tracking), which was included on Smith's next album, Figure 8.
- "True Believer" - instrumental
- ^ XO (album) at Allmusic
- ^ Review at BBC
- ^ Review at Pitchfork Media
- ^ Rolling Stone Review
- ^ Review at Spin Magazine
- ^ "125 Best Albums of the Past 25 Years". Spin Magazine. http://www.spin.com/spin25/125-best-albums-past-25-years#page=4. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
- ^ "Top 100 albums". Pitchfork. Pitchfork.com. http://pitchfork.com/features/staff-lists/5923-top-100-albums-of-the-1990s/4/. Retrieved 11 July 2010.
- ^ S. R. Shutt (2000-05-16). "Biography". Sweet Adeline. pp. 2. http://www.sweetadeline.net/bio2.html. Retrieved 2007-06-20.
- ^ Nugent, Benjamin (2004). Elliott Smith and the Big Nothing. Da Capo Press. pp. 111. ISBN 0-306-81393-9.
- ^ a b "Let's create an Elliott wiki!!!111111". 2009-07-16. http://www.blamonet.com/vb/showpost.php?p=3160367&postcount=100. Retrieved 2010-01-18.
Albums CompilationsNew Moon · An Introduction to... Elliott Smith Songs Films Tribute albumsThe String Quartet Tribute to Elliott Smith · A Tribute to Elliott Smith · Remote Memory: A Tribute to Elliot Smith · To Elliott, From Portland · Home to Oblivion: An Elliott Smith Tribute · Coming Up Roses: Sacramento Remembers Elliott Smith Related articles
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