Exclusive: Listen to Elliott Smith Cover John Lennon

Music Features Elliott Smith
Exclusive: Listen to Elliott Smith Cover John Lennon

Did you know that Paste owns the world’s largest collection of live music recordings? It’s true! And what’s even crazier, it’s all free—hundreds of thousands of exclusive songs, concerts and videos that you can listen to and watch right here at Paste.com, from Louis Armstrong to The Who to U2 to Wilco. Every day, we’ll dig through the archive to find the coolest recording we have from that date in history. Search and enjoy!

Right at the peak of his career in the late-‘90s, lauded lo-fi singer/songwriter Elliott Smith played a small room in New York City called Tramps. Just listening to the audio from that whole concert, though, he’s clearly already beloved.

In 1998, at the time of this recording, Smith had just released his fourth studio album XO. During this set, he offered a number of old favorites and soon-to-be canonic tracks, including “Waltz #2,” “Say Yes” and “Between the Bars,” although a noted exception was “Miss Misery,” the Oscar-nominated song he contributed to the Good Will Hunting soundtrack the year prior.

Still, an avid and self-proclaimed Beatles fan, Smith included this rare cover of John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy,” off 1971’s Imagine. Smith trades Lennon’s higher-pitched piano tinkling for a lower, darker guitar strumming, but the musical sparseness and lonely sentiments parallel across both versions. And even though Smith doesn’t quite nail the whistling solo, he adds some self-deprecating banter mid-effort to the gleeful, supporting cheers of the audience.

Check out this exclusive cover of “Jealous Guy” from this day in 1998 below.

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