Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid scriptwriter Rudy Wurlitzer was a previous acquaintance of Dylan's, and asked him to provide a couple of songs for the movie. Dylan performed "Billy" for director Peckinpah, who found the performance very moving and offered Dylan an acting part on the spot.
Dylan's first session for the Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid soundtrack was on January 20, 1973 at CBS Discos Studios in Mexico City. The only song from that day that was included on the album was "Billy 7"; also recorded were multiple other takes of "Billy".
There are three versions of the song in the LP Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid (1973): Billy 1, Billy 4 and Billy 7.
Edizioni Curci 1973, Milano. Italian version by Spiker.