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Vangelis/Blade Runner soundtrack LP (Audio Fidelity)

Blade Runner album artI’m not a big Vangelis fan.

I like L’Apocalypse des Animaux (and would like better if it didn’t sound as though it was mastered from a third-generation cassette), Opéra Sauvage and parts of Antarctica. I have the sense that these records, if released today, would strike me as cheesy, but I’m prepared to suspend that variety of disbelief — and by disbelief I mean snobbery, yeah —  for nostalgia’s sake.

I never paid much attention to the Blade Runner soundtrack or score. I like the movie a lot. It took some liberties with the Philip K. Dick novel, but any movie derived from any Philip K. Dick novel would have to diverge a tad from whatever imaginary reel an attentive reader might play in his or her head. Except, of course, my film adaptation of Confessions of a Crap Artist, which, when it finally becomes flesh, will make you plotz with its deathless depiction of empty materialism, delusional fantasy, narcissistic lust, and the search for meaning in late-fifties West Marin.

But, as usual, I digress. This new Blade Runner LP pressing has me wanting to see the movie again. And seeing the movie again will make me want to listen to the soundtrack again. This is what good movies and good scores should aspire to, that kind of affectionate cross-media dovetail. The music can stand alone; it doesn’t suffer for the lack of visuals, but it provokes the need to go back and match things up in the movie. There’s enough dialog snippets (especially on side one) to remind you that there’s a movie to go along with all the swooping/brooding synth instrumentals.

The pressing quality is excellent. LP production wonks tell me red vinyl doesn’t sound as snazzy as clear vinyl. But Audio Fidelity did crimson proud this time around. If you like evocative, neo-orchestral synthesizer soundtracks to unusually wonderful films from the early 80s, you’ll most likely need this. It’ll bookend adequately with the soundtrack to Altered States.

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addendum (May 1): I got so excited about this album last night I forgot to complain about the packaging.

Pros: Deluxe tip-on gatefold laminated sleeve with glossy photos and liner notes. Fancy. Slick. Lickable.

Con: The disc doesn’t fit easily when you try to replace it. ‘Way too snug. Too bad the label spent so much time making the jacket look spiffy, but forgot to make it adequately large to store the LP.

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addendum (May 2): Just discovered this via a Steve Hoffman thread:

and…