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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 27 December 2007
I'm getting a little annoyed by some people giving negative reviews of this 3CD set when they simply don't appreciate what they have here. Now, don't get me wrong, this is NOT the complete Blade Runner score. For some reason, they've never seen fit to release it. But taking a balanced look at what IS in this release, here is a break down of the tracks on CD 2, which is the disc containing previously unreleased pieces of the score.

1) LONGING. This track does not appear in the movie as far as I'm aware, although it isn't listed as a bonus track. Instead, it offers a fairly short introductory piece which leads nicely into Track 2. Yes, these tracks are abridged, as Vangelis did with the 1994 soundtrack release (CD 1 in this album set).

2) UNVEILED TWINKLING SPACE: This cue is the last piece heard in the film, when Deckard 'rescues' Rachael and they flee his apartment. It includes the beautiful, haunting tones where Deckard is looking at the origami unicorn.

3) DR.TYRELL'S OWL: This cue is mixed quite low in the movie but plays all through Rachael's Voight-Kampff test at The Tyrell Corporation. It begins with Deckard's line "It's too bright in here."

4) AT MR.CHEW'S: all this music corresponds to the scene in the freezer where Roy and Leon ask Chew questions about Tyrell. In the movie this cue is around 3 minutes whereas here it is 4:47, which suggests that Vangelis may have scored a longer cut of this scene.

5) LEON'S ROOM: (erroneously called LEO'S ROOM on the back of the CD). This music is actually the music covering Deckard's Esper analysis of Leon's photo in his appartment. You can hear it quite clearly in the movie, although occasionally it's mixed low and those lovely Esper bleeps get more of your attention.

6) ONE ALONE: A bonus track, which has echoes of Vangelis' work from other albums. It reminded me of L'apocalypse Des Animaux in particular.

7) DECKARD AND ROY'S DUEL: This is actually "Wounded Animals", the final confrontation, but on the CD this cue is 6 minutes long whereas in the film it's almost 11 minutes. This music, in a different form, has already been released.

8) DR.TYRELL'S DEATH: Well, this is the choral/gothic cue playing during Tyrell's demise. This version is much longer than the one in the movie.

9) DESOLATION PATH: The album says it's a bonus track, and technically it is as it doesn't appear in any of the official released versions of Blade Runner. However, this is actually the ALTERNATE LOVE THEME that can be heard (with the film) in the famous "Workprint" that can be found in the 5 DVD set of BR. It's a fascinating and different take of the scene. It's interesting to note that this version and the final one in the workprint vary in length and some content.

10) EMPTY STREETS: This one I'm not sure about. The album doesn't list it as bonus material, but I can't place it in the film. Definitely there are tones from it that can be picked out, but as a piece I'm not really sure it's there. Over to you ;-)

11) MECHANICAL DOLLS: I read another review saying this track is also not included in the movie, but as far as I can tell it's mixed quietly into the background at Sebastian's apartment at different points. It's a nice piece, regardless, feeling childlike yet empty.

12) FADING AWAY: Well, this is "Tears In Rain" but without Rutger Hauer's monologue. Here it is spoiled somewhat by an added background "wind" effect. I have no idea why they renamed it, as this track has been known for years as Tears In Rain. Perhaps it's simply to differentiate it from the original track (with dialogue) included on Disc 1.

And there you have it. That's the best I can do, but I hope it's some use to you.

What many fans can't appreciate, unfortunately, is that composers often feel their music needs to work independently of the images they were scored to accompany. That is their right, I feel, as it's their music. Some fans just want all the cues as they were heard in the movie, in that order, regardless of the dramatic flow when isolated from the imagery. That isn't what many composers do. Jerry Goldsmith hated doing it, John Williams even avoids it. Vangelis certainly does.

Basically, this second CD is a direct companion to the original soundtrack release, with pieces extended or altered to form coherent thematic cues which together create an arc to the experience of the album. That's what was done with the first, and that's what has been done here, including the abridging of tracks. It isn't a complete score, no, but it's a beautiful extension of the original 1994 soundtrack album and, as explained above, it does contain a substantial amount of music from the film.

