Limited to 2000 hand-numbered copies. Booklet contains extensive liner notes and photos from the production.
Track 18 is the only track to contain dialogue and effects samples from the actual film. All others are music only.
Total disc time: 72:42
Adapted from Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Ridley Scott's film "Blade Runner" went before cameras late in February 1981. Released the following summer it met with mixed reviews and a moderate box office return, easily outgrossed by "E.T." which was released only one week earlier. Yet more than a dozen years later, "Blade Runner" has emerged as one of the most influential films of the past two decades. Not only did it change the style of film, music, literature, and fashion, it changed the perception of them. Words like "retro," "cyberpunk" and "replicant" today fit easily into the language of pop culture. The film was billed as a futuristic detective thriller, which it is in the most classic film noir sense. But on a more basic level it is the story of a quest for identity; of the individual asking "Who am I?"
Music plays an integral part of "Blade Runner". A seemingly endless variety of music is overlaid with the noise of the city, human voices, sound effects, and intentional distortion, to create an aural texture to match the dizzying visuals of the film. The original score was created by electronic composer Vangelis, the known primarily for his score to "Chariots of Fire". Initially "Blade Runner" was temp-tracked with orchestral music from the films "Planet of the Apes," "Alien" and "Humanoids from the Deep". In fact, the director was so unsure of Vangelis's abilities that he contacted several other composers, including Jerry Goldsmith, Gil Melle and Robert Randles, about a replacement score before ever hearing a note. Ultimately Vangelis's score was edited by Scott and supplemented with source music for the final print. This led to a contractual dispute between the director and composer, resulting in the re-recorded soundtrack album released in 1982; a fine, but very different work by the New American Orchestra.
To date there have been five versions of this film released, including the recent "Director's Cut". Each interprets the story in a distinctly different way and the music, like the images it accompanies, is altered into a new message. It is hoped that this collection is representative of that music and of the world of "Blade Runner".
Early in the 21st century...
1. Ladd Company Logo
2. Main Titles and Prologue
The film opens with our introduction to Hades: Los Angeles of the future, watched over by an omnipotent eye (Batty?) descending upon it. Echoing bells give way to the main theme which suggests the hum of flying "spinners" around us and the flame-belching refineries in the city below. This theme is reprised later when Deckard and Gaff fly to THE TYRELL CORPORATION.
3. Los Angeles, November, 2019
Ex-cop Rick Deckard is arrested and brought to police HQ for a briefing. With him, we see the metropolis that L.A. has become: a polluted city of perpetual night with a population of 109 million people. The music continues this sense of wonder with an underlying theme of oppression. The introduction to this cue is slightly longer than when used in the film.
4. Deckard Meets Rachael
Upon arriving at THE TYRELL CORPORATION, Deckard meets Tyrell's assistant, Rachel. Dr. Tyrell presses him to interrogate the girl, from which he learns she is a new generation of Replicant with no knowledge of her own inhumanity. Wind chimes played throughout this cue suggest a mystery and juxtapose the fragile tranquility of the privileged corporate elite with the dystopic city outside.
5. Bicycle Riders
As Deckard begins his investigation, the fugitive Replicants conduct their own agenda: to gain access to THE TYRELL CORPORATION and the secrets of their limited lifespans. This gentle harp music is heard as Batty and Leon stroll the unusually quite streets of a typically dreary Los Angeles morning. The cue is taken from the 1978 album "Harps of the Ancient Temples" and is the only piece of source music actually credited in the film.
6. Memories of Green
Rachel confronts Deckard with the knowledge that she is a Replicant and that all of her memories are merely brain implants. Deckard alternately rebuffs her and tries to comfort her in his unsympathetic manner, but is ultimately left to question his own humanity when she asks, "Have you ever taken that test yourself?" This piece is from the 1978 Vangelis album "See You Later" and is probably a favourite of the director's. An orchestrated version is used as the love theme in his later film "Someone to Watch Over Me".
7. Blade Runner Blues
Rachel leaves Deckard brooding over the city from his 97th floor balcony; feelings of doubt and regret hanging over him. This theme is reminiscent of music used in the noir detective films of the 1930's and 40's, but with electronic overtones. This music continues after Deckard "retires" the Replicant Zhora and again must come to terms with his life as a hired killer.
8. Deckard's Dream
Alone with his thoughts, Deckard studies Rachel's and Leon's photographs mixed among his own. In the "Director's Cut", Deckard drifts off to sleep and dreams of a unicorn running through an unspoiled forest. This image is repeated near the end of the film in the form of a tinfoil origami sculpture, emphasizing that Deckard's own dreams and memories may not be all that they seem. This choral piece is not included in the original release of the film.
