Tribute to the 70s: A review of Awesome Mix Vol. 2

Film soundtracks can be hit or miss at times. Not Guardians of the Galaxy’s. James Gunn revives thirteen tracks from the ’70s, all of equal greatness and all originating from the era of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll.

As of this moment, I’ve begun listening to the Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix, Vol. 2 on a continuous loop, and it’s as though I’m re-watching the film every time. James Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, picked each song himself, alongside the aid of his brother Sean Gunn (who plays Kraglin the ravager in the film), all in order to coalesce the film’s entire plot. Here’s the track list in full:

  1. ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ – Electric Light Orchestra
  2. ‘Fox on the Run’ – Sweet
  3. ‘Lake Shore Drive’ – Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah
  4. ‘The Chain’ – Fleetwood Mac
  5. ‘Bring It On Home to Me’ – Sam Cooke
  6. ‘Southern Nights’ – Glen Campbell
  7. ‘My Sweet Lord’ – George Harrison
  8. ‘Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl)’ – Looking Glass
  9. ‘Come A Little Bit Closer’ – Jay and The Americans
  1. ‘Wham Bam Shang-a-Lang’ – Silver
  2. ‘Surrender’ – Cheap Trick
  3. ‘Father and Son’ – Cat Stevens
  4. ‘Flash Light’ – Parliament

As someone who enjoys singing the occasional Def Leppard track on karaoke night over at Rescue Rooms, I felt it necessary to select a couple of tracks and explain how they may have made the cut for the second installment of Guardians of the Galaxy.

  1. Mr. Blue Sky

As a tune that you could listen to over and over again, the catchiness is obvious. It’s been played in a few films in the past decade, but here you’ve got Baby Groot dancing to it over the entire first scene. It will without a doubt return as the go to feel-good song until every lyric is known.

  1. Lake Shore Drive

If one can imagine, each of these tracks was to be played (as per request by the likes of Chris Pratt) on set as each scene was acted out, making the film connection that much sweeter. The reason as to how this song made the cut is either a) it’s a tribute to LSD or b) it’s a favorite of both James and Sean, recollecting in an interview childhood drives home and getting to hear it pop back up on the car radio. I’ll leave it for others to decide.

  1. Father and Son

Sure, the album has got some pretty upbeat hits and love ballads, but Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam) writes a song that plays right at the film’s emotional crux. What makes this song unique is the fact that Yusuf, a strong follower of the Islamic faith, allowed his music into the film. In an interview with Rolling Stone back in 2015, Yusuf talks about his conversion to Islam and how he disassociated himself from any and all immoral music he created that went against his faith. So, in saying that, it’s a good thing it made it into the Awesome Mix Vol. 2, otherwise a certain father-and-son-bonding-montage in the film may not have felt the same (good work James Gunn).

Thirteen tracks, each epitomising the seventies era. It was a decade that made sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll the perfect mix. It’s a mix that would make anyone want to go out, buy a Walkman, and play each song off an actual mix tape (props to those who do).

Matthew Johnson

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