Like the crack of a gun, quite out of nowhere, the vocals come in. “There’s guns across the river like to pound ya, law man on your trail like to surround ya”. As is said, the director of the movie Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid had no idea who Bob Dylan was when he got the soundtrack.
Upon hearing it, Dylan was locked in and a part written for him in the movie. A slinky butcher, knife thrower named Alias was Dylan’s role; played perfectly too. What struck me most after hearing the album for years was seeing how seamless and appropriate the songs dovetailed into the film.
‘Knockin’ on Heavens Door’, ‘Turkey Chase’ where the characters are in fact, chasing turkeys. The open plains and the song ‘Billy 1’ kicking in. ‘Knockin’ on Heavens Door’, the films most popular track places is in a remorseful song of the end of a man’s life. ‘Billy 1’, as earlier described, outlines the course of the movie while ‘River Theme’ lays some thick chords and southwestern flare.
Tipped off by my father to get this album, it was infatuation with first listen. My father who at fifteen gave me Dylan’s greatest hits for my birthday, (infatuation there too). That was when I shelved the heavy metal for what it was worth and picked up a pen and a guitar. Poetry and all of three chords. The reserved album cover here eludes to the southwestern sound and Dylan brings it forth.
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