9. On the Trail of Nexus 6
Deckard follows the clues left in Leon's apartment room which take him to Animoid Row, the seedy casbah-like marketplace in central Los Angeles. The familiar use of wind chimes for an air of mystery and Arabic chanting expands the already diverse ethnicity of the future city. Portions of this cue are used in several scenes of the film.
10. If I Didn't Care
Feeling remorse over retiring another Replicant, Deckard is told he must also hunt down Rachel who has fled Tyrell and is now at large in the city. This song by The Ink Spots can be heard in the background of this scene in the early test version of the film and is probably another of Ridley Scott's favourites, as it is used in one of his well known Chanel No. 5 television commercials.
11. Love Theme
Deckard recognizes a kindred spirit in Rachel after she saves his life from a Replicant ambush. Their romance begins with this smokey jazz piece as a moment of tenderness is found in the violent world of the BLADE RUNNER and the Replicant. In the film this cue is overlaid with Rachel's piano playing; actually a variation n Chopin's 13th Nocturne. In the test release, a different love theme is used which continues when Batty arrives at the Bradbury building.
12. The Prodigal Son Brings Death
With the reluctant help of Sebastian, Batty carries out his plan to confront Tyrell. The crescendo of this choral theme comes as Batty first embraces, then brutally murders his "father." A poignant moment, omitted from most later versions of the film, comes next when the blood-splattered Batty starts toward the helpless engineer and says, "I am sorry, Sebastian."
13. Dangerous Days
Learning of Tyrell's and Sebastian's deaths, Deckard is sent to Sebastian's apartment at the Bradbury building to confront what must be the last remaining Replicants. He kills Pris after a violent struggle and then awaits the inevitable arrival of the Replicant leader, Batty. This brief but menacing cue reflects Deckard's apprehension of what will be his final battle. "Dangerous Days" is an early shooting title of this film.
14. Wounded Animals
Two lone warriors, Deckard and Batty each howl in the dark with their own personal agony. (Both have defective right hands.) The music begins here with shadows and rain surrounding their rooftop fight and evolves into a variation on the title theme as Deckard hangs precariously over the city streets far below.
15. Tears in Rain
Saved at the last minute by his nemisis, Deckard realises that Batty's love for life is greater than his hatred of the BLADE RUNNER. The music builds with a melodic, hopeful-sounding variation of the "Wounded Animals" theme as Batty dies and his adopted bird flies up into the clearing skies above (his soul to heaven?). The line from Batty's soliloquy referring to the moments of his life "lost like... tears in rain" was unscripted and, in fact, improvised on the last day of shooting by actor Rutger Hauer and the director.
16. End Titles
His mission accomplished, Deckard leaves the city with Rachel in search of a better life together. In most versions of the film this cue is prefaced with the love theme as Deckard's voice-over explains that Rachel does not have a Replicant's normal limited lifespan and thus, a happy ending. The "Director's Cut" of the movie has no love theme or voice-over, but still features a truncated version of this cue. The original screenplay describes a very different ending in which Deckard, now certain that he too is a Replicant, heads North with the knowledge that his ex-partner Gaff will be hunting him not far behind. This somewhat downbeat ending would better explain the soaring aerial photography and the still dark, malevolent tone of the closing theme.
17. One More Kiss Dear
This pseudo-40's song is used in most versions of the film in place of the Ink Spots piece. Written by Vangelis especially for "Blade Runner", it uses the same melody and structure as "If I Didn't Care", but perhaps does not convey both Deckard's desire and regret as well as the original.
18. Trailer and Alternate Main Titles
Lacking any other title credits, the early test version of the film pulled its title graphics and music from the advance theatrical trailer, where it was used along with a synthesized variation of "If I Didn't Care". In the context of the film, it immediately throws the viewer into the nightmare city of the future, rather than gradually immersing one into it though the opening prologue.
Music Composed, arranged, performed and produced by VANGELIS
Recorded and mixed at Nemo Studios, London September 1981 by Raphael Preston
Published by Spheric Music, B.V.
Additional music by John Williams, Gail Laughton, The Ink Spots and Robert Randles
Executive Producer for Off World Music, Ltd. Christopher L. Shimata-Dominguez
Artwork and Photography © 1982 The Ladd Company
This is a special limited edition release and is not licenced for public sale
© 1993 Off World Music, Ltd.