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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs

Marty Robbins

1959

Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs

Album Summary

Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs is the fifth studio album by Marty Robbins, released on the Columbia Records label in September 1959 and peaking at #6 on the U.S. pop albums chart. It was recorded in a single eight-hour session on April 7, 1959, and was certified Gold by the RIAA in 1965 and Platinum in 1986. It is perhaps best known for Robbins' most successful single, "El Paso", a major hit on both the country and pop music charts, as well as for its opening track "Big Iron," a song that gained a resurgence in popularity online as an Internet meme.Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs reached #1 in both the country and pop music charts at the start of 1960 and won the Grammy Award for Best Country & Western Recording the following year. A follow-up album of cowboy songs, More Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs, was released in 1960. In 2017, Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or artistically significant."

Wikipedia

Rating

3.27

Votes

5686

Genres

  • Country
Reviews
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Tue Jun 01 2021
5

YE-(and I cannot stress this enough)-HAW

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Thu Feb 04 2021
5

gangsta songs to listen to when you wanna shoot someone

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Tue Jun 01 2021
5

FUCK AMERICA, WE RIDE WITH WESTERN PRIDE BABY BOY

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Mon Feb 15 2021
5

Unexpectedly wonderful. Great storytelling, sing-along-ability: proper cowboy waltzes. Loved it!

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Fri Apr 16 2021
5

I've always had a soft spot for Marty Robbins. I'm not sure why, as I didn't listen to him much growing up, nor was I overly enamored with the Wild West or gunslingers otherwise. However, I find I can identify him as singer even if I don't know the song. I've never actually listened to this album until today, but am happy to give it 5 stars. I don't know if I'll ever reach for it again, but I certainly wouldn't turn it off if it were playing otherwise...

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Mon Jun 28 2021
5

Can't believe how much I love this for a country album. Amazing lyricism, great voice, solid understated guitar work. I'm going to need to pick this up on wax

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Thu Nov 12 2020
5

lmao drugs man

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Mon Jan 25 2021
5

Fallout new vegas 10/10

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Thu Mar 04 2021
5

I love this! I've heard They're Hanging Me Tonight before and instantly loved the sad, trembling 50s voice and gently plodding guitar strumming in the background. I feel like an old-fashioned cowboy listening to this and I'm sure that's what Marty intended.

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Mon Jun 28 2021
5

1959's Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs from Marty Robbins, a seminal C&W album with a one foot firmly in the Western half as it bridges the decades into the 1960's. These are like mini Western movie stories, with all the tropes, heroes, fair damsels in distress, love lost and gained, and guns a'blazin. If you're like me and spent a fair amount of time listening to the Grateful Dead, then you know the song El Paso, which the band performed nearly 400 times in their long touring career.

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Thu Jul 29 2021
5

It starts off extremely strong, and even though it goes in a different direction for the rest of the album, it's filled with soothing and enjoyable songs. No song in this album is wasted, even if they seem to be all the same. Overall, this album is great for just zoning out or feeling relaxed. Favorite track: Big Iron

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Sun Aug 08 2021
5

This is a special album for me since it showed me that country music is actually kinda cool and is not always the mindless redneck pandering garbage that is polluting the genre.

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Fri Jul 02 2021
4

I think Marty has a beautiful voice and this album evokes the American imaginary of the time- heroic explorers using their bravery and ingenuity to tame the wild west. Music wise I can hear in the influence of Texas Swing, precursors to Johnny Cash and even glimmers of Charlie Feathers and rockabilly. Fun stuff!

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Tue Sep 28 2021
4

Marty Robbins is a gangster. Dude can sing and his lyrics are so badass. I wasnt expecting to enjoy this but it was fire. Just wish a few of the slower songs were faster. Big iron is best song followed by Billy the kid

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Sat Oct 02 2021
4

"El Paso" alone deserves a spot on this list. That rare country-pop crossover that's as timeless as ever. And every other song on this album sounds like it's trying to be another El Paso. That's meant as a complement. None of have the magic of "El Paso" but are enjoyable nonetheless. It took Breaking Bad and a video game to introduce Marty Robbins to new generations. My second favorite Marty Robbins song is, "You Gave Me A Mountain", but I prefer the hundreds of live versions Elvis did in the '70's during his final fat years.

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Mon Jul 05 2021
2

Is this a book on tape?

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Thu Sep 23 2021
1

That’s the Western album box checked then

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Wed May 19 2021
5

really liked it

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Wed Jun 23 2021
5

These are all actually really great and catchy!

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Sat Feb 27 2021
5

Legendary album. The father of heavy metal. The man, the myth, the legend.

