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

BLADE RUNNER (OST)

Vangelis

 

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4.11 | 222 ratings

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TCat
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Even though the movie 'Blade Runner' was released in 1982, the official score for the movie by Vangelis was not released until 1994. There was an orchestral version released much earlier, but it wasn't the actual score, and, even though the music by Vangelis was loved by the critics and the fans, it wasn't available, except for a few tracks on collection albums, until much later.

The music, as far as electronic music is concerned, is considered very influential. Some of the music is taken from the score, but not all of it. Some of it is also inspired by the film but not used in the film itself. Either way, it does flow quite smoothly and is hard to tell which music was on the score and which was left off.

There is some film dialogue on this soundtrack, but it is only on tracks 1, 2 and 12. It isn't overbearing, except maybe on the 2nd track, and is mostly done tastefully so as to almost seem like an electronic field recording. It doesn't seem to be dubbed in like it does on other soundtracks.

The music also flows from one track to the other, except for tracks 5, 6, and 7, which has silence after each track. This works well for continuity.

As far as listen-ability, the 'Main Titles' track is good, but it isn't the full track, which is only available on bootlegs as far as I know. 'Blush Response' has too much dialog and takes a while to get moving because of that, but the 2nd half is better. However, the music really gets better on 'Wait for Me' which features a nice, soft jazz feel and includes sax from Dick Morrissey, who is a well-known British jazz artist. The sound is not new age, as would be the fear of most, but is much better.

'Rachel's Song' features wordless vocals surrounded by peaceful effects, some choir effects, and a rather ambient tone. Other than the vocals, which I find a bit distracting, this is a nice track. 'Love Theme' is a lush and romantic feeling track, which seems to be aimed a little more towards a radio-friendly sound. This one was previously available on the 'Themes' collection.

'One More Kiss Dear' features processed vocals made to sound like an old lounge-jazz recording. Vocals are by Demis Roussos who was Vangelis' bandmate from 'Aphrodite's Child'. 'Blade Runner Blues' follows this and is the longest track on the album at almost 9 minutes. It is a slow, blue-sy, yet ambient track, all electronic, but the main melody has the sound of a muted brass or sax.

'Memories of Green' was previously available on the album 'See You Later' released in 1980, so is not original to this soundtrack. It was also available on the 'Themes' collection. This also has a slight jazz feel to it, led by an electronic simulated piano melody with ambient electronic effects surrounding it. 'Tales of the Future' is another supplemental track inspired by the film. It features a more electronic feel, with mid-eastern sounding vocals with an echo effect. It has a more intense and unsettling feel than the previous tracks.

The mid-eastern feel continues with simulated violin on 'Damask Rose', this time with no vocals. Again, suspense builds with a minor key and darker effects. The 'End Credits' follows. This is the one that most will recognize. It is one of the few tracks on the album with a faster rhythm, which is more paced by the music than by percussion, even though there is some there, more as an orchestral effect. The music is dramatic and exciting, which contrasts with the feeling of most of the rest of the album, but is very effective for soundtrack music, and one of Vangelis' more famous themes. It all ends off with 'Tears in Rain' which starts with dialog surrounded by peaceful effects. Ambient music with effects continue after the dialogue ends.

Being a fan of the film, I appreciate the music as the soundtrack as it all fits well, mysterious yet not overpowering. Some of the additional music tends to distract a bit, and I prefer the music itself over the added dialog and vocal sections, but it is not used to an overabundance. As far as albums, I don't consider it one of his best or most enjoyable, but as far as a soundtrack, I can't see how any other style of music would have been this effective for the film. By itself it is nice, but not exceptional, and because of that and it's influence on ambient and electronic music, it gets 4 stars.

TCat | 4/5 |

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