The 20th Anniversary Edition of PANTERA's Cowboys From Hell is out now - check out a specially-made video for BraveWords.com above featuring singer Philip Anselmo.
Pantera found its growl and groove on Cowboys From Hell, a landmark album whose bone-powdering intensity, razor-sharp riffing and pummeling rhythmic assault represented a turning point in modern metal when it was released in 1990. More than just Pantera's major label debut, many consider this album to be the official debut of the Pantera lineup with singer Philip Anselmo, guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, his brother, drummer Vinnie Paul and bassist Rex Brown.
To celebrate the 20-year anniversary of Cowboys From Hell, Rhino rounds up a three-disc Ultimate Edition, a three-disc Deluxe Edition, and a two-disc Expanded Edition. All three editions include a newly remastered version of the original album along with unreleased and rare live performances from the Cowboys From Hell tour. The Ultimate and Deluxe editions will also feature a disc of unreleased demos for nearly every album track, plus, 'The Will To Survive', a previously unreleased song recorded during the album's sessions.
"'The Will To Survive' is a great track. With so many killer songs, it was hard to pick and choose the ones that should make our major label debut," says Vinnie Paul. "After hearing it for the first time in about 20 years, it's a pretty stellar performance and I am definitely proud that it will see the light of day for all the die-hard Pantera fans around the world! It shows the true musical diversity of the band at that time!"
The Ultimate Edition will feature all three discs included in the Deluxe Edition and will be housed in an intricate box including several replica memorabilia pieces from the Cowboys era. The Ultimate Edition will be available on November 22 and final pre-order details, as well as the contents, will be unveiled soon on Pantera's Facebook page.
Along with the remastered version of Cowboys From Hell, all three sets include a disc of live music recorded during the tour for the album. It begins with seven unreleased performances from Pantera's September 15, 1990 appearance at the Foundations Forum metal convention in California, a show recorded for radio broadcast but never released commercially. The remainder of the disc contains the five-song EP Alive And Hostile, a collection of performances recorded in 1991 at the Monsters of Rock festival in Moscow that was previously available only in Australia as part of a 1994 boxed set.
The Ultimate and Deluxe editions of Cowboys From Hell include a third disc that contains the previously unreleased 'The Will To Survive', along with demos for ten of the album's 12 songs, including early versions of the title track 'Psycho Holiday', 'The Art Of Shredding' and 'Cemetery Gates'.
After being turned down "twenty-eight times by every major label on the face of the earth," ATCO Records A&R rep Mark Ross saw the band when Hurricane Hugo stranded him in Texas. The rest, as they say, is history, including another seven years and over a million miles of touring for Cowboys to be certified platinum (one million album sales) by the RIAA.
The album's liner notes include essays by each of the band's surviving members, producer Terry Date, and the aforementioned Ross. Recalling the first time he saw Pantera, Ross writes, "By the end of the first song, my jaw was on the floor. The sonic power of it all - the attitude and the musicianship - blew me away. Basically, you had to be an idiot to not think they're amazing. I mean, how could you see these guys and not think, holy shit!?"
Cowboys From Hell 20th anniversary reissue tracklisting:
Disc One - Ultimate, Deluxe, and Expanded Editions
'Cowboys From Hell'
'Primal Concrete Sledge'
'Clash With Reality'
'Message In Blood'
'The Art Of Shredding'
Disc Two - Ultimate, Deluxe, and Expanded Editions
'Domination' (live) *
'Psycho Holiday' (live) *
'The Art Of Shredding' (live) *
'Cowboys From Hell' (live) *
'Cemetery Gates' (live) *
'Primal Concrete Sledge' (live) *
'Heresy' (live) *
'Domination' (live, Alive And Hostile EP) +
'Primal Concrete Sledge' (live, Alive And Hostile EP) +
'Cowboys From Hell' (live, Alive And Hostile EP) +
'Heresy' (live, Alive And Hostile EP) +
'Psycho Holiday' (live, Alive And Hostile EP) +
Disc Three - Ultimate and Deluxe Editions Only
'The Will To Survive' *
'Shattered' (demo) *
'Cowboys From Hell' (demo) *
'Heresy' (demo) *
'Cemetery Gates' (demo) *
'Psycho Holiday' (demo) *
'Medicine Man' (demo) *
'Message In Blood' (demo) *
'Domination' (demo) *
'The Sleep' (demo) *
'The Art Of Shredding' (demo) *
* Previously unreleased
+ Unreleased in North America
The Ultimate Edition box includes custom artwork and a 60-page booklet with rare photos, expanded liner notes and replicas from the Cowboys era as listed below.
- New Years Puke Party T-shirt – designed by Dimebag Darrell (XL)
- ‘We're Takin’ Over This Town’ flyer reproduction (8 1/2" x 11")
- ‘It's Up To You/Censorship’ flyer reproduction (8 1/2" x 11")
- Arcadio Theatre poster reproduction (11" x 17")
- Cowboys From Hell Fucking Hostile button
- ‘All Access Tour Pass '90’ Fabric Sticker
- Cowboys From Hell Texas Guest Laminated Pass
- ‘U.S. Tour '91’ All Access Laminated Pass
- Ticket reproduction, June 14, 1991