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"I dreamt music."

Rick Deckard[src]

The soundtrack for Blade Runner by Vangelis is a dark melodic combination of classic composition and futuristic synthesizers which mirrors the film-noir retro-future envisioned by Ridley Scott. The score was composed and performed by Vangelis, featuring vocals by Demis Roussos and saxophone by Dick Morrissey. The album also features clips of dialogue from the film, spoken by Harrison Ford, Sean Young, Joe Turkel, and Rutger Hauer.

A number of bootlegs arose after the film's 1982 release, since the soundtrack was continuously delayed until 1994. Two official releases pre-dated the 1994 release. The first, Blade Runner: Orchestral Adaptation of Music Composed for the Motion Picture by Vangelis, featured music from the film, but reinterpreted in a jazz style. The second was Vangelis' compilation album Themes, which featured three tracks from the film. In 2007, a version of the album, Blade Runner Trilogy: 25th Anniversary was released featuring two additional discs, one containing previously unreleased music from the film and the other containing new music inspired by the film.

The soundtrack was nominated in 1983 for a BAFTA and Golden Globe as best original score.

Official releases[]

1994 release[]

Following years of delays – despite the film's theatrical trailer and credits saying a soundtrack was available on Polydor Records – an official recording of Vangelis' score was released by Warner Music in 1994. This release had extensive liner notes in a twelve-page booklet, but the closest Vangelis came to explaining the long delay was the following:

Most of the music contained in this album originates from recordings I made in London in 1982, whilst working on the score for the film BLADE RUNNER. Finding myself unable to release these recordings at the time; it is with great pleasure that I am able to do so now. Some of the pieces contained will be known to you from the Original Soundtrack of the film, whilst others are appearing here for the first time. Looking back at RIDLEY SCOTT's powerful and evocative pictures left me as stimulated as before, and made the recompiling of this music, today, an enjoyable experience." (VANGELIS Athens, April 1994)

While most of the tracks on the album are from the film, a number were composed by Vangelis but were ultimately not used in the film itself. Other compositions that appear in the film were not included on this release.

Track listing[]

No. Title
1. "Main Titles"
2. "Blush Response"
3. "Wait for Me"
4. "Rachel's Song"
5. "Love Theme"
6. "One More Kiss, Dear"
7. "Blade Runner Blues"
8. "Memories of Green"
9. "Tales of the Future"
10. "Damask Rose"
11. "Blade Runner (End Titles)"
12. "Tears in Rain"

Blade Runner Trilogy: 25th Anniversary[]

A three-disc version of the soundtrack was released in 2007 to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Blade Runner and to coincide with the release of Blade Runner: The Final Cut. The first disc is identical to the 1994 release. The second disc contains music from the film that was previously unreleased. The third disc contains new compositions by Vangelis, inspired by Blade Runner.

Track listing (Disc Two)[]

No. Title
1. "Longing"
2. "Unveiled Twinkling Space"
3. "Dr. Tyrell's Owl"
4. "At Dr. Chew's"
5. "Leo's Room"
6. "One Alone"
7. "Deckard and Roy's Duel"
8. "Dr. Tyrell's Death"
9. "Desolation Path"
10. "Empty Streets"
11. "Mechanical Dolls"
12. "Fading Away"

Track listing (Disc Three)[]

No. Title
1. "Launch Approval"
2. "Up and Running"
3. "Mail From India"
4. "BR Downtown"
5. "Dimitri's Bar"
6. "Sweet Solitude"
7. "No Expectation Boulevard"
8. "Vadavarot"
9. "Perfume Exotico"
10. "Spotkanie Z Matka"
11. "Piano in an Empty Room"
12. "Keep Asking"

Bootlegs[]

The delays and poor reproductions of the Blade Runner score led to the production of many bootleg recordings over the years. A bootleg tape surfaced in 1982 at science fiction conventions and became popular given the delay of an official release of the original recordings, and in 1993 "Off World Music, Ltd." created a bootleg CD that would prove more comprehensive than Vangelis' official CD in 1994. A disc from "Gongo Records" features most of the same material, but with slightly better sound quality. In 2003, two other bootlegs surfaced, the "Esper Edition," closely preceded by " Los Angeles - November 2019 ." The double disc "Esper Edition" combined tracks from the official release, the Gongo boot and the film itself. Finally "2019" provided a single disc compilation almost wholly consisting of ambient sound from the film, padded out with some sounds from the Westwood game Blade Runner.

Studio tape[]

The first release of the Blade Runner score in any form was a tape suspected of coming from a sound engineer during the film's mixing. It was popular, despite subpar audio quality, given the continuous delays of the official Vangelis score.

Track listing[]

No. Title
1. Los Angeles, November 2019
2. Leon's Interrogation
3. Lift-Off
4. Deckard Meets Rachael
5. One More Kiss, Dear
6. Blade Runner Blues
7. Love Theme
8. The Prodigal Son Brings Death
9. Tales of the Future
10. Dangerous Days
11. Wounded Animals
12. Tears in Rain
13. End Titles

Off World Music[]

A second bootleg, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Blade Runner appeared in 1993 by "Off World Music, Ltd." on CD, which was of high quality and actually more comprehensive than the official release by Vangelis in 1994.

This release includes a 1939 recording by vocal jazz group The Ink Spots. "If I Didn't Care" which originally appeared in an early workprint of Blade Runner, but was replaced by the Don Percival cut "One More Kiss, Dear" in the final version.

Track listing[]

No. Title
1. Ladd Company Logo
2. Main Titles and Prologue
3. Los Angeles, November 2019
4. Deckard Meets Rachael
5. Bicycle Riders
6. Memories of Green
7. Blade Runner Blues
8. Deckard's Dream
9. On the Trail of Nexus 6
10. If I Didn't Care
11. Love Theme
12. The Prodigal Son Brings Death
13. Dangerous Days
14. Wounded Animals
15. Tears in Rain
16. End Titles
17. One More Kiss Dear
18. Trailer and Alternate Main Titles

Esper Edition[]

In 2005, a bootleg – Blade Runner (Esper Edition) – was created which contains some background music that has never been released.

Track listing[]

No. Title
1. Prologue And Main Titles
2. Leon's Voight Kampff Test
3. Sushi Bar - Damask Rose
4. Spinner Ascent
5. Blush Response
6. Wait For Me
7. Deckard Meets Rachael
8. Rachael's Song
9. Tales Of The Future
10. Bicycle Riders (2:10)
11. Chew's Eye Lab
12. Memories Of Green
13. Blade Runner Blues
14. Pris Meets J.F. Sebastian
15. One More Kiss, Dear
16. Deckard Dream
17. Thinking Of Rachael
18. Esper Analysis
19. Animoid Row
20. Taffey Lewis Night Club
21. Salome's Dance
22. Zhora's Retirement
23. I am The Business
24. Love Theme
25. I Dreamt Music
26. Morning At The Bradbury
27. The Prodigal Son Brings Death
28. Deckard Enters The Bradbury
29. Dangerous Days
30. Wounded Animals
31. Tears In Rain
32. Rachael Sleeps
33. End Titles

Esper Edition Notes:

  • Original Music Composed and Performed by Vangelis
  • "Harps Of The Ancient Temples" written and performed by Gail Laughton
  • Vocals on tracks 3, 9 (disc I) and track 5 (disc II) by Demis Roussos
  • Vocals on "Rachael's Song" by Mary Hopkin
  • Saxophone on tracks 2 and 9 (disc II) by Dick Morrissey
  • Lyrics and vocals on "One More Kiss‚ Dear" by Don Percival

External links[]

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