Experience Blade Runner Like You Never Have Before Through a Feature-Length Remastered Soundtrack

There is no one Blade Run­ner. Rid­ley Scot­t’s influ­en­tial “neo-noir” has appeared in sev­er­al dif­fer­ent ver­sions over the past 38 years, both offi­cial — the “direc­tor’s cut,” the “final cut,” and lest we for­get, the now-derid­ed first the­atri­cal cut — and unof­fi­cial. So has Blade Run­ner’s sound­track, the first offi­cial release of which lagged the film by about a dozen years, and even then did­n’t include all the music so inte­gral to the unprece­dent­ed aes­thet­ic rich­ness of the futur­is­tic set­ting. Then, about a dozen more years lat­er, fol­lowed an expand­ed sound­track album, which for many fans still proved unsat­is­fy­ing. In the name of com­plete­ness and son­ic fideli­ty, at least five wide­ly dis­trib­uted bootlegs have attempt­ed to fill the gap.

Now, in our 21st-cen­tu­ry age of stream­ing, we have fan-made “remas­ters” of the Blade Run­ner sound­track like the above, the 5.7‑million-times-viewed work of a user called Greendragon861. Run­ning just over one hour and 52 min­utes — near­ly the length of the var­i­ous cuts of Blade Run­ner itself — this son­ic expe­ri­ence includes, of course, the well-known elec­tron­ic pieces by com­pos­er Van­ge­lis, those that come right to mind when you envi­sion the flame-belch­ing indus­tri­al land­scape of 21st-cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les or a police “spin­ner” tak­ing to the skies. But it also incor­po­rates back­ground music, sound effects, and even snatch­es of dia­logue from the movie. The result feels a great deal like watch­ing Blade Run­ner with­out actu­al­ly watch­ing Blade Run­ner.

Despite ini­tial­ly flop­ping, at least in the West, Blade Run­ner has exert­ed an enor­mous influ­ence on oth­er art and media — indeed, on the way human­i­ty envi­sions the future — and one still spread­ing near­ly four decades lat­er. The film seems unsur­pass­able in that regard, an achieve­ment cred­itable to a range of cre­ators: direc­tor Rid­ley Scott, of course; but also Philip K. Dick, author of its source mate­r­i­al; the late Syd Mead, who as a “visu­al futur­ist” gave focus to the world’s look and feel; mod­el mas­ter Dou­glas Trum­bull, thanks in part to whom its built and mechan­i­cal envi­ron­ment has aged so well. The list goes on, and it should­n’t fail to include Van­ge­lis as well as every­one else respon­si­ble for this intri­cate sound­scape, with­out which Blade Run­ner would­n’t be Blade Run­ner, no mat­ter the cut.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

How Blade Run­ner Cap­tured the Imag­i­na­tion of a Gen­er­a­tion of Elec­tron­ic Musi­cians

Sean Con­nery (RIP) Reads C.P. Cavafy’s Epic Poem “Itha­ca,” Set to the Music of Van­ge­lis

The Sounds of Blade Run­ner: How Music & Sound Effects Became Part of the DNA of Rid­ley Scott’s Futur­is­tic World

Stream 72 Hours of Ambi­ent Sounds from Blade Run­ner: Relax, Go to Sleep in a Dystopi­an Future

Drone Footage of San Fran­cis­co Set to the Music of Blade Run­ner 2049

The City in Cin­e­ma Mini-Doc­u­men­taries Reveal the Los Ange­les of Blade Run­ner, Her, Dri­ve, Repo Man, and More

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall, on Face­book, or on Insta­gram.

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Comments (7)
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  • Woody Fellini says:

    They can re-cut it till the cows come home, it remains a rub­bish film.

  • NYCPaul says:

    I saw a cut of “Blade Run­ner” that very few peo­ple have seen- and it was ter­ri­ble. When I was at Auburn Uni­ver­si­ty, the stu­dio showed it to the stu­dents in a rough cut. There was music miss­ing, and you’d even see an occa­sion­al grease mark from where they had marked the print for edit­ing. It ram­bled on, was close to four hours long, and made vir­tu­al­ly no sense. At the end, we filled out an exten­sive ques­tion­naire about what we thought of it. I have to say, I’ve seen two or three dif­fer­ent ver­sions over the years, and have nev­er been a fan, out­side of the pro­duc­tion design. But that first view­ing was the mess you might expect it to be, giv­en the sit­u­a­tion.

  • Nemo Vinolentus says:

    Woody prob­a­bly does­n’t under­stand the movie or just wants to troll by sayin “it’s rub­bish” with­out any con­struc­tive crit­i­cism. Dear Woody, you don’t have to wor­ry about Blade Run­ner, just watch the mas­ter­pieces you like, what­ev­er.

  • Oran Ryan says:

    Woody, De gustibus non est dis­putan­dum, this I know. But real­ly, Blade Run­ner? Give it anoth­er look. Omy­god its as close to per­fec­tion as one can get.

  • Straatts says:

    Like it or not — Blade Run­ner rep­re­sents a sig­nif­i­cant turn­ing point in sci­ence fic­tion and futur­ist films.
    Per­son­al­ly, it is one of my favourite films ever. The depic­tion of a dystopi­an world which is so very close to real­i­ty, the extra­or­di­nary music by Van­ge­lis, the fre­net­ic sound­scape and the extra­or­di­nary vision and per­for­mances, in my mind, far out­weigh any neg­a­tive com­ments. I per­son­al­ly don’t take drugs but this movie is a trip. I have thor­ough­ly enjoyed lis­ten­ing to this extend­ed ‘Sound­track’. Bra­vo

  • Indy says:

    “…But it also incor­po­rates back­ground music, sound effects, and even snatch­es of dia­logue from the movie. The result feels a great deal like watch­ing Blade Run­ner with­out actu­al­ly watch­ing Blade Run­ner…”

    This is a dumb line.
    Yep, play­ing any film and keep­ing your eyes closed is a great deal like that.

    Excel­lent film, excel­lent sound­track, btw.

    Alas, the sequel, (to quote woody) was actu­al rub­bish.

  • Michael says:

    Blade Run­ner is also influ­enced by Metrop­o­lis movie by Frits Lang.
    Blade Run­ner Its one of the most icon­ic movies visu­al­ly and sound wise includ­ing music
    all those Movies after Blade Run­ner and Games copied a lot of this movie as it gives a real­ly good impres­sion of to days real­i­ty and envi­ron­ment and design
    Look at Sen­tinel book by Syd Mead he designed cars for Blade Run­ner that could actu­al­ly be build.

    Every one has an opin­ion about good or bad movies but it made an incred­i­ble impact on my pro­fes­sion to become an visu­al artist in the movie indus­try for many big pro­duc­tions and proud be Dutch and to have met Rut­ger Hauer as well

    Same counts for Tron designs

    Michael van Ran­der­aat

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