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Album running time

1: Tomorrow is the Song I Sing* Richard Gillis (4:01)
2: The Water Hole (1:16)
3: New Lodgings (:49)
4: The Preacher** (:47)
5: Hasty Exit (3:05)
6: Wait for Me, Sunrise** Richard Gillis (1:09)
7: A Soothing Hand (2:34)
8: A Death in the Family (:51)
9: The Rattlesnakes (2:18)
10: The Flag (1:22)
11: The Guest (2:59)
12: Butterfly Mornin's** Jason Robards & Stella Stevens (2:32)
13: Three Hours Early (:41)
14: Hogue and Hildy** (:47)
15: Hildy Leaves (2:08)
16: Waiting* Richard Gillis (1:36)
17: Hildy Returns** (1:04)
18: The Eulogy (1:41)
19: Wait for Me, Sunrise** Richard Gillis (2:10)
20: Tomorrow is the Song I Sing* Richard Gillis (1:54)

*Written by Jerry Goldsmith and Richard Gillis
**Written by Richard Gillis

Performed by
Conducted by


Produced by

Released by
Serial number
VCL 0502 1007

Artwork copyright (c) 1971 Warner Bros.; review copyright (c) 2003 James Southall

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The Ballad of Jerry Goldsmith

Jerry Goldsmith's wonderful back-catalogue of western scores was almost entirely unreleased on CD until the late 1990s, but the deluge of releases has been so quick that many consider The Ballad of Cable Hogue, released as part of the May 2002 batch from the Varèse Sarabande CD Club, to be the last essential Goldsmith western score that needed releasing. The movie is long forgotten: it was an off-kilter, contemplative western directed by Sam Peckinpah in the aftermath of his acclaimed The Wild Bunch.

Peckinpah decided to utilise the songs of Richard Gillis for his movie. You may not have heard of Richard Gillis. This is because he was a bar singer the director just happened to come across, and he hired him there and then on a whim. He was even going to get him to write the movie's score, but wiser heads prevailed and Goldsmith got the gig.

Saddled (pun intended) with having to work with Gillis's songs as a centrepiece, Goldsmith did not get much of a chance to make an impression with his score. (Indeed, of the 37 minutes of music on this album, which is a complete musical representation of the picture, only about 20 minutes make up original score - then there's six minutes worth of Goldsmith songs and eleven minutes of Gillis compositions.) Probably the most impressive contribution by Goldsmith is his song, "Tomorrow is the Song I Sing", a laid-back western ballad sung, reasonably appealingly, by Gillis. Not one to stick in the memory, but pleasant enough.

His score is exceptionally low-key, performed for the most part by a tiny ensemble at any one time. There's a lovely piece for flute, guitar and harmonica - "The Rattlesnakes" - "Three Hours Early" is a real barnstormer, over far too quickly - and when the melody from Goldsmith's song is worked into the score, it works a treat. The music struggles to leave much of an impression, however - it is an acquired taste for sure, much more along the lines of the subtle, bucolic sections of Wild Rovers than the wild, wild west Americana of Rio Conchos.

I struggle to like The Ballad of Cable Hogue. I can see how it would appeal to some, but I have to say that I found Nick Redman's liner notes (which detail the history of the troubled film, from Peckinpah refusing to work with Jerry Fielding again after he felt his music had damaged The Wild Bunch to Warner Bros. just about disowning the movie) to be infinitely more interesting than the music.