These Songs Served As Soundtrack For A Marvel Movie. What Does Vol. 2 Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) say of the original albums?
So check it out – I am huge Sci Fi fan – more so than even a Marvel fan, and I have some dreams that I intend to turn into reality; where I commit my Hard Sci Fi and Space Opera material to the screen, or perhaps at the very least, I turn my ideas into a series of novels. But back to the screen; I have often felt that mixing some modern day music in a totally future setting would be so awesome, so long as it made sense, either thematically, or plot-wise. It looks like a Marvel film beat me to it though. The fantastic thing about the Guardians of the Galaxy series is that it manages to satisfy both of my requirements, as its soundtrack serves both thematic and plot functions. In the story, an Earthling’s mix tape travels with him to far off cosmic places – a reminder of home that just happened to be his only earthly possession after being abducted by the Ravagers. These tapes and their importance take on new, more diabolical meaning in the film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2., as the music itself thematically mirror specific scenes happening, or entire character arcs. The compilation itself is chock full of throwback music that would be popular in the year 1980 - the time when character Ego met and romanced Meredith Quill, protagonist Peter Quill’s mother. This music would become tied up in that legendary union which would have dire consequences for Peter Quill’s life. The songs, billed by some as one hit wonders of their day, are all singles that are solid works of art by today’s standards. Running the gamut of Power Pop, Soft Rock, Hard Rock, and even Funk courtesy of Parliament, and I have to say that the tracks here all Rock, irregardless of their categorization. With the genesis of this album’s concept out of the way, I would much prefer to treat each track as a special one, irregardless of whether or not there is a one hit wonder factor attached, because at the end of the day, the songs here are ridiculously good in their own way, and what is more, they are each attached to a real album that, dollars to donuts, are probably good albums that you need to know about. So let’s dispense with the fandom and the trivia of what song was playing in what pivotal scene during this Marvel franchise, and instead look at what is most important of all here – the actual music.
This Album Truly Rocks, With Edgy Electric Guitar Tracks And Smooth Easy Listening Grooves
The Power Pop exhibited on “Fox On the Run” by The Sweet and “Surrender” by Cheap Trick are textbook examples of the youthful and fun energy of the genre. Perfect for a family friendly film, and enough musicality and entertainment value too satisfy both older and younger crowds. Plus, we’ve heard these iconic rock songs a bazillion times, yet they don’t get old – at least for me. “Surrender” is found on Cheap Trick’s 1978 album Heaven Tonight, and that record is full of explosive Rock like “On Top of the World” and “California Man”, while “Fox On the Run” can be found on The Sweet’s Desolation Boulevard, with a ton of operatic glam rock, which highlights teen-angst on tracks like “The Six Teens”, plus the only song that might actually be on the same iconic level as “Fox On the Run” – the frenetic dance number “The Ballroom Blitz.” It doesn’t get any more glam than this, yet subsequent versions by The Ramones would capitalize on the punkier aspects of this mosh pit ready track. The seventies truly had some of the funnest and most challenging Rock tracks ever, and even when the tempo and the energy was turned down a little, the music was still a thing of beauty, as heard on the very smooth “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)”, where the music is at turns hard and at other times a super swanky dance beat. Owing to more haunted chords, “Wham Bam Shang-A-Lang” possesses the same easy listening groove – this time upping the Soul even more so that it approaches R&B territory. The vocal harmonies are the center piece here, reminiscent of Seals & Crofts’ similar vocal dedication. The dance doesn’t stop there, with a great Country-Soul number from the legend Glenn Campbell, doing his late seventies Countrypolitan thing - which was Country’s answer to the Disco explosion. It bumps along with such a smile inducing spirit – and accurately represents the tastes of the characters at the turn of the 1980s. There is a slight tongue and cheek vibe I suspect which is intentional, acknowledging that this music is all undoubtedly fantastic, but also part of a crowd-pleasing, FM Radio vibe that recognizes its audience not as sophisticated musical connoisseurs, but rather as non critical throngs looking for easy entertainment. None of the music here is lyrically that deep, and rather, it’s more concerned with satisfying the soul.
