Elliott Smith - Needle In The Hay
"Needle in the Hay" is a song by American singer-songwriter Elliott Smith. It was released on January 1, 1995 by record label Kill Rock Stars as the sole single from his second studio album, Elliott Smith.
Trumpet and harmonica were recorded for the song but were omitted from the final mix. A mix featuring the extra instrumentation was released in March 2012.
Needle in the Hay è un brano di Elliott Smith. La canzone è il primo singolo estratto dal secondo album, eponimo, del cantautore (1995).
Elliott Smith is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Elliott Smith. It was recorded from late 1994 to early 1995, and released on July 21, 1995, through Kill Rock Stars, his first album on the label. It was preceded by the single "Needle in the Hay", released in early January.
The album is of a similar musical style to Roman Candle in its minimalist, acoustic folk sound. Smith mostly appears alone on his acoustic guitar, although he is occasionally backed up by the odd musical instrument, such as a harmonica and drums.
Rolling Stone described the album thus: "the music burrows, digging up gems of structure, melody and lyrical vividness that belie his naïve delivery [...] the sound is hummable pop, slowed and drugged, with tricky but unshowy guitar work driving the melodies forward".
The album's lyrics contain many references to drug use, which Smith claims are metaphorical. The album cover features a photograph by J. J. Gonson, who also photographed the cover for Roman Candle, depicting cut-out figures falling from buildings as if they were committing suicide.
Thematically, Smith said that he "personally can't get more dark" than his self-titled album.
Steven Paul "Elliott" Smith (August 6, 1969 – October 21, 2003) was an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Smith was born in Omaha, Nebraska, raised primarily in Texas, and lived much of his life in Portland, Oregon, where he first gained popularity. Smith's primary instrument was the guitar, though he also used 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.
After playing in the rock band Heatmiser for several years, Smith began his solo career in 1994, with releases on the independent record labels Cavity Search and Kill Rock Stars (KRS). In 1997, he signed a contract with DreamWorks Records, for which he recorded two albums. Smith rose to mainstream prominence when his song "Miss Misery"—included in the soundtrack for the film Good Will Hunting (1997)—was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Original Song category in 1998.
Smith was a heavy drinker and drug user, and was also diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and major depressive disorder. His struggles with drugs and mental illness impacted his life and work, with these topics often appearing in his lyrics.
In 2003, aged 34, he died in Los Angeles, California, from two stab wounds to the chest. The autopsy evidence was inconclusive as to whether the wounds were self-inflicted or the result of homicide. At the time of his death, Smith was working on his sixth studio album, From a Basement on the Hill, which was posthumously completed and released in 2004.
Smith died on October 21, 2003 at the age of 34 from two stab wounds to the chest. At the time of the stabbing, he was at his Lemoyne Street home in Echo Park, California, where he lived with his girlfriend, Jennifer Chiba. According to Chiba, the two were arguing, and she locked herself in the bathroom to take a shower.
Chiba heard him scream and upon opening the door saw Smith standing with a knife in his chest. She pulled the knife out, after which he collapsed and she called 9-1-1 at 12:18 p.m. Smith died in the hospital with the time of death listed as 1:36 p.m.
A possible suicide note, written on a Post-it note, read: "I'm so sorry—love, Elliott. God forgive me." The name "Elliott" is misspelled as "Elliot" in the coroner's report of the note, but not on the Post-it. While Smith's death was reported as a suicide, the official autopsy report released in December 2003 left open the question of homicide.
According to Pitchfork, record producer Larry Crane reported on his Tape Op message board that he had planned to help Smith mix his album in mid-November. Crane wrote, "I hadn't talked to Elliott in over a year. His girlfriend, Jennifer, called me [last week] and asked if I'd like to come to L.A. and help mix and finish [Smith's album] . I said 'yes, of course', and chatted with Elliott for the first time in ages. It seems surreal that he would call me to finish an album and then a week later kill himself. I talked to Jennifer this morning, who was obviously shattered and in tears, and she said, 'I don't understand, he was so healthy.'"
