After listening to this outtake, I do not hear much difference, if any, from this and the final version that ended up on the album. The strings are there, and the arrangement seems complete.
The song started out as a showdown between two lovers and ended up being a wild west ballad. I do remember as we were writing the lyrics, we got to the line, “Legends say that I have beat the best…” and in looking for a rhyme and the next line that ended “bullet in his chest”, Jon grabbed his chest and flopped over on the floor. I don’t believe it was what he had originally envisioned the song to be, and the line was kind of a shock! After that we started laughing about his reaction and was hard to get back into a serious frame of mind to finish the song.
I do notice that the wind of the prairie (generated by the synthesizer we had purchased) starts at the beginning of the song on the album version, but only shows up at the end of this take and is cut off at the end which led to the wind chimes and the next song “Dreams Still Live On” and then “Sunny Day”.