Timeless Jams Can Be Dropped Onto Any Soundtrack, Because Audiences Will Respond Nostalgically
One of the most memorable needle drops in the film is the opening scene where Groot has Quill’s tape player and headset on, dancing to Electric Light Opera’s “Mr. Blue Sky”, oblivious to the violent chaos around him. Charming as this scene is, it breaks the 4th wall somewhat – because it doesn’t serve any function except to introduce the audience to the fact that there will be classic FM music in the film. It is the opening credit sequence, designed to be fun, hilarious, but I don’t see the plot advancing much – as it is, at the end of the day, a mere dance sequence, perhaps explaining something about the character of Groot and his initial boundless childlike innocence, which will sort of change into a more responsible nature as he becomes pivotal in later life and death decision making. The song “Mr. Blue Sky” has no particular connection to either the scene or the movie, that I can extrapolate, but it is worthwhile to mention that the original meaning of the track is rumored to be about the simple joy of a sunny day breaking through a long bout of bad weather, and cherishing that moment when inevitably, Mr. Night, shows up to cloak everything in darkness. The content on this track’s host album Out of the Blue is supposedly a result of lead Jeff Lynne’s writing process, where he was holed up in a Swiss Alps retreat and could not come up with the necessary musical material during two weeks of muggy rainy weather, until the sun finally broke through the clouds, and he got the idea for “Mr. Blue Sky” and the subsequent tracks, which also take after themes regarding weather or geological environment. For a different feel, the music of Sam Cooke completely fits the exploratory romantic moment between Quill and love interest Gamora, with the soulful “Bring It On Home to Me”, and fans of the songs must check out a fantastic greatest hits collection, the 30 Greatest Hits: Portrait of a Legend 1951-1964. And then Vol. 2 Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) goes even more soulful, or shall I say funky, on one of the ‘nastiest’ dance songs that has ever been recorded – “Flashlight” by Parliament – which hits you like a ton of bricks. You must do yourself the funkiest of favors and check out the album Funkentelechy Vs. The Placebo Syndrome, which has many other funk standards of this epic caliber. On Guardians, all of the aforementioned jams are technically proficient, and serve some story functions, but most importantly, they represent timeless joints that will never be out of place in a Marvel movie Space Opera because of the ‘nostalgia factor’ – where it is a guarantee that each and every song will connect on a deep emotional level with the audience members of every background and age range. To the last point, these songs have built in success factors, and even kids hearing the music for the first time while watching their favorite superheroes, will develop a taste for these infectious grooves which should follow them into adulthood.
The Concept That Peter Quill Cherishes This Music Says Something About Us
I really do like the music featured on this album. I especially have an affinity for one of the funkiest songs in the galaxy, Parliament’s “Flashlight.” I appreciate that the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise found a way to plausibly weave the awesome mix tapes into the story. Admittedly, when I saw the first few scenes in the first movie, I thought ‘uh oh.’ Is the music going to be part of some cash grab, whereby CDs of already done-to-death music is going to be repackaged and sold, without respect to cinematic context? I mean, it generally seemed like a super Hollywood decision thought up by unimaginative suits – the same executives that slap a nostalgic hit on Gap and Apple commercials and then call the concept done. Thankfully, the screen writers made sure that the soundtrack was inclusive emotionally, as this music was tied to Peter Quill’s core sense of past. Alas, there are conflicts to face in movies, and character metamorphoses to undertake. After all, could Quill stay happy just by listening to the same cassette forever? Even though these mixes allowed him to communicate certain feelings with other characters, and helped him through hard times, the conflict that he would have to face would eventually be the truth about his past. The music tied him to the only family he thought he had (his mother and the legend of his father), but he needed to move on in order to embrace his new galactic family, in order for his character to transcend. In the same way, Vol. 2 Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) is transcendental through its variety of styles, which should convince any new listener to move beyond their own genre boundaries, and discover the galactic scope of musical possibilities out there.
2. Track List (14)
3. Official (14)
4. Live (4)
5. Featuring Remixes (2)
7. Similar Albums (2)
8. Similar Artists (1)
9. Album Info
- Various Artists