There are certain people you'll never forget hearing for the first time. For me I'd pick out Nick Drake, Gram Parsons, Big Star and Elliott Smith. With Elliott Smith, it was this album in my sister's small flat in Kew, late 90s. I was reminded of it last night as I was about to turn in. Gideon Coe, the always excellent late slot DJ on 6 for Music played something interesting by Iron & Wine who I've always thought I should listen to more closely. I tracked the song down on youtube and played it again with headphones on and it disappointed second time around, seemed over-produced, showy. It triggered something in me that I wanted to listen to Smith instead. Wasn't sure I had the CD but there it was. It's as scratched a CD as I own, I played it relentlessly for years after I got it. It led me to the rest of his work but this will always be the one for me. In fact the CD was so damaged that when I first put it on it jumped to the last track, then stopped. Some rudimentary repair work with paper towel and water got it to play. A very good album to go to sleep with as Smith's songs so much resemble the texture of dreams to me. In any case before going to bed I made a couple of clicks and now the vinyl version is heading its way to me. The poor CD can have a rest. It seems to need it. Elliott Smith, a tragic, but truly great artist.