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Tue Jun 15 2021
5

Awesome story telling in song

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Wed Feb 10 2021
5

Toe tappin' fight havin' classics

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Wed Mar 24 2021
5

Leuke country. Zo lollig dat het zelfs nipt 5 sterren verdient!

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Fri Jan 29 2021
5

So relaxing. +1

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Tue Apr 27 2021
5

This actually felt like listening to a bunch of country themed stories sang by a campfire. Very nice mood

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Fri Jun 04 2021
5

Helemaal wat je verwacht op basis van de cover. Ik kan er wel van genieten.

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Sat Feb 13 2021
5

When cowboys were shiny

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Sat Mar 13 2021
5

Cross of slow Elvis and Georgie Fame

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Sun Apr 18 2021
5

Realy good

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Fri Jun 04 2021
5

25. Um quarto com sorte. Um terço pela certa. Metade para azares. MotA: The Master's Call "To the town of Agua Fria rode a stranger one fine day"

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Thu Jul 29 2021
5

9/10. Big Iron aside, this was just enjoyable to listen to. I think the style got a little repetitive

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Thu Jul 29 2021
5

Hands down the best country album of all time. Marty Robbins' Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs is an all time classic and anyone who says differently in unequivocally wrong. Highlights: all, they're all perfect.

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Sat Jul 31 2021
5

Neat stuff from the late 50’s!

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Tue Sep 07 2021
5

Really great storytelling lyrics. And the production, mix and master are very good indeed: love the stereo panning, the BV stacks and the reverbs on the lead. Incredible for an album recorded in 1959.

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Tue Sep 14 2021
5

yep.. totally badass duh

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Thu Sep 23 2021
5

An adorable collection of brilliant western and western inspired tracks that made me smile from ear to ear. Cheesy as hell but immensely enjoyable.

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Mon Oct 04 2021
5

This is great stuff. So evocative and such a clean sound. I’d never heard of this dude before

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Fri Oct 15 2021
5

This is BRILLIANT.

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Tue Nov 09 2021
5

I have had this on repeat all day. That voice, like gold soaked in honey but with a slight hint of menace on par with Johnny Cash. I can hear Marty Robbins' sound in the DNA of American, Outlaw Country, Gram Parsons and even Nick Cave in his murder ballad era. Amazing stuff and an original artform

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Mon Nov 29 2021
5

great storyteller through music

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Wed Dec 01 2021
5

I really enjoyed this! Lyrically, it's like a cross between a particularly detailed health and safety report crossed with proto gangsta rap, combined with assertive yet comforting harmonies. The music reminds me of the sort of hipster western music that had a moment in the 90s, no doubt strongly inspired by Mr Robbins - just getting me ready to hear the real-ish deal for the first time 25 years later.

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Wed Dec 08 2021
5

What a fun, unique album. 2 recognized songs

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Sat Dec 11 2021
5

Det har skett.

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Wed Jan 05 2022
5

I liked the songs. A few reminded me of Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson Storytellers.

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Fri Jan 07 2022
5

Brilliant album, fantastic country western music

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Fri Jan 14 2022
5

This was a real breath of fresh hair. I hadn't heard of this artist before and I loved this album. Added multiple songs from it to my playlist.

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Thu Jan 20 2022
5

YEEHAW, i have a new album for the favourites list! Gotta get back into Fallout... Cool Water is an amazing song!

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Wed Feb 09 2022
5

This was amazing. Every song was better than the last. What great stories and tunes.

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Sun Feb 20 2022
5

As much as I have difficulty with millennial pop I find it really easy to connect with music that was produced decades before I was even born. Who knows! So I was excited of getting a 1959 of what seemed to be a country album, and really eager to get to listen to it. I am not deceived: the double bass, the subdued, barely audible acoustic guitar/banjo, and those vocal harmonies, just wow! One of my favourite albums of 2021 was Sturgill Simpson's The Ballad Of Doode & Juanita, and I can see clearly the influence that Marty Robbins' album might have cast over the kind of Sturgill's albums narrative.

