Greetings! ScoreKeeper here hunting for replicants in my spinner and I'm hot on the trail of one that is particularly remarkable. If you're a fan of film music and have collected soundtracks over the years, chances are you have a copy (or five) of BLADE RUNNER (1982) in your collection. Over the years there have been plenty of different versions released; however, for a variety of reasons, none of them have been christened by fans as being the "definitive" edition.
There is an album featuring composer Vangelis' improvised arrangements of music from the film, a version featuring orchestral arrangements performed by the New American Orchestra, and even a 25th Anniversary edition featuring a whole glob of music of 3CDs, none of it really indicative of the original film cues as heard in the film. The history behind all the BLADE RUNNER soundtracks is a fairly muddled mess and because of that, fans have not positively responded in a manner deserving of this classic 80s score.
The good folks at BSX Records, spearheaded by producer Ford A. Thaxton, have taken it upon themselves to enter the BLADE RUNNER arena yet again and attempt a release far more "definitive" than previous versions. Ironically, Vangelis himself had nothing to do with this album (other than writing the original material) which could explain the album's faithfulness to the film.
BSX Records' release of BLADE RUNNER was produced and performed by Edgar Rothermich. Their source was the film itself. Rothermich reversed engineered the synth programming and faithfully recreated (miraculously I might add) the original score tracks as heard in the film. For those who have been unsatisfied with all the previous BLADE RUNNER editions, this has a good chance of winning you over. The album is extremely well done and most importantly, respectful to the original material. If you're a fan of the previous albums, this one may still be worth your attention as there is currently nothing like it on the market. As producer Thaxton quips, "Listen to the previous albums, then listen to ours and decide for yourself."
BSX Records has been releasing re-recordings of famous scores and individual cues for several years. I admit, I was not on board at first but a few key releases have turned me around. I loved their re-creation of Ennio Morricone's THE THING (1982) arranged and performed by Alan Howarth and even their modern re-imaging of Tangerine Dream's LEGEND (1985) is a welcomed addition to my collection. I'm a fairly staunch "original recording" sort of film music connoisseur so it's been a growing experience for me turning my ears toward these albums. The bottom line is they're quite good and as film music collectors, they're worth our attention.
"BLADE RUNNER is the most difficult kind of score to deconstruct," said BSX producer Ford A. Thaxton. "Symphonic music can usually be determined because the instrumental palette is known. But the 1970s-era electronic technology and the improvisational style in which Vangelis created the score made it especially difficult. But we feel Edgar's made a very close replication of what the score sounded like in the film. He's true to the sound the original but he's brought it into today's world."
"The objective from the very beginning was to be as close as possible to the original score as heard in the film," Rothermich said. "It was never a case of my interpreting the soundtrack. It was essentially a re-recording of the soundtrack music."
'm still an "original recording" kind of collector but as long as BSX continues to fill the holes of the market with quality recreations, I'll be an interested patron.
For more information regarding this release including audio samples check out BSX Records.
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