Movie soundtracks have the ability to create mood and atmosphere in an interesting way when utilized properly. Changing or adding to a soundtrack is a way to create a completely new experience. Blade Runner is one of the greatest science fiction movies of all time but the soundtrack has always felt a bit lacking. Although the film doesn't feature any licensed music, that doesn't mean it shouldn't have. Even though these proposed changes would dramatically change the mood of the film, we've got a few suggestions for where Ridley Scott could have ditched the Vangelis score in favor of some less ambient music. Welcome to the inaugural edition of our latest feature, Recast, in which we appoint ourselves as soundtrack supervisors for an existing film.
Opening/Credits: The Kinks - "Shangri-La"
In order for this recasting of the soundtrack to really work, we have to set the mood immediately. What better way to set a dystopian atmosphere than the decidedly ironic utopian "Shangri-La?"
Leon shoots Holden: The Platters - "16 Tons"
The acting during this scene early in the film is fairly grating and sadly the music is almost completely lacking during this eponymous (and oft-repeated throughout the film) scene. It might sound a bit strange at first, but we're certain the Platters' version of "16 Tons" would add the edge and tension this scene desperately needs.
Unicorn dream: Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood - "Some Velvet Morning"
This is one of Nancy and Lee's stranger songs, going on and on about Phaedra. About a minute in when Nancy chimes in is where the song would be inserted into the film, fitting perfectly with Deckard's bizarre unicorn dream.
Deckard and Rachael's intimate moment: The Crystals - "He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss)"
This is easily one of the creepiest moments in the entire film, especially once you get to the end and are left with the question of whether Deckard is a replicant or not. Either way, this aggressive Harrison Ford is well suited for the Crystals "He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss)."
Roy Batty meets J.F. Sebastian and eats breakfast: The Ink Spots - "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire"
When Batty enters into Sebastian's apartment there is a strong sense of impending doom. There isn't really a better fit of a song to play softly in the background while Batty convinces Sebastian to take him to his maker than "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire."
Batty kills Tyrrel: Dolly Parton - "Don't Drop Out"
When Batty is strangling Tyrell and stuffing his fingers in his eyeballs, it's a strong and emotional moment, a child killing his father. So really, softening it up slightly with the only slightly-creepy "Don't Drop Out" would do the scene well.
Deckard enters Sebastian's apartment, fights and kills Pris: Donna Lynn - "I'd Much Rather Be With the Girls"
After all the camaraderie we build with Pris over the course of the film, it all comes crashing down rather quickly as Deckard shoots here twice and moves along. It might be nice to give her a small reprieve before being eliminated.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Deckard vs. Roy Batty: Electric Prunes - "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night"
In this remarkably long and otherworldly final fight between blade runner and replicant, the Vangelis score is lacking almost completely. Although the lyrics of "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night" are ill fitting, the music is perfect.
Roy's Death: Zombies - "Maybe After He's Gone"
We'll admit this is a little sentimental after the supposed villain dies, but Blade Runner is all about moral ambiguity and with the two robotic lovers dying as two (or one?) more run off together, Zombies "Maybe After He's Gone" is absolutely perfect.
Closing Credits: Hoyt Axton- "Ten Thousand Sunsets"
If you haven't heard this song before, disregard everything you've heard from Hoyt Axton before judging us to harshly on this one. The premise of being offered the opportunity to be a god for a day fits well with the film's theme. If that doesn't turn you over consider the line, "I would trade all of my ten thousand sunsets/if I could be like Jesus for one single day."