by Nur Hussein, staff writer
Back when we first saw the trailers for Guardians of the Galaxy, we got a glimpse of Star Lord’s “awesome mix” tape, which contains a list of various oldies on a cassette tape which he cherishes since it’s his only link to Earth. Chris Pratt, who plays Star Lord in the movie, listened to these songs over and over and one imagines he’s kind of sick of it by now.
If you want the same experience, the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack will be out soon, with that quaint cassette as cover art. James Gunn released the track information so if you’re enterprising enough, you can build your own mixtape from iTunes or Spotify (or do like I do and just wait for the compilation when it is released). The tracks themselves are popular songs from the late 60’s to the 70s, which may seem like a long time ago for most of the targeted demographic for the movie, which emphasizes just how isolated and removed Star Lord is from his home planet. Let’s go over the track list!
- Hooked on a Feeling (Blue Suede) – This is the first song we heard in the first trailer. It was originally sung by B.J. Thomas in 1968, and was covered in 1971 by Jonathan King (which added the “ooga chaka” chant), and covered again in 1974 by Swedish pop group Blue Suede (which also had the “ooga chaka” chant). The Blue Suede version is what was used in the trailer. This was a stroke of brilliance in trailer construction; we were expecting a generic pulse-pounding epic space theme, but instead we got a cheesy pop song. And then the “ooga chaka” chants were amped up with a pulse-pounding drum beat during the action montage, and it just worked.
- Go All The Way (The Raspberries) – A song from 1972 by the now-defunct American pop group The Raspberries. Back in the day it was considered so risque the BBC even banned it (tame by today’s standards, though). It was the biggest hit for the Raspberries in the U.S.
- Spirit in the Sky (Norman Greenbaum) – Norman Greenbaum was a member of a psychedelic jug band, and in 1969 he attempted to write a gospel song knowing nothing about gospel and this was the result. One can only imagine what drugs he was on when he was writing it. We heard this song during the second trailer.
- Moonage Daydream (David Bowie) – Probably the most inspired choice of songs in the album, it’s a 1971 tune by the legendary David Bowie, which also appeared in his 1972 sci-fi themed album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.
- Fooled Around and Fell in Love (Elvin Bishop) – Elvin Bishop is a blues/rock musician and guitarist, and in 1976 he had a very huge hit with this song which he wrote the year before.
- I’m Not in Love (10cc) – Released in 1975, I’m Not in Love is the most famous song by the very talented British rock group 10cc. It’s about someone who is in fact in love, but is in denial about it.
- I Want You Back (The Jackson 5) – One of the Jackson 5’s earliest hits, way back from 1969. The lead vocals feature a very young Michael Jackson, together with his siblings. It was a huge success back in the day, and Michael Jackson routinely performed it live long after he left his family band.
- Come and Get Your Love (Red Bone) – You may have heard the 1995 cheesy Europop cover of this song by Real McCoy, but the original was a much better rock version by Native American band Red Bone. I guess Star Lord left Earth before ’90s dance covers.
- Cherry Bomb (The Runaways) – From all-girl rock band The Runaways in 1976, and continuing the theme of the most recognizable song of a band, this is their biggest hit. Founding band member and famous rock star Joan Jett wrote this song together with their manager Kim Fowley, and would later be covered again by Jett with her later band The Blackhearts.
- Escape: The Piña Colada Song (Rupert Holmes) – A late 70s hit, this song was released in 1979 by American singer Rupert Holmes. It is one of the songs Holmes both loves and hates, since it made him famous but sadly as a result people only know him for that song. This is also the most recent song to appear in Star Lord’s mixtape, and while James Gunn says this isn’t a comprehensive list, we get a sense of just when Star Lord left Earth.
- O-o-h Child (The Five Stairsteps) – The famous soul group from Chicago, the Five Stairsteps, released this hit in 1970. It is their signature song, and it is frequently covered by other bands.
- Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell) – Everyone knows this one. Written by Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson, it was first performed by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell in 1967, and covered by Diana Ross in 1970.
As the anticipation for Guardians of the Galaxy builds, I expect these songs to make their rounds on the charts once again as young fans discover great old hits from back in the day, which is always a good thing.
Nur is a tinkerer of programmable things, an apprentice in an ancient order of technomages. He enjoys fantasy, sci-fi, comic books, and Lego in his spare time. His favourite authors are Asimov and Tolkien. He also loves Celtic and American folk music. You can follow him on twitter: @nurhussein