Bladezone Home
Off-World Forum
Contact Us

The Online Blade Runner Fan Club    


The Esper interview


written and edited by Gary Carden

first edit 5th May 2006 revisited May 10th 2006


Being an avid fan, I can tell you that there was nothing more thrilling than submitting my own video demo of Blade Runner. It may not have turned many heads of the long time Blade Runner fans, but it tested some of my editing skills, and gave me a chance to potentially show some of the newcomers, excerts of the workprint and various other things that never made it to the OC or DC of the film. The Esper group was just as keen as I was to make submissions of one form or another. That said, Esper have been very keen to make a point of saying that the original release they did, was a "private release" (for Vangelis-circle friends, really) in a "made by fans for fans approach" and we've never derived any gain whatsoever as a result. (words taken directly form an email from Esper guys to myself)

There are many different stories as to how the audio tracks came to light, but the biggest and most probable answer is in the form of an audio tape that was passed out of the production lab, when the film was being editied in its infancy stages. By all accounts it was a poor audio tape, nothing to the CD quality that was to follow.


(image from a fake esper release)



This is a listing from torrent portal for the 2 espers disks -


            Vangelis - Blade Runner (Esper Edition) [Disc One]

Artist...............: Vangelis
Album................: Blade Runner (Esper Edition) [Disc One]
Genre................: Soundtrack
Source...............: CD
Year.................: 2002
Ripper...............: Plextools v3.02 & Plextor
Codec................: LAME 3.92
Version..............: MPEG 1 Layer III
Quality..............: Extreme, (avg. bitrate: 253kbps)
Channels.............: Stereo / 44100 hz
Tags.................: ID3 v1.1, ID3 v2.3

Ripped by............:  on 9/2/2005
Posted by............:  on 9/4/2005
News Server..........:
News Group(s)........:

Included.............: NFO, SFV, PLS, M3U


01. (03:54) - (VBR 264 kbit/s) Vangelis - Prologue And Main Titles
02. (01:09) - (VBR 276 kbit/s) Vangelis - Leons Voight Kampff Test
03. (02:45) - (VBR 262 kbit/s) Vangelis - Sushi Bar - Damask Rose
04. (01:20) - (VBR 251 kbit/s) Vangelis - Spinner Ascent
05. (05:43) - (VBR 250 kbit/s) Vangelis - Blush Response
06. (05:11) - (VBR 246 kbit/s) Vangelis - Wait For Me
07. (01:35) - (VBR 243 kbit/s) Vangelis - Deckard Meets Rachel
08. (04:20) - (VBR 251 kbit/s) Vangelis - Rachels Song
09. (04:53) - (VBR 244 kbit/s) Vangelis - Tales Of The Future
10. (02:09) - (VBR 252 kbit/s) Vangelis - Bicycle Riders
11. (01:14) - (VBR 261 kbit/s) Vangelis - Chews Eye Lab
12. (05:34) - (VBR 264 kbit/s) Vangelis - Memories Of Green
13. (10:01) - (VBR 254 kbit/s) Vangelis - Blade Runner Blues
14. (01:46) - (VBR 248 kbit/s) Vangelis - Pris Meets JF Sebastian
15. (04:03) - (VBR 236 kbit/s) Vangelis - One More Kiss, Dear

Playing Time.........: 55:47
Total Size...........: 100.77 MB

NFO generated on.....: 9/4/2005 1:00:59 PM


            Vangelis - Blade Runner (Esper Edition) [Disc Two]

Artist...............: Vangelis
Album................: Blade Runner (Esper Edition) [Disc Two]
Genre................: Soundtrack
Source...............: CD
Year.................: 2002
Ripper...............: Plextools v3.02 & Plextor
Codec................: LAME 3.92
Version..............: MPEG 1 Layer III
Quality..............: Extreme, (avg. bitrate: 252kbps)
Channels.............: Stereo / 44100 hz
Tags.................: ID3 v1.1, ID3 v2.3

Ripped by............:  on 9/2/2005
Posted by............:  on 9/4/2005
News Server..........:
News Group(s)........:

