1001 Albums #22 – Marty Robbins / Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs

Spotify link
Marty Robbins – Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs

First Listen

Prior knowledge of this album

Standout Tracks
Big Iron
Billy the Kid
A Hundred and Sixty Acres
They’re Hanging Me Tonight
El Paso
Running Gun
The Little Green Valley

The track listing on Spotify is a bit different to the original album release. I listened to the tracks in the order that they were first released.

I had been looking forward to this one and I wasn’t disappointed. I knew nothing of Marty Robbins before listening and it was only that it wasn’t a jazz album that I was looking forward to it!

This as the title suggests, is an album of cowboy related songs. The first, Big Iron, is a cracker, it tells the story of a Ranger going up against a vicious killer in an old west gunfight. All the imagery is here, a stranger coming into town, a killer with 1 and 19 notches on his gun, the locals expecting the Ranger to die and the gunfight.

The songs are all short self-contained stories, but they are all fully formed and well written. Like Big Iron, you can listen to them and the images he is singing about can be imagined in your mind; that’s what happened when I listened anyway.

His voice is really nice too, very easy to listen to, with a hint of Elvis now and again.

In later life he appeared in a Clint Eastwood film ‘Honkytonk Man’ and raced cars in NASCAR.

This is well worth a listen, and despite the 1950’s section of this challenge also containing, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley & Little Richard, this has been my favourite album.

Hear again

Album Entertainment Rating
4 out of 5