One of the things I loved about the first Guardians of The Galaxy movie was the music. The soundtrack titled Awesome Mix Vol 1 went platinum. So for Awesome Mix Vol 2 Director James Gunn felt a bit of pressure to make musical magic once again. The music for Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2 was selected before the movie began production so a lot of it was written into the movie, and you can kind of tell. Few directors use pop music in their movies that capture the mood of a scene as well as Gunn did with his Guardians movies. Other examples of filmmakers that weaved music into cinematic wonder are what Quentin Tarantino did with Pulp Fiction, Wes Anderson with Royal Tenenbaums, Richard Linklater with Dazed and Confused, Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting, Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous and of course Edgar Wright with Baby Driver.
Much like Peter Quill, I got a lot of my taste in music from my Mom. She loved Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley, 1960’s British Invasion bands like The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, and of course The Beatles. She also had a lot of 70’s rock and soul (and thankfully no disco!) like David Bowie, T-Rex, Al Green and Marvin Gaye. Her record collection was pretty enormous and when I got bored, I would take random records out of her stash and play them. This is how I developed an affinity for Rock N Roll of all eras. So you can imagine my delight when hearing the songs played on these Guardians of The Galaxy movies! And for Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Director James Gunn again handpicked the soundtrack and made it even better than Vol. 1!
Right out of the gate, Gunn’s use of Electric Light Orchestra’s “Mr. Blue Sky” (originally released in 1977) created the perfect atmosphere for us to see and feel the situation through Baby Groot’s eyes. Sure danger and chaos was burning and crashing all around him, but Baby Groot was blissfully unaware. And thanks to this song, so were we!
Somehow Jay and The American’s song “Come A Little Bit Closer” (originally released in 1964) worked so beautifully during the scene when Yondu and Rocket were arrogantly strolling out of the Ravagers captivity. They seemed to move with the song as though it was choreographed. Oh yeah, it was!
My heart completely melted when I heard Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home To Me” during the “dance with me” part between Star Lord and Gamora. I agree with Starlord when he said to Gamora “this is Sam Cooke, one of the greatest earth singers of all time.” Indeed he is Mr. Quill, indeed he is!
Two more heavy hitting musical moments for me with this flick were the use of the mighty Cheap Trick’s “Surrender” (originally released in 1978) during the credits and post credit scenes. Also the use of British Glam Rock heros Sweet’s “Fox on The Run” (originally released in 1974) for one of the movies trailers. Again, both capturing the essence of not just key moments in the film, but the whole movie.
Even though a lot of people and critics were less than thrilled with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as compared to the first one, the soundtrack is incredible and you have to admit it made moments of cinematic charm . The Guardians movies really do stand apart from the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and I believe the music is a big reason why. James Gunn definitely had an uncompromising vision with these films and you’ve got to respect that! I only wish more directors making big budget films had even of fraction of that.