Sunday, March 28, 2021

Blade Runner Pop/Rock Soundtrack


What if the original Blade Runner film had a pop music soundtrack? You know how some films have an instrumental score but also an album of pop/rock tunes that were used in the film or inspired by the film. If Blade Runner had such a collection maybe it would sound like this mix.

This all started when I was listening to Pink Floyd - Shine On You Crazy Diamond part 1 and I thought that it sounded like it would sort of fit with the Blade Runner score we are all so familiar with. That got me thinking about the question posed at the top of this post. As I started collecting tracks the first place I went was Gary Numan & Tubeway Army - Replicas. How could I not use a song called "Replicas"? Likewise from the same album, how could resist the track "Are Friends Electric?"

I got some great recommendations from Mixcloud listeners in this thread -   Tracks from Public Image Ltd., John Foxx, Quieter Than Spiders and New Order came right from those suggestions. There were also some great ideas in that thread which will work perfectly in a Blade Runner alternative score mix. I'm hyped to do that mix but I should probably wait a bit after this BR mix.

This was a lot of fun to put together. I hope you enjoy it.


[ s t r e a m ]    [ d o w n l o a d ]    [ i t u n e s ]

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Pink Floyd - Shine On You Crazy Diamond pt. 1
  • 03:36    Tubeway Army - Replicas
  • 08:25    Air - Kelly Watch the Stars
  • 12:00    Public Image Ltd. - The Order of Death
  • 16:26    John Foxx - A New Kind Of Man
  • 19:58    Kuedo - Memory Rain
  • 23:23    Ultravox - Your Name Has Slipped My Mind Again
  • 27:34    Air - Remember
  • 29:52    Kraftwerk - The Robots
  • 35:20    Ultravox - Mr. X
  • 41:45    Quieter Than Spiders - The Signs of Life
  • 46:52    Brad Mehldau - Paranoid Android
  • 48:23    Metric - Artificial Nocturne
  • 52:31    Tubeway Army - Are “Friends” Electric
  • 57:45    New Order - Elegia
  • 61:43    end


The Interstellar Radio Station said...

Frankly, I don't think it would have matched the character the film. The selected musical format and tone was an important part of projecting what the film wanted to portray for the future, which was dark, fatalistic, and dystopian.

Ashley Pomeroy said...

Replicas is a rare example of an album that was inspired by Philip K Dick before Blade Runner came out - Gary Numan grew up reading New Wave sci-fi and the record is full of nods to the genre. "M.E." from his next album is essentially Harlan Ellison's "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" as a pop song.

The podcast itself reminded me of the Eurhythmics' music for 1984. Virgin Records insisted that they record a synthpop soundtrack for the film, and it's incongruous. Given that the British film industry was on a roll at the time Blade Runner came out I can imagine an alternative world version of the film produced by David Puttnam with a soundtrack of pop songs by... Thomas Dolby? Japan? Ultravox? Duran Duran?

They might all have turned out a passable soundtrack. It would probably be twenty minutes of instrumental B-sides with a love theme and a big pop single, so perhaps it's best we had Vangelis.

Ashley Pomeroy said...

NB PiL's "The Order of Death" ended up on the soundtrack of Hardware, a low-budget but surprisingly good-looking sci-fi horror film from much later in the decade.

If there had been a pop soundtrack for a hypothetical British-produced Blade Runner it would probably have been a band associated with the production company, which essentially means EMI, because Blade Runner wasn't cheap and EMI had far more money than Mute or Stiff. Kate Bush?

niceguysoulman said...

Hi, and thanks for all the fabulous mixes. Some really great programming. Question for you if I may: where do I find the most high fidelity files for listening? I notice that you're on a few platforms. Thanks and best regards, Derek

Low Light Mixes said...

The highest quality files are probably the download from here on blogger. The mp3 that is available for download here is 320kbps. Which is pretty good for most human ears. Thanks for listening. Cheers!

Low Light Mixes said...

The highest quality files are probably the download from here on blogger. The mp3 that is available for download here is 320kbps. Which is pretty good for most human ears. Thanks for listening. Cheers!

The Interstellar Radio Station said...

Pondering the narrative here further: Musically, much of the Vangelis soundtrack is written in minor keys to relate the bleak ominous character of the future as forecasted by the film. Vangelis's use of minor keys as the home keys in his soundtrack convey this bleakness to the audience unequivocally. I doubt if there are any "album-releasing" 1982-era artist that has ever written any composition in a minor home key, save for a once in a career love ballad. To them, minor keys are only used as transitional chords in their chord progressions, virtually all of which are in major home keys. The use of "traditional" major home key tracks would have clashed with the dark character in the film and sent a mixed message to the movie-watcher, thereby reducing its homogeneity and impact. For Blade Runner, it was not a matter of "plug and play" your soundtrack artist, the musical expertise of Vangelis to be able to write convincing tracks in minor home keys was needed very specifically to portray the film's mode.