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Wed Mar 02 2022
5

A true classic right here. My first exposure to Marty Robbins, as is probably the case for most people my age and younger, was hearing "Big Iron" on the radio in Fallout: New Vegas. I was obsessed with that song (and several others in the game), and eventually I had the urge to seek out the man responsible. Robbins was an immensely talented country musician, who not only sang but wrote many of his timeless tracks. He found a lot of success and popularity during his time, but I think he's a little underrated by today's standards, at least in retrospective discussion of country artists like Johnny Cash or Willie Nelson or whoever else. I'm a Marty Man, and this album should show you why. All the tracks really do feel like they belong out on the range, on the trail. Great cowboy tales and imagery, and just infectious melodies to boot. The whole thing was recorded in one, eight-hour session! Sounds a bit like Black Sabbath's debut, another 5-star album from me. I don't know what it is, but some great artists seems to really shine when put in that pressure cooker. Anyway, go listen to El Paso at full blast and dream about that Mexican maiden. Favorite tracks: Big Iron, El Paso, The Hanging Tree, Strawberry Roan, The Master's Call, They're Hanging Me Tonight. Album art: Truly iconic, I love simple designs like this from the '50s, and it's also just an extremely bold color plus Marty in cowboy get-up. This one lives in my heart and mind forever. 5/5

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Thu Mar 10 2022
5

Loved it. If all country sounded like that I'd be hooked

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Sat Mar 12 2022
5

A fantastic album. Along with rap, country has been my eye opening genre that I will likely explore as a result of this exercise. Each song is a small cinematic snippet replete with shady characters, beautiful vistas and plot twists. All the songs are great but the standouts for me ; Big Iron (gorgeous rhythm guitar), El Paso and The Masters call. I loved this album 5 🌟 (bonus; the songs chose by Tidal after the album was finished more great storytelling songs that enhanced my listening experience)

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Wed Mar 16 2022
5

way better than I ever could have expected, incredible songwriter

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Sat Mar 19 2022
5

Un album trop hot. Fallout new vegasj’adore

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Tue Mar 22 2022
5

Amazing trail songs.

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Sat Apr 16 2022
5

big irooooon, big iroooon

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Tue Apr 19 2022
5

Pretty tempted to give this five stars as it seems like the epitome of wild west ballads. I'm sure there'll be a time and place where it's necessary to put this on as a soundtrack, not exactly sure when but when the time comes I'll know.

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Tue Apr 26 2022
5

Really great. Each track was like it’s own western film and I found it really impressive how a world was created within each song, filled with vivid characters and settings. I know the Grateful Dead covered El Paso from this, but they must have been inspired by this world building too. Cool Water, El Paso, and Billy the Kid did this exceptionally well. I’d probably give this a 4.5 if I could since I can’t say it’s something I’d truly want to listen to frequently and sounds dated but it’s country music at its best for sure.

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Tue Apr 26 2022
5

Goes a long way to explaining why the genre was called Country & Western. The influence of this release was enormous at the time and it is apparent what that was the case.

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Tue Apr 26 2022
5

Classic stuff. You can hear the influence this has on the Grateful Dead, Chris Isaak, and the CatDog theme song. All bangers.

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Thu Apr 28 2022
5

loved it, the og country music.

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Sat Apr 30 2022
5

One of the greatest country albums of all time. Marty Robbins's voice is incredible.

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Sun Jun 05 2022
5

Yee

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Tue Jun 07 2022
5

I barnstorm by Country music most of the time, but this album was a cracker. Very good story teller. Paints a good picture of what life may or may not have been like in the era

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Tue Jun 14 2022
5

I loved this album as a kid in the 70s. It's a classic.

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Sun Jun 26 2022
5

Banger isn’t a strong enough word to describe this album

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Sat Jul 02 2022
5

Fun to hear a storyteller working in direct images and a strong voice

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Sat Jul 09 2022
5

Great

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Mon Jul 11 2022
5

Incredible album. Every song tells a vivid story and Robbins' voice is hauntingly beautiful. Enjoyed from beginning to end.

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Tue Jul 26 2022
5

Much better than I expected. Easy to just fade into background, but then you would pick up on a wild scenario from one of the ballads and get pulled back in. Also this dude raced in NASCAR for fun?

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Fri Jul 29 2022
5

Yes please. I am a country boy at heart and this music lets me imagine I work on a ranch in colorado with my horses (except I dont really like horses). I think I want to have horses on my ranch, I like the idea of lots of prancing stallions in my fields. And I would have an apple orchard. Its nice to hear a country album that isn't incessant racism and sexism, this is classic country (i guess probably western more accurately) about hard working, blue collar struggles post WW2 Highlights from this album, "Big Iron" what a cracking start to the album. "El Paso" - Gratefull Dead also covered this album lots in their earlier tours to great affect. Loved this, giving it a 5 as it had a huge influence in a lot of the later country and rock music I listen to.

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Fri Jul 29 2022
5

Loved this - country but not winey- something my grandparents would have listened to and love that nostalgia vibe - sounds familiar although I’d never heard it before

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Wed Aug 03 2022
5

There was some good story telling in these songs right here. El Paso has always been a bop.

