The name of the album in black on a white background

2020 Album Draft- Round 11 Pick 5- Soundtracks- Cincinnati Babyhead- selects Bob Dylan – Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid.

Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid film poster.jpg

Just the opening cut takes CB back into the film. The first soundtrack album and first Bob Dylan album for me at the same time. Could listen to the ‘Main Title Theme (Billy)’ for as long as they wanted to play it. Beautiful. The second cut just continues in the same vein. A little more sparse but the same feel. ‘Billy 1’ has the more familiar Dylan sound with the harmonica but it stays with vibe of the film. Dylan adds his voice which is perfect and tells a tale. Great lyrics, great tune. Every time I hear this song I want to watch the film again.

Nothing overpowering here just subtle good music that is easy to listen to. ‘Turkey Chase’ opens side two with Byron Berlin taking the lead on the fiddle with solid support from the other players. Old timey, country , bluegrass feel. ‘Knockin’ On Heavens Door’ is next and what a next it is. A CB fave. It’s beautiful. (Enhances one of CB’s favorite scenes. I tear up just thinking about Katy Jurado and Slim Pickens. Not a word is spoken but the scene speaks volumes) Dylan’s lyrics make it even better. Goose bumps. Maybe the reason I wanted to hear more of Bob. Flute and recorder take the lead on the next tune and it works nicely. This is just real good music on it’s own. No flash and dash , stripped down and played with lots of soul. Another version of ‘Billy’ and it is real good. It’s followed by the last cut on the album, another version of ‘Billy’. I guess Bob was trying to get it right. Hey, all versions work.

CB had heard good soundtrack music before and good Dylan music too.  This album for whatever reason grabbed me and moved me.  Sam Peckinpah knew what he was doing when he got Bob to supply the music for his film.  Bob even had a role.  The Billy song could be Sam’s song.  Probably was.

Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid - Movie Review - The Austin Chronicle

This album and film were a coming together of two of CB’s favorite things.  Music and film. This soundtrack got it right.  I still pull this one out and listen to it on a regular basis.  It’s good.  Real good.

Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid

This was the lead into more Dylan and more soundtracks ( Lots of both).  Great start on both counts.  This album will always have a special place.   I think I’ll close my eyes slap on the record, listen and watch the movie in my mind.  Can’t separate the two. Great music. Great film.

(Oh yeah, the back cover on the album has a fantastic still from the movie)

Pat Garret & Billy The Kid | Billy the kids, Kids, Popular music


  1. I’m right there with you on all accounts. It really is an enjoyable album to listen to, including the instrumentals. And since I like the movie as well, it makes the music that much better. (Beans!)

  2. Great review and a cool introduction to Dylan. I first saw this movie in the early 90s…it has stuck with me ever since. I also bought the soundtrack right after I saw the movie. Unlike a few other movies that musicians were in…this is a great one.

  3. Never saw the movie (I think my dad really liked it though- he was a fan of Westerns) but i’m sure seeing the film only enhances the music. “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” was, seems to me, the first song I heard by Bob Dylan and probably is still my favorite of his.

  4. Great movie, great sound track. I have never read a review of this flick, but I saw it when it came out. James Colburn and Slim Pickens, who could want more for a western. It pains me to say this but, that was when movies were at their best. No CGI, no shots to make you feel you are watching a video game, just great scenes, framed correctly and shot flawlessly. Good review CB.

    • One of my first takes was on the film. I’m a big SP guy. He has been slammed for the violence, but hey those were violent times. No one cast better. Coburn and Slim were just two of a great cast. R.G Armstrong has always been a favorite character actor of mine. That scene that ‘Heaven’s Door’ is used in is an example of Sam’s great touch. Proves your point.

    • Yep. Sam was a master director and the first to use gore in a western ( Wild Bunch). Until then, when a bad guy was plugged with a .44, he fell down in perfect condition and had a 1-5 chance of getting up. Sam put the “ouch…oh shit I’ve been shot” in movies. Good review, keep em coming.

  5. I’m embarrassed to say I never saw the movie or heard the soundtrack (except Knockin… on the radio) but it’s never too late to seek them out. Thanks for the heads-up. Seems I remember reading something about the soundtrack or about Bob or Kris in relation to it. James Coburn is always a joy to watch. Excellent DiD addition, CB! (sorry so late with the comment, it’s been one of those days)

  6. Pat Garret might as well be the hunted if Billy had been sheriff. Both are typical outlaws, Pat is lucky and becomes a police officer – also because he no longer wants to be a gangster. Billy wants everything to stay the way it used to be and becomes an old-fashioned romantic who has to go. Pat gives him enough time to disappear, but Billy stays and gets shot by Pat Garret, who symbolically shoots himself – in the mirror. The Dylan songs are classics, but without them the movie would be just as good.

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