It’s Day Three of our new healthy, low calorie and gluten free diet. More importantly, it’s Taco Night; the healthy, low calorie, gluten free kind. Anyway, I wanted to listen to something with a, shall we say, “south of the border” feel to it. Of course, there’s a significant lack of mariachi music in my collection so I’m going to go with the next best thing in my opinion, the ‘Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid‘ album by Bob Dylan.
This is the twelve album by Dylan released on Columbia Records in 1973, which subsequently also served as the soundtrack for the Sam Peckinpah film of the same name released that same year starring James Coburn and Kris Kristofferson. Dylan even appeared in the film himself as “Alias”. The film revolved around an aging Pat Garrett, hired as a lawman by a group of wealthy New Mexico cattle barons to bring down his old friend Billy the Kid. Consisting primarily of instrumental music and inspired by the movie itself, the soundtrack included only one hit, ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door’, which became a trans-Atlantic Top 20 hit. Certified a gold record by the RIAA, the album reached #16 on US the Billboard charts and #29 in the UK.
At the time, it was Dylan’s first new LP in three years in which he hadn’t been heard from in any form other than the single ‘George Jackson‘, from his appearance at the Bangladesh benefit concert in 1971. While ‘Knockin‘ was the obvious hit off the album and helped drive the sales, the imaginatively entitled ‘Billy 1‘, ‘Billy 4‘, and ‘Billy 7‘ were also equally good tunes as well. Even the instrumentals surrounding them were also worth hearing as brilliant manifestations of Dylan’s music-making; ‘Bunkhouse Theme‘ in particular was downright gorgeous.
For it’s part tonight, we might as well have been dining in an open air cantina or hacienda somewhere under a setting sun somewhere on the lonesome prairie.