Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs – Marty Robbins (1959)

Album no. 22/1001

If you like stories of cowboys and gunfights and such, you will definitely enjoy this album.

Even if you have a passing fancy for the old west, this will also probably get you going. It’s very country, but there’s not a lot of twangy, annoying singing – so that’s a bonus. Supposedly this album was recorded in one day back in 1959, and the song ‘El Paso’ won a grammy in 1960. So, you know, nice one.

Have you listened to this album before?

CL: No. It has a picture of a cowboy on the cover – I thought it was a movie soundtrack. (It’s not.)

NK: I haven’t, but just the name is enough to convince me it’s going to be good.

Standout track?

CL: If any of you have played Fallout New Vegas, you’ll recognise the opener, and arguably the best track, on this album – ‘Big Iron’. Hands down a winner. But I also like ‘A Hundred and Sixty Acres’ – it’s got some nice harmonies. And ‘The Master’s Call’ just sounds like a different version of ‘Big Iron’.  

NK: ‘ Big Iron’ is great! But I think ‘Utah Carol’ was my favourite. It sounds pretty jaunty, but it’s really sad. Utah saves Lenore’s life, but dies in a stampede. 😦 This album reminded me of ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’, which I think my mum had on a ’45.

When would be the best time to listen to this?

CL: When you want to be a cowboy, obviously. Or pretend to be in the old west. Like in Back To The Future 3.

NK: A long drive across the desert, or even just a hot summer’s day.

Why has this album been included on the list?

CL: Well I know my dad was excited when he saw this was going to be on the list – so it’s maybe a favourite with dads? Although he just likes Westerns. So maybe that’s it. On a serious note though, old mate Marty has a great voice, you can almost overlook the country-ness.

NK: I will ask my dad what he thinks of Marty, I bet he hates it.

Will you be listening again?

CL: Nah, aside from ‘Big Iron’, which I have already listened to multiple times, the rest can stay in the old west. It got a bit boring listening to songs about cowboys. It was much like watching The Magnificent Seven, or other westerns – the first half hour is great, then it gets really boring and you fast-forward to the end.

NK: You’re crazy, the shoot-out is always at the end! I’ll probably listen to it again. I can handle country music when it sticks to ballads, all the little stories of cowboys and duels and dying on the trail. It’s when they sing about how lonesome they are and how they miss their girl and how blue they are that it gets on my nerves.

Out of context youtube comment

22-gunfighter-ballads-and-trail-songs

Rating

CL: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

NK: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

Listen to Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.

4 thoughts on “Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs – Marty Robbins (1959)

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