Marty Robbins

Under Western Skies

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Under Western Skies Review

by Bruce Eder

Four CDs covering Marty Robbins' complete Western recordings, 99 songs in all from 1958 until 1979. As a concept, Under Western Skies is cohesive and enjoyable, largely because Robbins' music, regardless of the particular year in which it was recorded, is unified thematically. It's also a superb showcase for Robbins' voice, one of the most versatile in country & western -- he was equally adept at rock & roll, traditional country, or Western ballads dating back 100 years or more, but he had a way of extending the latter genre's melodic beauty and lyricism without ever seeming repetitive. Thus, it wasn't just that Robbins was covering this repertory, but that he was doing it in ways that, as a solo artist of his era, were just about definitive. Disc One contains songs from Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs and parts of the follow-up record, More Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs. Disc Two is devoted to songs from Return of the Gunfighter and the rest of More Gunfighter Ballads, filled out with songs that only appeared previously in 1984 on a Bear Family vinyl release. By the mid-'60s, Robbins' voice was even better, richer and more confident on this material, and Disc Three reflects this. Disc Four extends up through 1979, and it's something of a tribute to Robbins' success with this repertory that precious little was left in the vaults for Bear Family or anyone else to unearth and issue for the first time. The accompanying booklet is 60 pages long, and while it does seem as though the essay is not as well organized as it might have been, it's interesting overall, highlighted with excellent photographs and accompanied by lyrics to each of the songs and a full sessionography.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Marty Robbins 04:44 Amazon
2 Marty Robbins 03:13 Amazon
3 Marty Robbins 01:53 Amazon
4 Marty Robbins 02:15 Amazon
5 Marty Robbins 03:58 Amazon
6 Marty Robbins 03:11 Amazon
7 Marty Robbins 02:31 Amazon
8 Marty Robbins 01:45 Amazon
9 Marty Robbins 02:24 Amazon
10 Marty Robbins 03:28 Amazon
11 Marty Robbins 03:09 Amazon
12 Marty Robbins 03:17 Amazon
13 Marty Robbins 02:08 Amazon
14 Marty Robbins 03:01 Amazon
15 Marty Robbins 02:49 Amazon
16 Marty Robbins 04:11 Amazon
17 Marty Robbins 03:24 Amazon
18 Marty Robbins 03:52 Amazon
19 Marty Robbins 01:58 Amazon
20 Marty Robbins 02:15 Amazon
21 Marty Robbins 05:44 Amazon
22 Marty Robbins 03:43 Amazon
23 Marty Robbins 02:51 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Marty Robbins 03:30 Amazon
2 Marty Robbins 03:11 Amazon
3 Marty Robbins 02:34 Amazon
4 Marty Robbins 02:59 Amazon
5 Marty Robbins 02:20 Amazon
6 Marty Robbins 01:47 Amazon
7 Marty Robbins 03:18 Amazon
8 Marty Robbins 02:27 Amazon
9 Marty Robbins 02:35 Amazon
10 Marty Robbins 02:33 Amazon
11 Marty Robbins 03:05 Amazon
12 Marty Robbins 01:56 Amazon
13 Marty Robbins 03:03 Amazon
14 Marty Robbins 02:14 Amazon
15 Marty Robbins 02:44 Amazon
16 Marty Robbins 04:27 Amazon
17 Marty Robbins 02:10 Amazon
18 Marty Robbins 02:06 Amazon
19 Marty Robbins 01:49 Amazon
20 Marty Robbins 05:37 Amazon
21 Marty Robbins 03:13 Amazon
22 Marty Robbins 03:11 Amazon
23 Marty Robbins 03:08 Amazon
24 Marty Robbins 02:58 Amazon
25 Marty Robbins 04:21 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Marty Robbins 02:58 Amazon
2 Marty Robbins 01:55 Amazon
3 Marty Robbins 02:18 Amazon
4 Marty Robbins 03:45 Amazon
5 Marty Robbins 03:27 Amazon
6 Marty Robbins 02:20 Amazon
7 Marty Robbins 01:45 Amazon
8 Marty Robbins 02:52 Amazon
9 Marty Robbins 08:21 Amazon
10 Marty Robbins 01:33 Amazon
11 Marty Robbins 02:02 Amazon
12 Marty Robbins 02:22 Amazon
13 Marty Robbins 04:00 Amazon
14 Marty Robbins 05:02 Amazon
15 Marty Robbins 02:38 Amazon
16 Marty Robbins 02:02 Amazon
17 Marty Robbins 02:48 Amazon
18 Marty Robbins 02:28 Amazon
19 Marty Robbins 02:38 Amazon
20 Marty Robbins 02:16 Amazon
21 Marty Robbins 03:01 Amazon
22 Marty Robbins 02:54 Amazon
23 Marty Robbins 02:41 Amazon
24
Marty Robbins 02:26 Amazon
25 Marty Robbins 02:38 Amazon
26 Marty Robbins 03:22 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Marty Robbins 03:29 Amazon
2 Marty Robbins 02:11 Amazon
3 Marty Robbins 03:35 Amazon
4 Marty Robbins 02:15 Amazon
5 Marty Robbins 05:00 Amazon
6 Marty Robbins 02:59 Amazon
7 Marty Robbins 04:26 Amazon
8 Marty Robbins 02:53 Amazon
9 Marty Robbins 04:16 Amazon
10 Marty Robbins 02:11 Amazon
11 Marty Robbins 01:45 Amazon
12 Marty Robbins 02:50 Amazon
13 Marty Robbins 02:20 Amazon
14 Marty Robbins 04:04 Amazon
15 Marty Robbins 02:54 Amazon
16 Marty Robbins 04:33 Amazon
17 Marty Robbins 05:53 Amazon
18 Marty Robbins 03:07 Amazon
19 Marty Robbins 02:39 Amazon
20 Marty Robbins 04:01 Amazon
21 Marty Robbins 02:19 Amazon
22 Marty Robbins 04:34 Amazon
23 Marty Robbins 02:52 Amazon
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