Blade Runner Blues

Outside of the main titles, this is perhaps one of the most famous cues from the film as it’s been sampled relentlessly:

Quite a simple CS-80 improvisation on just two chords, F#- and D.

F#-
F# A C# F#
D (1st inversion)
F# A D F#

I’ve got close to the string patch by tweaking the CS-80v preset HS_Four-Strings, resetting all of the voice panorama to the middle, disabling most of the modulation (except LFO 1 and 2), removing the delay and adjusting the filter and amplitude envelopes to fit.

All of the improvisation is around the F# blues scale (F#, A, B, C, C#, E) so you can quite easily blag your own Blade Runner Blues:

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This piece gives the film perhaps some of its more obvious auditory film noir head nods, and is to my knowledge the most sampled piece from the soundtrack. Let’s have a look at some examples:

Dillinja – The Angels Fell [1995]

JDL – The Runner (Blade Runner Blues) [1996]

Dave Wallace – Blade Runner [1996] (unreleased)

Dillinja – Silver Blade [1997]

Aesop Rock – Commencement at the Obedience [2000]

Blu Mar Ten – Blurunner [2003]

Calyx – Inner Distance [2004]

G Dub – Forever VIP [2008]

Basher – Biometrix [2009]

Seba – Dangerous Days [2009]

Original Sin – Dangerous [2009]

Note that although this samples multiple elements from the dialogue in Blade Runner, the main line is actually an interpolated piano part from Blade Runner Blues.

Tantrum Desire – Runner Way Blues [2010]

SPKTRM – Nocturne [2012]

Fanu – Roy Batty Is Still Alive [2012]

This guy is a Vangelis nut and has a YouTube channel with him playing various covers of the song where he gets quite close to the original sounds. Here’s another nice interpretation that captures the mood nicely:

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