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Soundtrack Review

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Blade Runner

30th Anniversary Celebration
(Music from the Motion Picture)


Composer: Vangelis
Performed by: Edgar Rothermich
BuySoundtrax Records
RRP: £13.99
Available 19 September 2012

It's been 30 years since Ridley Scott's dystopian film Blade Runner was released (1982). Through the years multiple edits of the film have been created for the home video, DVD and Blu-ray markets. Similarly Vangelis’s score has been released in several different incarnations, but none of them are accurate representations of what was heard in the original 1982 film. BuySoundtrax Records seeks to rectify that, with this new recording faithfully recreating the original music from the film, which proved a difficult task. Vangelis’s score was composed entirely by performing on keyboards and recording it directly, so no written transcriptions exist...

In the sleeve notes to the album Randall D. Larson explains why there has never been an official soundtrack release: "Largely because of a dispute between Vangelis and Scott over the director’s use of his music in the film, a proper soundtrack of the music as it is heard in the film has never been commercially issued (despite the promise of a soundtrack album from Polydor Records given in the film's end titles).”

However, several "official" versions of the score have been released since 1994 - in fact the 1994 release collected recordings Vangelis made in 1982 while he was working on the score and also include music not used for the movie.

What we have here on this new recording is a - as authentic as possible - reconstruction note by note and instrument my instrument of the music as it appears in the movie.

Edgar Rothermich is a very brave man. Charged with reverse engineering Vangelis's original score - listening to the original music and a 1982 album mock-up and transcribing it by ear. He also had to recreate the sound of 1982 synthesizers and decipher if noise heard was due to recording on tape or stylistic choices by the composer. The results speak for themselves. This isn't just an album knocked out to celebrate a cult movie's 30th anniversary. This is a labour of love, and the time and effort expelled were well worth the effort.

There's so much to champion here - from the fact that this is without a doubt the best interpretation of Vangelis's score that I've ever heard and in addition Tom Scmidt's rendition of 'One More Kiss Dear' has way better production values.

If you own any of the other releases, then you need to pick this up - as it's by far the best. The album contains 17 tracks and lasts for 1 hr, 11 min, 50 sec.

Sure, it's a replicant, but you'd never know.


Darren Rea

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