In 1988, Emilio Estevez starred as Billy the Kid in the motion picture, The Young Guns. He, along with a star-studded cast, portrayed what critics cited as the most accurate Hollywood portrayal of the infamous outlaw’s past. During the timeline of New Mexico’s Lincoln County War, a rag-tag group of deputies finds themselves on the wrong side of the law after avenging the murder of the closest thing to a father figure the men ever had, John Tunstall. Billy the Kid not only earned a reputation as the most famous outlaw in American history but as a hero among the people who saw an unlikely hero stand up against political tyranny. The movie was budgeted at eleven million dollars which saw at least a five-fold return for its investment.
Aside from the action-packed movie displaying a group of up-and-coming stars and veteran actors, the music score played an instrumental role to keep the audience entertained from the opening credits until closing. Interestingly enough, movie critics gave Young Guns mostly negative reviews despite the fact it did quite well at the box office and movie rentals as the fans clearly had a different opinion about it. As for The Young Guns Soundtrack, there were a total of twenty tracks on it. The music score was arranged by Brian Banks and Anthony Marinelli. Despite the movie coming out in 1988, it wasn’t until 2017 that the soundtrack for it was released. Running at slightly under forty-minutes long, the progression of the music and sound effects follow the course of the movie from start to finish.
Fans of The Young Guns will also recall there was a 1990 sequel, The Young Guns II. Just like the original movie, it also has a soundtrack of its own as well. As a sequel, it made three times the amount of money as a box office hit from its twenty million dollar investment. In the sequel, lawmen were appointed to hunt down and put an end to Billy the Kid and his closest associates. In the sequel, there were sixteen tracks featured on its soundtrack. Just like the original movie, Young Guns II was not given good reviews by the music critics. Once again, however, the fans disagreed as the sequel had a strong enough cult following that enjoyed it. The story has it there is a third Young Guns movie destined to be filmed and released, hopefully in the near future.
10. Pals (performed by Anthony Marinelli)
(Pals) was an instrumental playout that worked off the close relationship all the members of the Regulars had with each other despite their personal differences. Not a long song at just under the ninety-second mark, the eeriness behind this instrumental number sums up the trials Billy the Kid and his gang underwent while trenched in the wild west.
9. Pass the Peyote Please (performed by Anthony Marinelli)
For the full psychedelic experience, (Pass the Peyote Please) was played in the movie when Billy the Kid and his fellow Regulators underwent a euphoric experience, thanks to Chavez (played by Lou Diamond Philips) and his special smoke ritual.
8. Kinney Chase (performed by Anthony Marinelli)
The opening start of (Kinney Chase) already laid out the reality that something dramatic was about to happen. This fast-paced song burst into what revolved around a big chase as Kinney, one of Murphy’s men sought to put an end to Billy the Kid and his Regulators. As a high-speed chase, this also makes a rather decent tune for the racetrack, too.
7. Howdy (performed by Anthony Marinelli)
Throughout most of the song, (Howdy) was melodic and soothing before finishing off with a dramatic build-up. Composed and performed by Anthony Marinelli, this was an easy-listening classic that is just as timeless as the movie itself.
6. Bring in the Troops (performed by Anthony Marinelli)
(Bring in the Troops) was played in The Young Guns movie when Billy the Kid and his fellow Regulators were corralled by Murphy’s men and the United States Army. Slow and melodic, this methodical number is every bit as entertaining as it is dramatic.
5. The Shootout (performed by Anthony Marinelli)
Dramatic from start to finish, (The Shootout) was an instrumental heavy-hitter. The start of a rattlesnake-like sound quickly drove into the dramatics of what a listener can only imagine as something awesome was about to happen as the heroes of The Young Guns take on the villains.
4. Young Guns Ending Credits (Theme Song) (performed by Anthony Marinelli)
Considered the theme song for The Young Guns, the music score that played during the ending credits was composed and performed by Anthony Marinelli. Rich with guitar riffs, it not only ended the movie on a positive note that Billy the Kid’s brand of justice was served but also as a reminder of how wild the west was once upon a time.
3. Young Guns Main Title (performed by Anthony Marinelli)
Composed by Anthony Marinelli, the opening music score for The Young Guns in 1988 laid out an instrumental introduction of what would become one of the most fan-favored westerns of all time. The guitar riffs, combined with the sounds that were dominant during the latter half of the 1980s are definitely present in the tune. However, this is an easy-listening classic that easily holds the test of time and why it deserves mention.
2. Pals (performed by Anthony Marinelli)
(Pals) was an instrumental playout that worked off the close relationship all the members of the Regulars had with each other despite their personal differences. Not a long song at just under the ninety-second mark, the eeriness behind this instrumental number
1. Blaze of Glory (performed by Jon Bon Jovi) (for Young Guns II)
(Blaze of Glory) was the Jon Bon Jovi hit single that was featured in The Young Guns sequel in 1990. The singer also had a cameo in Young Guns II as a prison escapee who was shot down by lawmen. It won Best Original Song at the 20/20 Awards, as well as the Golden Globe Awards. The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) Film and Television Awards recognized (Blaze of Glory) as Most Performed Songs from Motion Pictures. In all honesty, when mentioning any of the soundtracks from The Young Guns movie franchise, leaving out (Blaze of Glory) would not do it justice at all. (Blaze of Glory) became a number one hit on the US Billboard Hot 100, as well as in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. It was, at the very least, a top ten hit among the nations of Austria, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. It also became certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), as well as the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). With Music Canada, it became certified gold. (Blaze of Glory) was Jon Bon Jovi’s answer to the request of Emilio Estevez, who originally requested (Wanted Dead or Alive) from the Bon Jovi rock group. However, the frontman of the band felt that song didn’t quite do the movie justice and opted to come up with this original.