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Vangelis - Blade Runner (OST) CD (album) cover




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4.11 | 237 ratings

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4 stars It is obvious that I'm a big fan of Philip Dick's work: ''Blade Runner'' movie is probably my all time favorite film and is based on Dick's novel ''Do androids dream of electric sheep?'', which is also certainly in my top-10 list. No wonder that I regard the film's OST among my favorite soundtracks too!

Judging it solely, Vangelis' work on this album has to be considered, together with J.M Jarre and M.Oldfield, as the cream of synth based music. Yet, its interaction with Riddley Scott's images and Dick's visions makes it extraordinary. So, to call it new age or electronic means nothing to me because the music Vangelis composed is iconoclastic and it has to be experienced and reviewed as such. Rumors have it that major synthesizer companies provided him access to synths that had not been released in the market, especially designed for him. Even if the rumors are true, I say that it took something more than state- of-the-art synths to achieve this musical wonder: the highest amount of inspiration, creativity and imagination was required. And granted!

As Scott created a unique hybrid consisted of two oppositional styles (sci-fi and film noir), so Vangelis' equivalent creative effort is to combine traditional musical forms (such as blues, jazz or ethnic) with a high tech orchestration approach. This also serves the metaphysical essence of Dick's concept, where humans lead robotized lives and androids yearn to live and feel like humans. Musically this is represented by ''cold hearted'' synths that aim to sound soulful, warm and organic. For example, ''Blade Runner Blues'' (one of the greatest musical moments ever captured on film) is an atmospheric blues piece performed by space-effected keys. It's all about a game of contradictions creating nothing but pure instrumental poetry.

Vangelis' compositions are simple but super intelligent conceptually and majestically arranged. He has never been a virtuoso (or never acted as one) but his expressiveness is flawless. There are few but very successful guest performances: Mary Hopkins performs ''Rachel's song'', while Dick Morrisey's saxophone solo in ''Love theme'' is as sexy and tender as it gets (if you don't believe me, ask your wife's opinion!). Don Percival's voice in ''One more kiss, dear'' trips the listener into a distant past. By the way, this 1940's style tune may seem in a completely different mood but if you see the film, you'll understand exactly its role in it: it represents lost memories. Finally, in ''Tales of Damascus'' Demis Roussos joins in for a jaw-dropping performance, definitely one of his career highlights. This is also a bittersweet demonstration of what Aphrodite's Child could have achieved if they had stayed together for a longer period.

The antithesis between natural and artificial, past and future, humanistic and mechanical, is obvious in every other track too. ''Main titles'' immediately transfers us to a dark and rainy futuristic L.A, where people are crowded in vast numbers, lost in consumption and devastation. It can send shivers down your spine. ''Blade Runner (End titles)'' is a legendary theme, one of the best tunes in the cinematic history, still delivering the same powerful feeling of awe, mystery and agony.

32 years after its original creation and 20 years after its proper release, the production is still perfect, making this score an amazing sonic experience. Some criticize Vangelis for the recourses he had at his disposal, I choose to enjoy the result of these recourses' use. With a pair of good speakers, I'm sure you will agree!

I believe this work to be Vangelis' best by far. He has never achieved something of equivalent artistic value, neither before nor after ''Blade Runner'' (and I mean his solo career of course). For me, this is one of the highest rated albums of my collection, scoring an incredible 98/100. Despite this, it is not a prog album, it has nothing to do with progressive music and by Progarchives definition, I don't see it as an essential album for a prog collection. This is the ultimate prog site so I have to be fair and rate it with four stars. I would recommend it though to anyone whose sense of hearing is active! Read the novel, see the film, enjoy the music!

Aldebaran_Well | 4/5 |


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