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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

VANGELIS: Blade Runner (1984)

“Blade Runner is a cult album, possibly the best one for a picture, for a cult movie where sounds and images have cross decennies without appeal”

1 Main Titles 3:42 2 Blush Response 5:47 3 Wait For Me 5:27 4 Rachel's Song 4:46 5 Love Theme 4:56 6 One More Kiss, Dear 3:58 7 Blade Runner Blues 8:53 8 Memories of Green 5:05 9 Tales of the Future 4:46 10 Damask Rose 2:32 11 Blade Runner (End Titles) 4:40  12 Tears in Rain 3:00

Atlantic | 82623-2

(CD 57:39) (V.F.)

(Cosmic, Sci-fi, Cinema)

Along several of my reviews, I mention Vangelis and his BLADE RUNNER as a work of reference. But yet, there was no review of it on Now the situation is corrected. So here is a translated version of a review that I wrote back in 2008 for the webzine Guts of Darkness. First of all, a little of history! It's in 1982 that Ridley Scott's famous movie hit the theatres. For reasons always dark to this day, and in spite of the doggedness, the original soundboard was limited only to the movie version. The very first soundtrack to be bounced out of this picture was an orchestral adaptation strongly sanitized by The New American Orchestra. It was an album of barely 34 minutes which included only the melodious side of Vangelis work, while excluding all the dialogues and sound effects which enriched both the movie and its soundtrack. Despite the absence of a real soundtrack, this music of Vangelis was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 1983, pushing the bootleggers to multiply the pirate editions with various sound qualities that the fans tore away at a high price. Twelve years later the real soundtrack finally saw the light of day to hit our eardrums under the label of Warner.

The intro of Main Titles opens all the suppositions to the late marketing of this full of imagery version of Vangelis. The jingles of machines overhang a honeyed synth which takes a long time before shining. We hear the interrogation of Decker with a Replicant on a background of shadowed strata which hesitate between lifelessness and melody. And the more Main Titles progresses and the more we feel the synergy and the musical power of this galactic world to the ethnic multiplicities. Vangelis casts on Scott's movie a simply stunning sound atmosphere. The enigmatic ambiance and the interrogation continue on Blush Response which takes an Asian tendency on galactic background. Not really rhythmic, nor motionless, this static whirlwind is a real sound ant-hill with its metallic percussions and its dark waves which escape in loops. In this highly futuristic world, Vangelis weaves small melodious pearls as Wait for Me and his jazzy-lounge style or still the melancholic ode of Rachel's Song that plunges us into the territories of Opera Sauvage. After the very sensual and suggestive Love Theme, One More Kiss, Dear uses a style of the 30's night-clubs which is taking us literally out of the futuristic world of BLADE RUNNER.

The strength of this soundtrack is the easiness that has Vangelis to transfers his visions and feelings through various musical styles while respecting the futuristic reach of the movie. Blade Runner Blues is the perfect example. It’s a galactic blues where the melancholy and the suffering of a disrupted soul are hearing by an idle synth which filters lamentations worthy of the most inspired of the saxophonists. The soft piano and the gloomy mood of Memories of Green, a title to tear up the eyelids, continues this dark atmospherical breakthrough which encircles the main lines of this work where man is at the search of his origins. That's one of the beautiful moments in the movie as well as in this soundtrack. As enigmatic as eclectic Tales of the Future and Damask Rose plunge us into the robotics ethnic territories, just before the explosive Blade Runner (End Title) which hammers our eardrums with its big symphonic drums and its melodious synth adorned by numerous sound effects. Tears in the Rain ends with a wonderful heart-rending apocalyptic poem which seduces so much by its words than its soft poignant music which floats in the air and does brandish the hair as much as the spine. As far as I'm concern, BLADE RUNNER is to the world of sci-fi movie soundtracks what Sergeant Pepper is to rock, Dark Side of the Moon is to prog rock or Phaedra is to EM. It's an outstanding musical experience where mixed emotions travel on various electronic musical styles. It's a rich album swarming with ambiances and feelings which succeed to captivate as well our imaginary of a future to be soon our's. It's a real masterpiece which will survive Vangelis' works and life.

Sylvain Lupari (February 6th, 2008) *****

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