Included.............: NFO, SFV, PLS, M3U


01. (01:10) - (VBR 254 kbit/s) Vangelis - Deckards Dream
02. (01:17) - (VBR 252 kbit/s) Vangelis - Thinking Of Rachel
03. (02:34) - (VBR 234 kbit/s) Vangelis - Esper Analysis
04. (02:34) - (VBR 250 kbit/s) Vangelis - Animoid Row
05. (02:02) - (VBR 247 kbit/s) Vangelis - Taffey Lewis Night Club
06. (01:23) - (VBR 250 kbit/s) Vangelis - Salomes Dance
07. (01:42) - (VBR 250 kbit/s) Vangelis - Zhoras Retirement
08. (02:29) - (VBR 274 kbit/s) Vangelis - I Am The Business
09. (04:57) - (VBR 249 kbit/s) Vangelis - Love Theme
10. (04:31) - (VBR 251 kbit/s) Vangelis - I Dreamt Music
11. (03:46) - (VBR 268 kbit/s) Vangelis - Morning At The Bradbury
12. (03:36) - (VBR 248 kbit/s) Vangelis - Deckard Enters The Bradbury
13. (10:52) - (VBR 242 kbit/s) Vangelis - Wounded Animals
14. (02:51) - (VBR 251 kbit/s) Vangelis - Tears In Rain
15. (02:07) - (VBR 248 kbit/s) Vangelis - Rachael Sleeps
16. (04:04) - (CBR 256 kbit/s) Vangelis - End Titles

Playing Time.........: 52:02
Total Size...........: 93.21 MB

NFO generated on.....: 9/4/2005 1:00:59 PM


Esper Edition Notes:

  • Original Music Composed and Performed by Vangelis
  • "Harps Of The Ancient Temples" written and performed by Gail Laughton
  • Vocals on tracks 3, 9 (disc I) and track 5 (disc II) by Demis Roussos
  • Vocals on "Rachael's Song" by Mary Hopkin
  • Saxophone on tracks 2 and 9 (disc II) by Dick Morrisey
  • Lyrics and vocals on "One More Kiss‚ Dear" by Don Percival

The image on the left is the original, whereas the image on the right is a fake Esper release.



I am indeed, very very pleased to insert this next section. what you`ll read is an unedited - straight from the horses mouth account of what happened with the Esper team, and more to the point, what didn`t...


Well, just another couple of diehard Blade Runner fans such as yourself with an added passion for Vangelis' music. 
Only two. The 2cd “Esper Edition” in 2002 and the 1 cd “Los Angeles, November 2019” a bit later on in February of 2003.
No! Actually, this a good opportunity to once again let everyone out there know that any vendor claiming to be‚ or selling on behalf of "Esper Productions" has absolutely nothing to do with the original people involved. These rip-off merchants have quite simply‚ stolen our "label."
Having said this, I did manage to get hold of a cdr copy of this so-called “MKII” release from a friend and -to be fair- there are some really interesting goodies on it.  Tracks such as “Taffy Lewis’ Bar,” “I Dreamt Music” and “Morning at the Bradbury” seem to be taken from the mythical original master Vangelis tapes!  Is it possible? Who knows… There’s a lot of debate on this matter, but I could almost swear it’s “the man himself” playing there. If it's an imitator, that guy should "cover" the entire score!  But to find out for sure, you’d have to get in touch with the people that made this MKII release.  And, despite what they claim, it isn’t Esper Productions.
First a bit of background. For quite a few years now there’s been a Vangelis rarities community (or "inner circle" as some put it) on the net. Homemade cdr bootlegs known as “private releases” of Vangelis material have often been created by fans and distributed among them.  What is a “private release”?  Well, in a nutshell it’s usually a fan getting hold of some unreleased Vangelis material and then making a 10+ cdr “release” with some artwork.  They’re supposed to be collector's items and are never intended for sale or profit. The original Esper Edition is essentially this.
The intention of the Esper Edition was to give our take or interpretation of what a proper Blade Runner soundtrack should be. Why did we make it? Basically‚ I guess it’s because we were pretty fed up with the steady stream of repetitive Blade Runner bootlegs floating around that never quite "got it right" in terms of musical chronology‚ or thoroughness. They all had something unique to them‚ but there was always something missing. We originally started out making the discs just for our own enjoyment‚ but we figured it would be cool to come up with artwork and make it a "private release" for our friends.  That’s basically it.
As for the follow-up‚ "Los Angeles, November 2019‚" we wanted to make an "ambience" or almost a “Blade Runner chillout” cd puts you the listener right in the middle of that fantastic BR universe. The sound effects are almost entirely from the BR game‚ some from the film and finally some Vangelis stuff layered in the back, almost as decoration. We inserted "Reve" (from the album 'Opera Sauvage') and also and unused piece from "The Bounty" as well‚ because they both fitted the mood very well. That disc is especially great for naps...