It's not the scene-by-scene score. If you want that, seek out the bootleg scores that are around, but be aware, complete as they claim to be, they're not. And what they certainly are not is an experience.
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on 10 August 2013
I've discovered this 3CD set rather late in the day but love it. CD1 is the previously released Vangelis Blade Runner "soundtrack" - not a soundtrack album in the strictest sense, of course, more a collection of themes and riffs used in the film supplemented by some extraneous material sung by the likes of Demis Roussos and Mary Hopkin. It's an album I always liked because it conjures up the feel of Ridley Scott's epic film so well, aided by the inclusion of some choice bits of dialogue at the start and end, even though I would not count myself a fan of much of Vangelis' musical output. I'm surprised how much I like CD2 though. It's a sort of ambient take of the first album, comprised solely of instrumentals with no added dialogue. As other reviewers have pointed out, you can hear some of these throughout the film and it notably contains the music to Dr Tyrells death scene and the following scene where Batty takes the lift back down the Tyrells building, plus music from the ensuing chase and fight between Deckard and Batty, and an instrumental version of Tears In Rain, minus Batty's final lines of dialogue (here it's called Fading Away). What makes it for me is the atmospherics - there's lots of tinkling bells and such, plus street noises, clicks and bleeps from the film which evoke perfectly images from the film for me, such as on Empty Streets and Leon's Room - and the two tracks that are listed as bonus tracks (One alone and Desolation Path) which add some melodic structure to the whole CD. The third CD is a bit of a curate's egg though. It's a Vangelis album of new music inspired by the film and his original (i.e. CD1) release and works well overall, but is a bit bland and featureless at times. the intro (Launch approval) leads us into what is essentially a remix of One More Kiss,Dear, sampling the first line of the song and setting it to beats and the familiar synths from the opening section of the film. Its pompous in all the right places and a good start to CD3. However, several tracks feature voices and dialogue which have no relation to the film (some guy witters on in one of them about the dangers of LA but that's as close as we get to Deckards world) and there's a fair bit of aimless moody sax (e.g. The jazzy noodlings of Sweet Solitude) which fails to replicate Blade Runner Blues or the Love Theme off CD1. But Perfume Exotico/Spotkanie Z Matha bucks the trend with a nice sax solo in the former and its riffs on the Mary Hopkin vocal from Rachel's Song on CD1. But taken as a separate entity, CD3 has a Blade Runner-ish charm all of its own.
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on 11 January 2002
..a lot is missing, and if you wanted anything close to a full score then this isn't where you'll find it. The only place where one can conceivably find such a thing is on the bootleg of an 18 track 'Private Release' which was limited to 2000 copies only. Yet, as this album contains re-performed pieces as well as completely new ones I can't help but think of this as more of an "original" Vangelis composition rather than a soundtrack to a film which, judging by the flow of the arrangements and relatively short tracklist, was perhaps its intended purpose and the reason it is so infinitely listenable - which can rarely be said of a lengthy OST.
The pieces speak for themselves - "Blush Response", "Love Theme", "Blade Runner Blues", "Memories Of Green" and "Tears In Rain" are for me the highlights, all sweeping synth and aching piano refrains combined to form a tragic yet strangely beautiful urban dystopia, each one as evocative as the next.
A truly influential album which can still be heard throughout the world of IDM & Neo-Electro
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on 1 January 2008
Okay first of all, yes, advertising this release as being the complete soundtrack is bad form.

This is speculation, but I think the release of this 3 disc album broke down something like this:

Vangelis's people would have made him aware of the various bootlegs that have sprung up over the past 15 years. (I think it's safe to say that there have probably been more bootleg variation of the Blade Runner soundtrack than any other movie, some 3 dozen of them in fact: go check out such sites as vangelis-rarities for a list of some of the examples.) So what I think happened was this: Vangelis took a look at all this stuff and thought, "Well, if die-hard fans already have all this stuff, or even some of it, then what's the point of me giving them it all over again?!"

(The point, of course, is that it would have been 'official' and would have been in digitially remastered sound, but of no moment...)

So instead of repackaging all the cues from the bootlegs into an 'official' release Vangelis decided to give the fans almost entirely new music.

It's interesting to note that almost all the fans over on the International Vangelis Forum are delighted with this release. Why? Precisely because it's 'all new music'! The ones who are whining are the film's fans who simply want the actual soundtrack as it appears in the movie. (In which case virtually all of these fans already have it, in the form of the widely available bootlegs, such as the Esper Edition and the Deck Definitive release.)

Now, mind you, I'm a huge fan of the movie (like most people here I have the 5 disc boxset) and I can understand people's wish to simply have the soundtrack's cues sans sound effects and dialogue, and to that end I would have preferred if Vangelis had removed the dialogue from the first disc of this 3CD release, as opposed to simply including the '94 edition unaltered.

