by Jane Roser
I was sixteen when the 1988 cult classic film Young Guns came out, and ever since then I’ve had a thing for men who wear Henleys.
Lauded by historians to be the most historically accurate film about nineteenth century outlaw Billy the Kid up to that date, Young Guns opened #1 at the box office. It fueled a resurgence of interest in the legendary William Bonney and his gang of Regulators (I even made a week-long pilgrimage to Fort Sumner and Lincoln, New Mexico several years ago and stood in awe in front of the Lincoln Courthouse and Jail which the film recreated in stunning detail).
Now, after two decades of pleas from fans, the soundtrack to Young Guns is being released for the first time ever. Original composers Anthony Marinelli (Leaving Las Vegas, The Color Purple) and Brian Banks (Internal Affairs, Graveyard Shift) teamed up with independent record label Rusted Wave, using the original masters to press a limited edition 1,000 vinyl copies of the original 20-track score . The album will also be available for digital download on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play. The vinyl release includes a full-color liner note insert from Marinelli.
Marinelli’s role in the film was a stroke of luck. According to IMDB, composer James Horner originally wrote the score, but the director and producers were not satisfied with the largely Irish tone (the film’s main villain is an Irishman named Murphy). They preferred a score with more of a traditional Western feel. The result, completed in just a few days, is haunting, melancholic and fiercely exciting-you can almost hear rattlesnakes in the background on tracks like “The Shootout”.
The film begins with the main title music slowly building up as the six Regulators saunter towards the foreground, covered in a hazy pink mist, then culminates with a quick-draw shootout as electric guitars blaze. The film’s score may just be the seventh reason why the west was wild.
The Young Guns vinyl soundtrack can be pre-ordered here and will be released tomorrow.