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Bob Dylan
"Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid (soundtrack)"

© Columbia Records


track listing
  • Main Title Theme (Billy)
  • Cantina Theme
    (Workin' For
    The Law)
  • Billy 1
  • Bunkhouse Theme
  • River Theme
  • Turkey Chase
  • Knockin' On
    Heaven's Door
  • Final Theme
  • Billy 4
  • Billy 7

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    Bob Dylan
    "Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid (soundtrack)"

    The soundtrack of Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid is famous for one song, the classic "Knockin' On Heaven's Door," by Bob Dylan. Most critics agree that Dylan writes great tunes (he co-wrote this song with Terry Paul, Roger McGuinn [The Byrds], and Jim Keltner), yet his unique vocal style has been rated as fair to even terrible. Yet, Dylan's vocal style on this classic song from this soundtrack does a complete turnaround, and to those who criticized his whining vocal style scratch their heads, and wonder why Dylan didn't keep his "normal singing" style from this soundtrack.

    Taken from
    Billy the Kid is reimagined by director Sam Peckinpah as a kind of Old West rock star, a young man who wants to do his own thing but constantly runs up against the objections of the establishment--in this case, the cattle barons who run this part of the country. Peckinpah indulged in some quirky casting, including Bob Dylan as an outlaw named Alias and most of Kris Kristofferson's band as Billy's gang. He also draws exceptional performances out of a cast of old veterans, including James Coburn as the reluctant Pat Garrett, R.G. Armstrong, Katy Jurado, and Slim Pickens, who has a terrific death scene to Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door." Look for this longer version (122 minutes); the shorter version is the one that MGM recut against Peckinpah's wishes, removing all the character development and Peckinpah's elegiac sense of the Old West in favor of action and violence. --Marshall Fine

    "Main Title Theme" (Billy) is a great accoustic guitar instrumental, outlaw-styled, easily fitting the theme of the movie. Another instrumental, "Cantina Theme" (Workin' For The Law)" definitely has the classic outlaw sound, and has a similar quality as heard on Bad Company's "Shooting Star." "Billy 1" features accoustic guitar and harmonica, and like the "Main Title Theme" (Billy)" it is very enjoyable, and also features Dylan's vocals, which is sung in a more "normal" voice than we normally know of. Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska album can be compared to this song as well.

    "Bunkhouse Theme" is another accoustic guitar instrumental, very pleasant, and a nice backdrop for the movie soundtrack. "River Theme" has vocals, but they are mostly used as humming the "verses"; this song is good for background music at a bar, as the audience watches the spoken dialogue. The instumental "Turkey Chase" has a more bluegrass style, with the banjo as the main rhythm, with fiddle and accoustic guitar providing the leads. "Final Theme" has a title that speaks for itself -- it is a well-done instrumental, that easily fits the ending of the movie, as the closing credits appear on the screen.

    "Billy 4" has vocals, and it is easily recognized as Bob Dylan's. Yet, "Billy 7" has the listener wondering if the vocals on this tune is that of Dylan's or someone else from the movie. It could be that of Kris Kristofferson, or one of Dylan's bandmates.

    Very interesting soundtrack music for the Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid movie. Soundtrack albums are mostly provided by bridge music, and there is plenty of entertaining instrumentals on this album. Yet the most incredible song featured here, is Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door," a classic in which this song is just over 2 minutes in length, it is enough to consider it being a classic song for all fans, either Rock or Country will enjoy. The remainder of the album is just the same, entertaining and is a good backdrop for working around the house, or maybe music to fill the atmosphere at a party.

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