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Wed Aug 03 2022
5

I love this album. Like so many others, my "introduction" to Marty Robbins was hearing "Big Iron" in 'Fallout: New Vegas', and that remains one of my favourite songs of his, but there's so much here to enjoy. The primary star here is Robbins' voice; it perfectly encapsulates the soul of classic country music, belting out these charming, captivating lyrics in a manner that is so easy and enjoyable to listen to. There's a beautiful nostalgia to this music, capturing a time and context that has long since passed us by but continues to live on in these songs. An absolute must listen to.

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Fri Aug 19 2022
5

Classic from start to finish.

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Fri Aug 19 2022
5

loved it!

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Wed Aug 24 2022
5

High quality bangers all

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Tue Aug 30 2022
5

absolute classic. excellent songs, love the harmonies. faves: big iron, they're hanging me tonight, cool water, el paso

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Tue Aug 30 2022
5

Masterclass in couplet storytelling. Whether you like country or not, songs like ‘big iron’ are hard not to get sucked into. The soft disposition of the acoustics and bass is complimented justly with Marty’s lovely vibrato. An album for the ages.

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Sat Sep 17 2022
5

One of the greatest pleasures of this project is discovering albums you would never normally listen to and being struck by how incredible they sound. Beautifully constructed, beautiful arrangements and melodies. I had never heard of Marty Robbins but what a voice - what an image. And as if being a Gunfighter was not enough, the man was a NASCAR driver too! This is simply stunning outlaw country. Utterly bad ass, 100% American. It goes straight to the heart of the American character, captured on wax. Big Iron must surely rank amongst the greatest songs of the 20th Century.

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Tue Sep 20 2022
5

Ima give it a 5 cause why not. I liked the songs they banged

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Tue Sep 20 2022
5

I listened twice. I adored this album. Found out my dad had been singing a real song all those years! “Coooool, cleeaaar waterrr.” He would sing it on hikes and hot days and the like. Us kids though he was just being a dork. Im so glad I listened, for the memories, and for Marty’s smooth voice.

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Wed Sep 21 2022
5

Precisely

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Wed Sep 28 2022
5

good album.

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Thu Sep 29 2022
5

ABSOLUTE BANGER

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Mon Oct 24 2022
5

He does one thing but he does it spectacularly well and I'm here for every minute.

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Thu Nov 03 2022
5

Old groovy classic

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Mon Nov 07 2022
5

Straight to my soul, this one! I'm not a cowboy by any means, but something about this styles makes me feel so much peace. Yeehaw all day. Perfect western music

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Tue Dec 06 2022
5

YEE HAW

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Sat Dec 17 2022
5

I yearn for the great outdoors.

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Thu Dec 29 2022
5

Прекраснейший кантри-альбом, который ярчайше выделяется на фоне остальных засчёт своей конструкции, чувственности текстов и непревзойдённого мастерства Марти Роббинса в своём ремесле. Он знает, как написать очень трогательную песню, он превосходно играет на гитаре и он просто божественно поёт. Все эти навыки складываются в один замечательный релиз, который слушается очень легко и быстро, и даже некая однообразность песен не успевает надоедать, ибо каждая песня здесь - отдельная история, поэтому моё внимание удерживалось до самого конца. (9)

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Tue Jan 03 2023
5

Cowboy songs about Mexican gals and outlaws. Super fun!

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Sun Jan 08 2023
5

Stellar Country-Western ballads by one of the most talented artists in country music history. Not only is he an incredible music writer, he's an impeccable singer. It's no wonder he's considered one of the greats.

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Sun Jan 22 2023
5

In this town there lived an outlaw By the name of Texas Red Many men had tried to take him And that many men were dead He was vicious and a killer Though a youth of twenty-four And the notches on his pistol Numbered one and nineteen more One and nineteen more This album is so fucking good. One one level, its something that everyone should hear as a representative of the era and genre. On another level, its got amazing pace and theme, and these tracks are absolutely amazing. 5/5

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Wed May 19 2021
4

Classic storytelling songs done right. Listening to some of these songs brought me back to the crappy barbecue restaurant we used to go to that had this album on the jukebox. Best track: El Paso

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Thu May 27 2021
4

4* bit samey after a while but cool songs

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Wed May 26 2021
4

Amazing, meme culture references and actually pretty good tunes

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Mon Apr 26 2021
4

Wild an album like this used to be pop music.

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Sat Feb 20 2021
4

I enjoyed this album a lot more than I thought I would. Cowboy music is actually pretty fun. Though most of the songs and in tragic death.

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Wed Mar 24 2021
4

Gangster

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