June 26, 2019

Edgar Rothermich’s Authentic Replicant of Vangelis’ BLADE RUNNER Score Comes to Vinyl via Notefornote Music

– Randall D. Larson

Notefornote Music presents a vinyl edition of BLADE RUNNER: Music from the Motion Picture Score – Edgar Rothermich’s faithful recording of the classic score composed by Vangelis, originally released on CD from BuySoundtrax Records in recognition of the film and score’s 30th Anniversary in 2012.

Blade_Runner_NFN1013_cover vinylVangelis’ musical soundtrack for BLADE RUNNER has had several different editions (including a cloud of bootlegs), but none of them provided a wholly accurate rendering of the sonic dimensions actually heard in the 1982 film.  Largely because of a reported dispute between Vangelis and director Ridley Scott over the director’s use of his music in the film, a proper soundtrack of the music as it is heard in the film has never been commercially issued (despite the promise of a soundtrack album from Polydor Records given in the film’s end titles). 

The first commercial release of the BLADE RUNNER music was an orchestral adaptation of Vangelis’ electronic music by an ensemble called the New American Orchestra (arranged by noted film composers Angela Morley, Patrick Williams, and Eddie Karam), released shortly after the film’s debut in 1982. Twelve years later Vangelis released an album of his original BLADE RUNNER music, but most of the tracks were re-recorded, had dialogue and sound effects overdubs, or hadn’t been used in the film at all. A 2007 25th Anniversary 3-CD package rereleased the 1994 CD along with a second cd containing re-interpretations and non-film music and a third disc’s worth of new music “inspired” by the film.

Vangelis’ score was composed entirely by performing on keyboards and recording it directly, so no written transcriptions exist. German-born composer Edgar Rothermich was charged with reverse engineering the score – listening to the original music and a 1982 album mock-up and transcribing it by ear. He also had to recreate the sound of 1982 synthesizers and decipher if noise heard was due to recording on tape or stylistic choices by the composer.  “The objective from the very beginning was to be as close as possible to the original score as heard in the film,” Rothermich said, quoted in the CD’s liner notes. “It was never a case of my interpreting the soundtrack. It was essentially a re-recording of the soundtrack music.”

The original BSX CD was a limited edition which was reissued in wide release in 2015. Now Notefornote Music brings this eloquent and authentically-sounding recording of the BLADE RUNNER music to the modern world of vinyl for the first time, in a limited 2-LP edition.

For more details, see notefornotemusic


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