It helps, however, to remember this: Vangelis has NEVER revisited the soundtrack to any of the movies he's worked on. Blade Runner is the exception. It's interesting to note that nowhere - unlike ALL of his other official soundtrack releases, including the recent Alexander and El Greco - does the legend 'Original Motion Picture Soundtrack' appear on the '94 release, or for that matter this '07 release, other than that red sticker. This is a 3CD 'album' in celebration of the movie, NOT a soundtrack.

Vangelis has NEVER been interested in taking the exact edits of his cues from a movie and packaging them onto a CD. THIS is what Blade Runner's film fans want. Vangelis will never do this (and precisely BECAUSE there are so many bootlegs that do exactly that he no doubt feels, "What's the point, you have all this material already?") Instead Vangelis prefers to have his soundtrack releases stand on their own as legitimate albums, and not merely a collection of cues, to the point where he will often rearrange certain tracks for their official album release. This is clearly evident on 1492: Conquest of Paradise and Alexander, where the tracks are not only shorter - or in some cases even longer - than how they appear in the movie, but in addition they have been subtly rearranged. Both of these movies boast 2CD Complete Score bootlegs. Both of these bootleg releases are inferior to the far shorter official single disc releases. Why? Because they're bland, flat - THEY'RE TOO LONG! They don't stand on their own as albums. Most film cues are only a minute or two long, especially in the case of Blade Runner, and whereas these work terrifically within the context of the actual movie, they rarely stand on their own, or even if they do they simply don't flow properly if ran together with the film's other cues when placed onto an album.

Vangelis has always been more concerned with his soundtrack releases maintaining their own sense of cohesion than simply taking the easy route of lazily throwing a whole bunch of cues onto a disc. Sure, this would have delighted the film's fans, but the film and the separate release of the music on CD are two different things, two different mediums.

The majority of Vangelis fans are happy with this 3CD release because it gives us two CDs of brand new music which COMPLIMENT the bootlegs which almost all of us already have.

And, for those few who don't owned the bootlegs, please don't buy them from eBay. Members of such sites as the yahoo group bladerunner_soundtrack will happily provide them free of charge.

Blade Runner's film fans are simply going to have to learn to listen to this release as they would an ordinary album; it's clear that this release was meant for Vangelis fans and not Blade Runner's film fans per se.
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on 11 December 2007
The Blade Runner soundtrack is one of those epoch making moments in soundtrack history. It set the tone for a lot of what was to come in sci-fi and, as the cliché goes, has been often copied but never surpassed. The distinctive soundscape that Vangelis achieved was very analogue, melancholic, nostalgic and like the film a jumbled mixture of past, present and possible future.

I have been excited by this release ever since I heard about it because of Disc 2, which contains previously unreleased material from the Blade Runner soundtrack. The troubled history of the sound track has meant that, to date, much of it has remained available only on dodgy quality bootlegs.

Disc 2 is well worth the money as it contains some beautiful material from the film. However, the 3 CD box set is still incomplete. I must confess that I am an obsessive completist when it comes to this music: I own the (rubbish) American Orchestra version, the 1994 version, the 5 DVD box set and the 1992 bootleg. For a long time I have been looking forward to having the whole original score in a high quality format. Sadly, the new material on Disc 2 only goes part of the way to achieving this. There are still some lovely bits of the original score that are unavailable. Additionally, some of the tracks have been extended or altered. Track 3 for example clearly starts with the original film score, but it does not develop as the music does in the film, consequently, the lovely string melody that accompanies Rachel and Deckard's first meeting is still unavailable. What is more it has been replaced by some fairly inconsequential keyboard noodling.

I can't place some of the music on Disc 2 in the film. The first track for example sounds authentically Vangelis 1981, but I can't link it to a single scene.

Track 9 is an interesting one. It is labelled as a bonus track, but it was also available on the 1992 bootleg. I believe it is an authentic outtake, written to accompany part of the original love scene that was shot and has never been used.

The best bits of the album, from the point of filling the gaps, are tracks 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 10. Track 12 is a version of Tears in Rain with the vocal removed. Sadly, a new "electronic wind" sound effect has been added.

I would love to get my hands on a high quality version of the track, known on the bootleg, as `Morning at the Bradbury' which accompanies JS's first meeting with Batty. It is a kind of anti-love theme. There are thematic links to the actual love theme, (and so there should be because it underscores the love triangle between JS, Batty and Pris) but there is something ominous, melancholic and wistful about it. It would also be nice to have the music that precedes the love theme.

