Tuesday, May 23, 2006

22. Marty Robbins - Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs (1959)

Track Listing

1. Big Iron
2. Cool Water
3. Billy The Kid
4. Hundred And Sixty Acres
5. They're Hanging Me Tonight
6. Strawberry Roan
7. El Paso
8. In The Valley
9. Master's Call
10. Running Gun
11. Little Green Valley
12. Utah Carol


Country and Western music has been growing on me like a bad bad fungus, and it's because of albums like these. I have the same relation with Country Music that I have with Science-Fiction, 90% of it is shit, when it's good, however, it is very good. When it's bad, it's funny.

The last thing this album is is funny. This is proper cowboy music with stories of love ending badly, getting shot and shooting other people... you know, the shit you see in films. And this album is very cinematic, you could have any of the songs here as part of the soundtrack of a 60's cowboy film and none would be out of place. Neither would the stories told in the music. Most songs are pearls of narrative music, from Big Iron to El Paso, there are some of the best Western stories even commited to an album. This is probably where the influence of this album comes into play. It is probably the most influential Western album after the 2nd World War and you can tell.

So, yeah. I really like it. I must be part hick, as this stuff really touches deeply inside me. It's not exactly a good background album as it demands you to follow the stories sung by Robbins, but also to listen to his very very good guitar playing. But next time you're going to get the Bus put this on you mp3 player and I'm sure nothing will ever look the same (just make sure no one else can hear what coming out of your headphones or you might be a bit embarassed). It's is definitely not a Cool album, unless you have a very particular retro definition of Cool, and if you do more power to you! But by golly is it good stuff!

You can find this quite easily in illegal p2p things. But DON'T! THAT'S WRONG! *wink wink* Buy it instead on Amazon UK or US

Track Highlights

1. Big Iron
2. El Paso
3. Cool Water
4. The Master's Call (a pearl of Christian kitsch)

Final Grade



Marty Robbins was a Nascar racer later in life. Now that's cool.

His grandfather brought him up on Western stories. Aww! Ain't that cute.


Anonymous said...

Fabntástico blog. Saludos desde Argentina

Francisco Silva said...

Gracias! We will have some Argentinian music in future, there's some Piazzolla and (I know it's french) Gotan Project in the plans.

Anonymous said...

This is an absolutely fantastic album. I enjoy the music AND its kitsch charm.

Songs like "Big Iron" and "El Paso" need to be heard by everyone.

Keep up the good work.