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Blade Runner Trilogy: 25th Anniversary

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Vangelis 12/11/2007
The saga surrounding Ridley Scott's film Blade Runner is one of the most troubled and tweaked film mythologies in Hollywood history. The various cuts, bootlegged unauthorized VHS and DVD versions, different European and American cuts, etc., are too labyrinthine to go into here, but there's plenty available to read if you aren't already familiar with this murky story. Amazingly enough, the film's soundtrack has a similar narrative, one that is dark, full of conflict; it's so complex that even this mammoth, three-disc 25th Anniversary commemorative edition doesn't manage to straighten out. That said, it is a vast improvement on what has previously been released officially. Greek composer and pioneering prog rock and synth king -- and subsequently a best-selling composer of film scores -- Vangelis Papathanassiou was tapped to write the score for Scott's film and record the soundtrack. That said, what appeared in the marketplace when the flick was released had little to do with his original score. When the first version of the soundtrack appeared, his score wasn't actually used, only "adaptations" of its themes by the New American Orchestra. It was disowned not only by the composer, but savaged by Scott. Vangelis released his own version on CD in 1994. It was a horrible sounding single-disc package that included his amazing "Love Theme," and "Memories of Green" as they were meant to be, as well as much of the other incidental music (this fact is so true that various bootlegs of the set sounded far better than the official release and contained more music). Besides the sonic problems, the full score remained unreleased. This new version contains three discs. The first is a beautifully remastered version of that 1994 issue, where all of the dubious hiss and "noise reduction techniques" previously employed were tossed and the process begun from scratch. It sounds like it was made for compact disc. And that's great as far as it goes, but it still didn't address the missing final score. Still, it's such a vast improvement it's worth hearing, and hearing over again. Disc two is the real treasure, though, because it contains a lot more of the score's original music. There's the awesome music that plays in the film while Deckard and Roy have their final near mythic battle to the death in the rain. Likewise, the music for the investigation of "Leo's Room" is included here, as is the subtle, deeply moving composition for the death scene of Dr. Tyrell. There are also a couple of "bonus tracks" that fill out some missing music in the film. The final disc is made up of ephemera, detritus. That's rather harsh considering this is all new music, but Vangelis simply tacked on brand new cuts that reflect his lack of involvement with the actual process of composition itself these days. There are synth sketches, ideas, and asides, and little more. There is a gimmicky bit where Vangelis takes on Scott's dialogue about the Final Cut version of the film and layers his keyboards over it -- new age music with narrative. The third disc of this collection is entirely unnecessary. Ugh. To sum it all, the full score of Blade Runner has yet to be released officially. There have been triple-disc bootlegs that did a better job of presenting as much of the music as is actually hearable, though their sound is far from pristine: they are pirated versions which were assembled to present some other person's dubious perspective -- not too mention the real issue of compensation for those involved in the actual process of creating the work to begin with. So why didn't Vangelis just pop the entire score on the final two discs? It was one definitive way to get the music to the hardcore faithful; in so doing, it would bascially cancel out the terrain the crooks have inhabited and profited from. One look at this edition with its rather handsome presentation is enough to want it, even if you already owned the last CD version. Who knows what the reasons were and are? We may never find out. the bottom line is that it is a bit of a con and a slap in the facer tyo consumers to create a package so fine looking and sounding without offering the complete historical document. So, even in the digital age, the mystery continues, and this score is as strangely absent as it is present. Perhaps it wouldn't fit; perhaps he's planning a 30th Anniversary edition; perhaps, perhaps, perhaps...~ Thom Jurek
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  1. # Song Length
  2. 1 Main Titles PT3M42S
  3. 2 Blush Response PT5M47S
  4. 3 Wait for Me PT5M28S
  5. 4 Rachel's Song PT4M47S
  6. 5 Love Theme PT4M58S
  7. 6 One More Kiss, Dear PT3M58S
  8. 7 Blade Runner Blues PT8M54S
  9. 8 Memories of Green PT5M5S
  10. 9 Tales of the Future PT4M47S
  11. 10 Damask Rose PT2M33S
  12. 11 Blade Runner (End Titles) PT4M39S
  13. 12 Tears in Rain PT3M1S
  14. 1 Longing PT1M58S
  15. 2 Unveiled Twinkling Space PT1M59S
  16. 3 Dr. Tyrell's Owl PT2M40S
  17. 4 At Mr. Chew's PT4M47S
  18. 5 Leo's Room PT2M21S
  19. 6 One Alone PT2M23S
  20. 7 Deckard and Roy's Duel PT6M16S
  21. 8 Dr. Tyrell's Death PT3M11S
  22. 9 Desolation Path PT5M45S
  23. 10 Empty Streets PT6M17S
  24. 11 Mechanical Dolls PT2M52S
  25. 12 Fading Away PT3M32S
  26. 1 BR 25, supplemental music for the 25th anniversary of Blade Runner~Launch Approval by Scott Bolton PT1M54S
  27. 2 BR 25, supplemental music for the 25th anniversary of Blade Runner~Up and Running by Ridley Scott PT3M9S
  28. 3 BR 25, supplemental music for the 25th anniversary of Blade Runner~Mail from India by C. Lambrakis PT3M28S
  29. 4 BR 25, supplemental music for the 25th anniversary of Blade Runner~BR Downtown by Oliver Stone PT2M27S
  30. 5 BR 25, supplemental music for the 25th anniversary of Blade Runner~Dimitri's Bar by Akiko Ebi PT3M52S
  31. 6 BR 25, supplemental music for the 25th anniversary of Blade Runner~Sweet Solitude by Dimitris Tsakas PT6M57S
  32. 7 BR 25, supplemental music for the 25th anniversary of Blade Runner~No Expectation Boulevard by Rutger Hauer PT6M44S
  33. 8 BR 25, supplemental music for the 25th anniversary of Blade Runner~Vadavarot by Irina Valentinova Karpouchina PT4M14S
  34. 9 BR 25, supplemental music for the 25th anniversary of Blade Runner~Perfume Exotico by Edward James Olmos PT5M19S
  35. 10 BR 25, supplemental music for the 25th anniversary of Blade Runner~Spotkanie z Matka by Roman Polanski PT5M9S
  36. 11 BR 25, supplemental music for the 25th anniversary of Blade Runner~Piano in an Empty Room PT3M37S
  37. 12 BR 25, supplemental music for the 25th anniversary of Blade Runner~Keep Asking by Bryce Bolton PT1M29S

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