"I dreamt music."
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.
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.
|3.||"Wait for Me"|
|6.||"One More Kiss, Dear"|
|7.||"Blade Runner Blues"|
|8.||"Memories of Green"|
|9.||"Tales of the Future"|
|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)
|2.||"Unveiled Twinkling Space"|
|3.||"Dr. Tyrell's Owl"|
|4.||"At Dr. Chew's"|
|7.||"Deckard and Roy's Duel"|
|8.||"Dr. Tyrell's Death"|
Track listing (Disc Three)
|2.||"Up and Running"|
|3.||"Mail From India"|
|7.||"No Expectation Boulevard"|
|10.||"Spotkanie Z Matka"|
|11.||"Piano in an Empty Room"|
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.
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.
|1.||Los Angeles, November 2019|
|4.||Deckard Meets Rachael|
|5.||One More Kiss, Dear|
|6.||Blade Runner Blues|
|8.||The Prodigal Son Brings Death|
|9.||Tales of the Future|
|12.||Tears in Rain|
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.
|1.||Ladd Company Logo|
|2.||Main Titles and Prologue|
|3.||Los Angeles, November 2019|
|4.||Deckard Meets Rachael|
|6.||Memories of Green|
|7.||Blade Runner Blues|
|9.||On the Trail of Nexus 6|
|10.||If I Didn't Care|
|12.||The Prodigal Son Brings Death|
|15.||Tears in Rain|
|17.||One More Kiss Dear|
|18.||Trailer and Alternate Main Titles|
In 2005, a bootleg – Blade Runner (Esper Edition) – was created which contains some background music that has never been released.
|1.||Prologue And Main Titles|
|2.||Leon's Voight Kampff Test|
|3.||Sushi Bar - Damask Rose|
|6.||Wait For Me|
|7.||Deckard Meets Rachael|
|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|
|17.||Thinking Of Rachael|
|20.||Taffey Lewis Night Club|
|23.||I am The Business|
|25.||I Dreamt Music|
|26.||Morning At The Bradbury|
|27.||The Prodigal Son Brings Death|
|28.||Deckard Enters The Bradbury|
|31.||Tears In Rain|
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
- Bladezone.com – Visions In Sound by Bentley Ousley