ALL THE PRETTY HORSES.

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Back in 2001 I came across this soundtrack, but kind of held back a little on getting it because I had not heard of the composers or performers involved on the score. But, I eventually went and got the compact disc, and was blown away by the great artistry and wonderful levels of performance that were held within the soundtrack. The film was not a great success, but it was also not a complete flop and many people still do speak of it now. Its appeal is I think the simplicity and the intimacy of the music. Performed on mainly guitar, with trumpet, cello, bass and percussion that are supported by a small but strong sounding string section and a handful of percussion and brass. I do remember reviewing the score for another web site or maybe it was a magazine, and it seemed to have got lost with many other articles from those days.

So on re visiting the score I was moved to once again wax lyrical about its many attributes. The opening track, COWBOYS DREAM, is what it says in a musical form, a proud western flavoured theme, for solo guitar, strings and strummed guitar which acts as a background and an underlying foundation for the cue, it is in effect the main title of sorts, and acts as an appetizer for much of what is to follow, the up-tempo piece establishes itself immediately, with a haunting hook and an imposing lyrical sound that is hard to not become involved with.

The second cue, CANYON SONATA, is somewhat more down beat with a plaintive guitar solo, picking out a Hispanic flavoured composition, that would certainly not be out of place in numerous Italian made westerns. Track three, is the actual Title track, ALL THE PRETTY HORSE, this is a variation of the first cue, however strings are brought into the equation, and Mariachi sounding trumpets and percussive elements that are laced with horns and it is given a sharpness and melodic quality via the flawless guitar solo, which takes centre stage.

I suppose the best way to describe the score for ALL THE PRETTY HORSES is to say it is flavoured and coloured with country sounds that themselves are given a more dramatic feel via the subtle but ever present orchestral support throughout. Steel guitar, electric bass and solo guitar performances dominate much of the soundtrack, but the instruments are used in both the conventional and more unconventional manner, the performers experimenting with way to achieve the effecting sounds. There are also substantial contributions from, accordion, mandolin and Viola, which either perform together or as solo contributions to create a work that is attractive and beautifully melodic  The soundtrack is the work of a trio of writers, Marty Stuart, Larry Paxton and Kristin Wilkinson, with the score being performed by various artists.

I promise you once you listen to this soundtrack, you will be left wanting more and more, and will return to it so many times, it is a work that haunts the listener with its subtle, dramatic and wistfully romantic musical nuances and themes and beguiles them with its earthy but at the same time emotive and delicate motifs.  All I can say is that the compact disc is deleted, but it is available on the likes of Spotify and I Tunes and there are a few copies of the recording available on a couple of internet selling sites, this is a must have soundtrack, filled with so many wonderful compositions that it is hard to think that they all hail from the same film.

The soundtrack also contains two vocals, PORQUE and FAR AWAY, which are both pleasing songs and are a bonus to the already excellent release.   You got it yet????