Contrary to speculation I’ve seen written about this on the net, the fact is that we didn’t obtain any new Vangelis Blade Runner music that wasn't floating around already.  Rather, we simply used existing bootlegged and official sources from other private releases such as Deck Art, Memoirs 7, Euterpe, 2001 release, 1982 VHS, as well as the official Warner release, of course.  All these releases all had pieces to the puzzle, but none of them ever put those pieces in the right order, or mixed them well. We paid close attention to chronologically follow the sequences from the film and careful mixing was done to make the tracks flow well in addition to some clever patchwork and transitions (“Damask Rose”, for example). In fact, the music that didn’t appear in the film was a bit of a problem, because we wanted to keep the chronology of events from the movie, and I specially remember the problem of where to put “Damask Rose”, until it made its way in the Sushi Bar sequence and it fitted there almost magically.

We also had to decide, for those themes with more than one version available, which version we would use. For instance, depending on the source release, themes like “Tales from the Future”, “Blade Runner Blues” or the “End Titles”, varied quite noticeably in length. We also decided to use the “click and hiss” version of “One More Kiss, Dear” from the 2000 Release, since we loved the old vinyl effect of that remix.

A quick side note here: 'Memoires 7' and its successor, 'Deck Art' are both sourced from a version of the film meant for dubbing.  What does that mean?  Well, it's a copy of the film destined for foreign-language markets (say, Spain, France, etc) where the distributor (in this case Warner) has its local branch in that given country dub the original actors in the domestic language.  So what's really unique about these versions is that they contain everything BUT dialog: in other words, you only hear the music, sound design, etc.  It's fantastic because for a scene –let’s say- like the incidental music leading in the Voigt Kampf test, you no longer have the actors talking over it. In any event, I imagine some fan got a hold of one of these dubbing copies and made the above-mentioned releases. The drawback to these releases, however, is that they (inexplicably) had a lot of the cues from the film in the wrong order or just scattered. So, for example, for the Esper track that we titled "I Am the Business" we simply took the all the scattered existing pieces of this sequence (starting where Rachael says this very memorable line to Deckard leading up to the beginning of the "Love Theme") and meshed them together in the right order.
Another drawback to the otherwise beautifully mixed 'Memoires 7' and 'Deck Art' releases is that they had shortened or abbreviated versions of the music. For example, there would only be a minute of "Rachael's Song" or "Memories of Green."  So with the Esper Edition we sought to consolidate the music sourced from these dubbing copies and combine them together with the straight musical releases like the "2001" or "Gongo" bootlegs as well as the official Warner release.
Lastly, there was also other music that all the previous releases forgot to include. Among these is “Thinking of Rachael” (arbitrary title) which is the gorgeous but brief alternate take of the “Love Theme” present in 1982 theatrical release, where Deckard dozes off at his piano (substituted with Unicorn sequence in the Directors cut). The source for this, sad as it sounds, was a VHS copy of the original movie. We had to make a heavy equalizing job in order to get rid of the noise.  Also, missing bits of incidental music such as “Rachael Sleeps” (another arbitrary title) were also included.
In any event, it's important to point out that the Esper Edition's real merit mainly lays in the fact that it successfully consolidated all the existing various Blade Runner bootleg and official sources to create a coherent or comprehensive soundtrack. Is there any merit in that?  Maybe not.  Suffice to say that without all of the previous bootlegs and private releases there wouldn't be an Esper Edition.
Mixed feelings, really.  On one hand, we’re completely flabbergasted and secretly very flattered!  I mean, this homemade fan project seems to have become part of the Blade Runner lore or canon, which is really amazing.  On the other hand, it’s frustrating to see that bootleggers claiming to be us have made their own versions and to basically rake in some cash on various websites‚ ebay‚ etc. Again, we’re totally against the idea of lucrative gain derived from these kinds of fan projects.  However, the internet being what it is, it’s pretty naïve to think things like that won’t occur…
Another factor adding to Esper’s success is what marketing experts would call “branding.” I guess the words “Esper Edition” have somehow become a recognizable and respected brand and, as a result, the various bootleggers hawking their versions have latched on to the brand and format. Sadly, to cash in.
Fortunately, I’ve recently noticed that the fake Esper Edition discs are not on Ebay nearly as often which makes leads me to believe that most fans can get a hold of the release for free, which is fantastic. Incidentally, I‘ve tried to email Ebay repeatedly in the past alerting them to the fact that they’re permitting the sale of bootlegged material, but –sadly- these emails always fall on deaf ears.  Obviously, they don’t seem to care.
So what now?  Well, I hope Vangelis gets a chance to read this feature and fully realize the almost insane and persistent demand for his devastatingly beautiful soundtrack and hopefully be convinced to release all (or at least more!) of the music from the score. You know, the 25th anniversary of Blade Runner is coming up next year, Vangelis…hint, hint!  Seriously, it would be the simplest way of doing away with this constant wave of bootlegs and bootleggers.  It would be a win-win situation for both Vangelis and his fans.
Well, we actually 'lifted' the background of the front cover from you guys!  Yeah, one of BladeZone's screen savers. I believe it’s one by Robin Vincent.  (Sorry, Robin!).  The inlay cover was a picture of Rachael and Deckard smooching with a Frank Lloyd Wright Mayan Ennis-Brown brick down one side (which one can see with the CD closed through the transparent case.  The cds had the same sticker on both: Rachael and Deckard kissing (some bootleggers changed the second disc sticker).
The back cover is artwork from the Blade Runner game.  Incidentally, there've been some nice "re-interpretations" of the Esper covers made by fans on the net some of which are really nice and look more professional than the originals.
As far as the "Los Angeles, November 2019" the cover is concerned, it's a hi-res shot of the spinner descent on the LAPD's spinner port.  The inlay is shot of the media blimp and the back cover is, again, a shot still from the Blade Runner game.
We haven't released anything else since, no.  Like I've already mentioned, given the vast amount of Blade Runner bootlegs in circulation, it's kind of pointless to keep releasing more of the same thing.  But you never know…

