Roman Candle (album)

Roman Candle (album)
Roman Candle
Studio album by Elliott Smith
Released July 14, 1994
1998 (UK)
Re-released April 5, 2010 (UK)
April 6, 2010 (US, Australia, Japan)
Recorded Late 1993
Genre Indie rock
Length 30:28

Cavity Search Records

Domino Records (UK)
Producer Elliott Smith
Elliott Smith chronology
Roman Candle
Elliott Smith
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
BBC (positive)[2]
Pitchfork Media (7.8/10)[3]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[4]
sputnikmusic 5/5 stars[5]

Roman Candle was Elliott Smith's debut album as a solo artist, even though he was still a singer and guitarist for the band Heatmiser. The album has a raw, homemade sound (see Lo-fi music), with Smith playing each instrument and recording it on his four-track recorder. Kid Tulsa (Pete Krebs) played snare and cymbal on tracks "No Name #1" and "Kiwi Maddog 20/20". According to the Elliott Smith biography, Elliott Smith and the Big Nothing, Elliott recorded the album in the basement of the home of then-girlfriend and Heatmiser manager J.J. Gonson. The album was never intended for release, as Smith only expected to get a deal for a seven-inch record, however, after Gonson played the album for Cavity Search Records, they immediately requested permission to release it in its entirety. Smith at first hesitated, and then allowed permission. On April 6, 2010, Roman Candle (remastered by Larry Crane) was re-released by Kill Rock Stars, now with a US vinyl version.


Track listing

(All songs written by Elliott Smith except as noted)

  1. "Roman Candle" – 3:37
  2. "Condor Ave." – 3:34
  3. "No Name #1" (Elliott Smith, J.J. Gonson) – 3:03
  4. "No Name #2" – 3:34
  5. "No Name #3" – 3:13
  6. "Drive All Over Town" – 2:36
  7. "No Name #4" – 2:30
  8. "Last Call" – 4:38
  9. "Kiwi Maddog 20/20" – 3:40

All songs were recorded and produced by Elliott in a basement. The original 1994 album was mixed with help from Tony Lash. Sleeve by Neil Gust. Technical help by Pete Hawkinson. Cover photo by J.J. Gonson. Other photos by Neil Gust.

2010 Remastered Version

The 2010 rerelease was remastered by Larry Crane, but the original mixes by Elliott Smith remained intact. On the official press release on, Larry Crane said: "The intention that I had was to make the album more listenable. I felt that a lot of the guitar “squeaks” were jarring and very loud, and that many of the hard consonants and “S” sounds were jarring and scratchy sounding. I felt by reducing these noises that the music would become more inviting and the sound would serve the songs better. When I went to Roger Seibel’s SAE Mastering, he proceeded to equalize the tracks a small amount and to make the volume slightly louder. We never tried to make this CD as loud as current, over-limited trends, but just to match the volume of the rest of Elliott’s KRS catalog in a graceful way. Please note that none of this album is “remixed” from the master tapes – it is still composed of the mixes Elliott created himself.

Non-album tracks from original 1993 recording

The following tracks were recorded during the same sessions as the album, but did not make the final cut.

Officially released


  • "We're All Friends Now" - According to Larry Crane: "Recorded Fall 1993 on four-track cassette. Same tape as 'Last Call' and 'Kiwi Maddog 20/20'. The recording is very different in mood than the live take, and would have sat kinda odd on Roman Candle if you ask me."[6] There is a video circulating on YouTube, filmed by Mary Lou Lord, of the 1995 live version.

Added track to 2010 re-release

  • "Cecilia/Amanda", previously unreleased, originally recorded in 1997. Available as a free download.


  • Nugent, Benjamin. Elliott Smith and the Big Nothing. Da Capo Press, 2005. ISBN 9780306814471

External links

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