Beware of Replicants?

I remember back in 1982 trawling through HMV stores, searching LP racks in vain for the Blade Runner soundtrack. Hell, the end-credits for the film actually advertised it as being ‘available on ‘Polydor Records & Tapes’ so I figured it had to be out somewhere, right? Alas no. The real story of why is lost to legend (and I won’t go into the rumours here) but the intended soundtrack release got cancelled. Warner noticed the many queries from customers regards the soundtrack so created a facsimile version by the New American Orchestra. At the time it seemed an awful joke on the films fans, but over the years I’ve made my piece with it. Other than the simply horrific attempt at the End Titles, the rest of the album, particularly tinged with the more jazzy, noir-influenced elements of the actual score, isn’t too bad and accompanies the film and the eventual 1994 soundtrack release fairly well.

Of course there are problems with the various incarnations of the proper score belatedly released over the years by Vangelis, so its perhaps inevitable that someone would have another crack at it. While I always wished the (soon to be folded, alas)  FSM label might have one day worked on a definitive release, instead we have BSX with, so many years after the NAO version, another re-recording.

You can find details and score samples here at

It’s due to be released anytime now, and out of morbid curiosity yes I’ve pre-ordered it myself. A listen to the samples will reveal that it doesn’t sound right. The funny thing is, nobody quite sounds like Vangelis, even after all these years. Actually, these days not even Vangelis sounds like he used to; analogue synths of the 70s used back in his Nemo days (when he worked on Blade Runner) are museum pieces now.  I’ve heard many versions of the End Titles of the years and they all sound poor, and the less said about all those Dance versions the better. The annoying thing about this release is that there seems, well,  little point to it. Had it been a 2-disc edition of the complete score, without the dialogue and edits and missing material still haunting the official releases, then even had it been a poor Replicant, as it were,  of the soundtrack, at least it being complete would have given it some purpose and appeal.

Oh well. Jump over to BSX if you are interested as its limited to 1,500 copies. I’ll post my opinion of it when it arrives in a few weeks.

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