I guess when Vangelis finally shuffles-off-the-buffalo his estate will release all of this stuff in yet another box set, but until then we will have to continue to rely on the bootleg for a complete record of this amazing soundtrack. In the mean time I will have to learn to love Disc 2 this for what it is, rather than what it isn't.
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on 9 January 2003
Being a bachelor who lives on their own in a small apartment, this CD is the music of my choice when I'm at home (whether I be shaving, waking up, doing errands or simply relaxing). The music on this CD transforms my apartment into some sort of space-age futuristic bachelor pad - just like Deckard's apartment in the movie "Blade Runner". After a hard day's work, returning home to the sounds of "Blade Runner Blues" soothes the soul. "Memories of Green" is perhaps my favourite track and never fails to get me sentimental and nostalgic about friends, relationships and family. The background sounds on many of the tracks give you the feeling that outside you really are living in the cold futuristic L.A. portrayed in the movie. While some say the track "One More Kiss Dear" is out of place, for me it adds to the overall atmosphere of the CD and perfectly recreates images of Harrison Ford's moody P.I. eating in a neon-soaked rain-drenched city of the future.
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on 22 December 2009
I think it's all great, even if every last note of what was in the film still isn't here, not least the prologue music, for which I must admit I've sorely hankered for many a year.

But, at the price, this three disc set is almost worth buying for Disc 3 alone, even if it is new material that wasn't actually part of the OMS. As a complimentary set, it's only a little inferior to the original music ~ the new arrangement of Just One Kiss, Dear is hugely better and more fitting than the original (even though I can't think quite where it might have fitted into the film ~ but then neither did the original, of which no more than the most fleeting few bars featured in the background to some brief bar/cafe scene), whilst Sweet Solitude is sheer magic. I don't care for absolutely everything Vangelis has done (some of it, prior to Chariots Of Fire, is very weird) but, for me, his music for Blade Runner represents pretty well the pinnacle of his career.

Purists may carp (they always do) but, for the rest of us, this is a very welcome augmentation to the original single disc issue. The second disc, consisting of atmospheric themes from various scenes in the movie is also very good; not melodies per se, but highly relevant and evocative, bringing back so many strong memories of the film that you wonder how they didn't seem to be serious omissions from the 1994 OMS. But then we had to wait so long just for that CD that we were thankful for what we got.

Regardless of whether or not you already own the original single album, this new 3 disc set is a steal, both musically and sonically and a very welcome augmentation to the 1994 single disc. Highly recommended.
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on 21 January 2009
If you really want every piece of music from the film, incidental or otherwise, then I'm sure you can find a bootleg download. I have the Vesper edition on my computer which has a vast amount more music than this release, but in all honesty I prefer sticking this on. Why? Because it works as an album, and I think that's how Vangelis intended it. Blade Runner is my favourite film, and this is one of my favourite albums. If I want every track I am honestly better off just watching the movie again, so that the music can complement the visuals. Here though, the atmosphere of the movie is captured but each track stands up on its own merits. The lush saxaphone of Blade Runner Blues, the beautiful piano piece Memories of Green, the nostalgic One More Kiss. In a particularly nice touch the soundtrack doesn't end with the somewhat dated "End Titles" but "Tears in Rain" and Batty's wonderful soliloquy, beautifully capturing the essence of the movie.

I haven't personally listened to the latest, 3-disc release which seems to be garnering hostile reviews for still not delivering everything the fans want. Personally, I find that between this, the Vesper bootleg and the actual film I have pretty much all I need. But for a concise, intelligently arranged album that captures the movie's atmosphere and features most of the key musical (and narrative moments), this is a wonderful listen and at £7 very cheap for a soundtrack.
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Having been a Vangelis fan for 20 years I was overjoyed when I heard this was being released a few years ago. I had previously purchased the orchestrated version and always wanted an original. However I was sadly a little dissappointed. There ARE a lot of tracks on the CD but also a few that arent in the movie...there are several great tracks from the movie which arent in the CD and really annoying voice overs. It is still some of his best work but to say it's a soundtrack of the film is misleading.
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on 20 November 2002
The best soundtrack album I own.
I liked the film, but to me it seems that it's popular in a cult way because it's moody, different and because fashionable people want to like it.
However, I think the soundtrack is excellent and has universal appeal. The snippets from the film become inbedded into your head after a few listens - quoting "artificial owls" and "attack ships on fire". I love listening to this CD when I'm relaxing. A long train journey, in a bath, or after herbal indulgences. Vangelis does a great job, I love the sweeping music and mix of musical styles apparent on this CD.
DJ Paul Oakenfold voted this his favourite album ever. I'm not going that far but if I'm on a desrt island and Ive got limited space - I'm taking this CD.
Highly recomended!
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