April 24, 2017
by Joshua Potter
The release of Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 is fast approaching, bringing with it another Awesome Mix, both literally and figuratively. I downloaded the album via iTunes soon as it released and, to sum it up, the thing is A-HOLE IN ONE. Yes, I’m quite pleased with my grammatically vocabular cleverness. Here’s why I love the album:
Awesome Mix vol 1 was mostly rock-centric, with some great slow jams and ballads, tracks that a general audience had at least heard, but maybe didn’t know their names. While vol 2 certainly follows suit (Sweet’s “Fox on the Run” and ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky” among others), it also dives into some folk rock, a little funk and some less mainstream tunes. I found myself loving most the tracks I hadn’t heard before, like Silver’s “Wham Bam Shang-A-Lang,” and Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home to Me.” The first being classic, sugary pop nonsense, and the second a soulful ballad much like another Sam Cooke tune, “You Send Me (I’m assuming most of you have heard THAT one).” I enjoyed the inclusion of, “Lake Shore Drive” by Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah and Glen Campbell’s “Southern Nights” more than popular tunes like Cheap Trick’s “Surrender” or George Harrison’s, “My Sweet Lord.”
The album itself is a joy to listen through, but I’m most excited to see how the tracks are utilized in the film, especially with songs like, “Father and Son” by Cat Stevens and the aforementioned “Lake Shore Drive” making the cut. I can only guess these will be used in some melancholic way dealing with Star-Lord and his father, Ego, the Living Planet. Or maybe they’ll “Rooker it” (coining that expression NOW) and show some potentially tender moments between Star-Lord and Yondu, who quite obviously has some affection for Peter Quill as an adoptive father. And I’m calling it now: Toddler Groot WILL be dancing to “Flashlight” by Parliament. It is, WITHOUT A DOUBT, the Groot Dance Bomb of the album!
The final track of vol 2 is a gloriously comedic mash-up written by James Gunn and Tyler Bates (composer of both Guardians Scores) that features DAVID HASSELHOFF providing the vocals. Before anyone rolls their eyes, remember that Hasselhoff is supposed to be one of Peter Quill’s childhood heroes, and this track is supposed to be like Meco’s disco Star Wars Theme. Also, in what other context can you rhyme “procyon lotor” with “motor?” Yeah. They do it. And it’s AWESOME, just like the rest of the mix (it’s been on repeat since I downloaded it).
Here’s the track listing:
- Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra
- Fox on the Run by Sweet
- Lake Shore Drive by Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah
- The Chain by Fleetwood Mac
- Bring It On Home to Me by Sam Cooke
- Southern Nights by Glen Campbell
- My Sweet Lord by George Harrison
- Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) by Looking Glass
- Come a Little Bit Closer by Jay and the Americans
- Wham Bam Shang-A-Lang by Silver
- Surrender by Cheap Trick
- Father and Son by Cat Stevens
- Flash Light by Parliament
- Guardians Inferno by The Sneepers feat. David Hasselhoff
So, once again, we’ve been given a mixed bag of an album, and that’s a really great thing! Whether it’s a one-hit-wonder or a chart-topper, these songs are meaningful to both director and film. They’re organic, symbiotic, and fluid to the plot (if it’s anything like the first Guardians). And if it’s anything like the first Guardians, these songs will connect and resonate with audiences, whether they’re longtime fans, or hearing them for the very first time.
The album is available via digital download from iTunes and Amazon, or on CD online and in stores!