Music Sampling

Sampleface Five: Blade Runner Samples

Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard, pointing a gun

From Ryuichi Sakamoto to Tricky, here are 5 tracks that used Blade Runner samples.

Blade Runner’s legacy in film is extensive but one area where it’s overlooked is in sampling. We have Vangelis to thank for his iconic score and the influence it had on a generation of producers and composers so in honour of him and the film, our Sampleface Five is dedicated to Blade Runner samples.

Note: this list will only cover the 1982 film.

1. Curren$y and LNDN DRGS’s Tears in the Rain (at 0:00)

Curren$y x LNDN DRGS x Jay Worthy - Tears in the Rain (Instrumental)

Sample: Roy Batty’s ‘Tears in Rain’ speech

This is a short but beautiful interlude using Roy Batty’s famous ‘Tears in Rain’ speech (RIP Rutger Hauer). The other sample is Lovin’ Cup by 94 East. Prince fans will know 94 East as a funk band he played guitar with during the 80s and you can hear that on Lovin’ Cup.

2. Gary Numan’s Call Out the Dogs (at 3:40)

Gary Numan - Call Out The Dogs

Sample: Deckard “Retires” Zhora

Gary Numan is best known for his hit single, ‘Cars’ (which was also reworked by J Dilla as ‘Trucks’) but in 1985, he sampled the scene where Rick Deckard “retired” Zhora, a NEXUS-6 replicant.

3. Paul Young’s I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down (Album Version) (at 0:22)

Paul Young - I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down (Album Mix)

Sample: Deckard vs. Pris

This one blew me away. A while back, I wrote about Paul Young and car journeys with my dad and this song was one of my favourites growing up. The mixtape my dad made didn’t have the full version of I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down—only the single version from Young’s greatest hits compilation. But the Blade Runner sample is right there 22 seconds in, taken from the scene where Deckard and Pris fight. Incredible.

4. Tricky’s Aftermath (at 3:32)

Tricky - Aftermath - Maxinquaye(1995)

Sample: VK Test on Leon

Maxinquaye was a landmark album for Tricky as it played a part in the burgeoning trip hop scene of the 90’s. Aftermath was the first single off the album, released in January 1994, entering the chart at #69 (nice!) and paving the way for Maxinquaye to receive critical acclaim.

The sample came from the scene where Leon Kowalski, a NEXUS-6 replicant, was being questioned by a Blade Runner using the Voight-Kampff test.

5. Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Broadway Boogie Woogie (all over the song)

BLADE RUNNER MV [Broadway Boogie Woogie - Ryuichi Sakamoto]

Samples: Tons of them.

Okay, maybe not tons but 6 is a lot for one film on one song. Ryuichi Sakamoto went to town on Broadway Boogie Woogie, the title taken from a Piet Mondrian painting of the same name from 1943.

As for the samples, WhoSampled lists them as:

If you spot any more, let me know in the comments.

Honourable mentions

Picking only 5 samples was tricky because I missed some good or otherwise well-known tracks off the list. Shout out to UNKLE, Mega Drive, Azealia Banks, and Hoodlum Priest who didn’t make the cut.

Hi, it's Luke, the editor of Sampleface! Why not subscribe to my Patreon and support the blog?

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