A final request: for all those fans out there who already have a copy of the Esper Edition or the L.A November, 2019…please share them!  There’s no point in paying for these things!
Warm regards to everyone at Blade Zone and Blade Runner fans everywhere.
Have a better one, fellas’.
Esper Productions

Liner notes for the “Esper Edition”
“Despite the film’s initial critical failure upon its release in 1982, Blade Runner made a monumental achievement in one of the core aspects of science fiction filmmaking: creating a world that is both original and believable.  For the first time its director, Ridley Scott, presented us with a future that wasn’t sleek, sparkling and modern.   No, the future is decrepit, nostalgic and dark.   Along these lines, perhaps the main aspect that stands out about Blade Runner, is its overwhelming atmosphere.   Enter Vangelis.  It’s in this area where this Greek composer’s invaluable contribution to the film is most evident.  Certainly, the feel of Vangelis’ music fits seamlessly with Ridley Scott’s groundbreaking visuals to create this very atmosphere.   With his enigmatic score, rich in melancholy and texture, one could almost watch Blade Runner with music alone and still feel all the emotion of the sets and characters.   In short, Vangelis masterminded a devastatingly beautiful score.   Today, twenty years later, it remains a masterpiece that majestically transmits all the intrigue, emotion, longing and sadness so evocative of Blade Runner.
Like the Esper machine itself, the device that Blade Runners use to enhance photographs, this limited and unique release also enhances and adds detail to the existing Blade Runner music.  It also introduces exclusive and never-before-heard pieces that are not present on any of the various bootlegs or private release in circulation, such as the different take of the “Love Theme” (titled “Thinking of Rachael” on this edition) used in the 1982 theatrical release.   In sum, this Esper Productions release is proud to present the listener with the most complete, accurate and coherent Blade Runner score to be released thus far.”
Liner notes for “Los Angeles, November 2019”
“One of the most interesting and perhaps least-noticed aspects of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is the film’s remarkable use of sound as a dramatic device.  Aside from its stunning visuals, Scott elaborated a mélange of sounds and textures that transmit the films (now) signature atmosphere.  The Los Angeles of 2019 is a world of distant sirens, constant rain, swaying strobe lights, echoing media blimps and whisking spinners.  All of these audio elements are central to creating Blade Runner’s emblematic, somber atmosphere –even state of mind- as well as transmitting one of the picture’s most vital themes: a bleak and dehumanized world where the genuine and the artificial are nearly impossible to distinguish.
This second installment of Esper Production’s Blade Runner series is proud to transport the listener to those rainy, nocturnal streets of Ridley Scott’s spellbinding future megapolis.”


"Frankly, we're pretty annoyed at the fact that so many fake Espers are being sold on Ebay, spin-off copies, etc.  That was never the point. But, alas, the internet being what it is, it's difficult -if not impossible- to stop such "merchants" from doing so.  Thankfully, I'm pretty sure most people can download it easily for free these days."
Warm regards,
Esper Productions



Bladezone Home - Off-World Forum - Contact Us