Marty Robbins – More Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs

More Marty Robbins

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  • This superb follow up to Marty’s 1959 release arrives on the site with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • These sides are doing most everything right — they’re full-bodied, clear, and solid, with the Tubey Magical Midrange that can only be found on recordings from this era
  • 4 1/2 stars: ” Robbins’ originals are authored in an authentically vintage style, interspersed with public domain titles that are the real article, some established works by Bob Nolan of the Sons of the Pioneers, and a handful of new compositions (notably by Jim Glaser).”

*NOTE: On side one, a light mark makes 2 light ticks at the end of Track 1, San Angelo.

This vintage Columbia pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.

What the best sides of More Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs have to offer is not hard to hear

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1960
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

What We’re Listening For on More Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
  • The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
  • Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
  • Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
  • Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

San Angelo 
Prairie Fire 
Streets Of Laredo 
Song Of The Bandit 
I’ve Got No Use For The Women

Side Two

Five Brothers 
Little Joe The Wrangler 
Ride, Cowboy, Ride 
This Peaceful Sod 
She Was Young And She Was Pretty 
My Love

AMG 4 1/2 Star Review

The follow-up to Marty Robbins’ 1959 hit album shows him on the cover looking for all the world like the reincarnation of actor William S. Hart, the greatest cowboy hero of the silent-screen era. In a sense, the repertory reflects the pose on the cover; it is similar to the earlier album, with the sound a little more stripped down in the vocal department and perhaps less romanticized than the earlier record.

Robbins’ originals are authored in an authentically vintage style, interspersed with public domain titles that are the real article, some established works by Bob Nolan of the Sons of the Pioneers, and a handful of new compositions (notably by Jim Glaser). There’s nothing as beautifully compelling as “Big Iron” or “El Paso,” but tracks like “Streets of Laredo,” “Song of the Bandit,” and “Little Joe, the Wrangler” are beguiling on a more subtle level. The album was a success, albeit not on the same level as its predecessor.