The coroner reported that no traces of illegal substances or alcohol were found in Smith's system at the time of his death but did find prescribed levels of antidepressant, anxiolytic, and ADHD medications, including clonazepam, mirtazapine, atomoxetine, and amphetamine.
There were no hesitation wounds, which are typical of suicide by self-infliction. Due to the inconclusive autopsy ruling, the Los Angeles Police Department’s investigation remains open.
Dopo aver militato nella band Heatmiser per diversi anni, la sua carriera come solista è cominciata nel 1994. Nel 1998 ha acquisito notorietà internazionale dopo essere stato nominato all'Oscar come autore della canzone Miss Misery tratta dal film Will Hunting - Genio ribelle.
Sebbene sia nato come musicista rock (in particolare post-punk e grunge), le sue prime canzoni sono essenzialmente acustiche. Nei suoi lavori più maturi, come XO e Figure 8, ha introdotto invece arrangiamenti più complessi, con suoni orchestrali influenzati dalla musica dei Beatles, che lo ha da sempre ispirato. Nel suo ultimo album From a Basement on the Hill ha però cercato di ricreare le atmosfere più scarne e asciutte dei suoi primi lavori.
La sua figura malinconica e la sua tragica morte all'età di soli 34 anni (forse suicida a causa della forte depressione che lo tormentava, sebbene la verità non sia ancora stata accertata) hanno involontariamente fatto di lui uno degli ultimi miti del rock alternativo americano.
Inizialmente la sua morte venne archiviata come suicidio, ma dopo l'autopsia ufficiale vennero lasciate aperte altre possibilità: mentre le sue crisi depressive appaiono compatibili con il suicidio, le modalità dell'atto lasciano parecchi dubbi rispetto all'accaduto, poiché infliggersi delle coltellate viene considerato un modo atipico per darsi la morte.
Inoltre, il pugnale venne rimosso dalla fidanzata Jennifer Chiba prima dell'arrivo delle autorità. La sua morte rimane quindi tuttora velata dal mistero.
Poco prima di morire stava lavorando al suo sesto e ultimo album From a Basement on the Hill.
Your hand on his arm
The hay stack charm around your neck
Strung out and thin
Calling some friend trying to cash some check
He's acting dumb
That's what you've come to expect
Needle in the hay (x4)
He's wearing yr clothes
Head down to toes a reaction to you
You say you know what he did
But you idiot kid
You don't have a clue
Sometimes they just get caught in the eye
You're pulling him through
Needle in the hay (x4)
Now on the bus
Nearly touching this dirty retreat
Falling out 6th and Powell a dead sweat in my teeth
Gonna walk walk walk
Four more blocks plus one in my break
Down downstairs to the man
He's gonna make it all ok
I can't beat myself (x2)
And I don't want to talk
I'm taking the cure so I can be quiet
Whenever I want
So leave me alone
You ought to be proud that I'm getting good marks
Needle in the hay (x4)
La tua mano sul suo braccio
Il fieno affila il ciondolo attorno al collo
Infilato e magro
Chiamando qualche amico cercando di incassare qualche assegno
Sta agendo stupido
Questo è quello che ti aspetti
Ago nel fieno (x4)
Indossa i tuoi vestiti
Vai in fondo alle dita una reazione a te
Dici di sapere cosa ha fatto
Ma sei un ragazzino idiota
Non devi indizio
A volte rimangono intrappolati negli occhi
Lo stai tirando fuori
Ago nel fieno (x4)
Ora sul bus
Quasi toccando questa ritirata sporca
Cadendo sesto e Powell un sudore morto tra i denti
Andiamo a piedi a piedi
Altri quattro blocchi più uno nella mia pausa
Giù al piano di sotto all'uomo
Farà tutto bene
Non posso battere me stesso (x2)
E non voglio parlare
Sto prendendo la cura così posso stare tranquillo
Ogni volta che voglio
Quindi lasciami in pace
Dovresti essere orgoglioso del fatto che sto ottenendo buoni voti
Ago nel fieno (x4)