So that’s the last time I try to set a large goal for myself. Lesson learned. Truth be told I’ve written like three drafts for this post, but I just wasn’t feeling any of them. But alas, it’s Friday, and I really have to kick it into gear.
A lot of great things musically have happened to me in the past week: I bought the Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol. 1, I saw the Hobbit and coincidentally fell back in love with Howard Shore and Lord of the Rings, I saw Fleetwood Mac (and I cried because I was literally fangirlling so hard and it was amazing), and today I’m about to go see Justin Timberlake. Originally, the plan was to write about JT and Fleetwood Mac before last Wednesday to gear up for the concerts, but I had bought Awesome Mix and couldn’t get over that. Well, honestly I’m still a little obsessed so that’s what I’m going to write about. The other stuff can come later.
So as most of you know, music and movies go hand in hand. Star Wars wouldn’t be Star Wars without the Darth Vader theme, and James Bond wouldn’t be James Bond without the Bond theme. And that’s why Awesome Mix was so important. It characterizes the movie, the characters, and at the same time brought back some old favorites (or not so favorites). So, this might be excruciating for you, but I’m gonna get a kick out of it and I’m going to list every track and tell you just what makes it awesome. Don’t worry, I’m limiting myself on how much I’ll say here.
Album: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 Artist: Lots of em
1. Hooked On A Feeling — Blue Suede, 1974
Originally, this song came out in like 1969. Blue Suede actually remade the song and added the famous “Ooga chaka,” which, to this day, has been sampled to death. However, Peter Quill and the gang brought it back to life. I mean, that brass is what makes it, really.
2. Go All The Way — The Raspberries, 1972
This is one of those songs that falls into “absolutely ridiculous,” but it’s so seventies you can’t turn it off. I’m sure back in the day it was one of those pretty popular (read: overplayed) hits, but the music itself is a little 60s remnant, and Eric Carmen’s croons can’t help but make you want to dance.
3. Spirit In The Sky — Norman Greenbaum, 1969
This is one of those songs thats always been awesome. Rolling Stone even agrees, ranking it #333 on their list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. What makes it awesome? It’s a psychedelic gospel rock anthem written by a Jewish guy. I’m pretty sure it was inspired by gospel song he heard on TV, but who cares? Listen to that guitar riff and tell me this song isn’t cool.
4. Moonage Daydream — David Bowie, 1972
Space and rock n’ roll. I’ll admit, I’m a little partial to David Bowie, but I could rock to this song all day. It’s a little weird, its a little rock n’ roll, and its a little psychedelic. Plus its about an alien rocker (which admittedly is perfect for Guardians of the Galaxy). So sit back, and “freak out in a moonage daydream.”
5. Fooled Around and Fell In Love — Elvin Bishop, 1975
My parents hated this song in the 70s. I’ll admit, I can’t really blame them, because honestly Bishop must’ve been one cocky bastard and this song must’ve gotten annoying quick. But here, it’s the perfect love theme. And thus, it’s awesome.
6. I’m Not In Love — 10cc, 1975
Man, 75 was full of em, weren’t they? This guy’s almost as bad as Bishop, but his lyrics are worse. Still, 40 years later (my god, the 70s were 40 years ago), it’s endlessly amusing — though, the British chick in the middle kinda freaks me out. What’s that about, anyway?
7. I Want You Back — Jackson 5, 1973
Ah, back into the early 70s, with some good music. As my mom so keenly observed “This is when Michael Jackson was a black kid.” And he was adorable. I mean, what’s cuter than a 9 year old Michael Jackson singling a catchy pop tune? And even cuter was that part in the movie with little baby Groot… you guys know what I’m talking about.
8. Come And Get Your Love — Redbone, 1973
And this is it. My favorite on the entire album. This song is great, and I’m actually serious when I say that. Who cares if you can’t actually understand anything Lolly Vegas is singing? It’s still awesome, and it’s great driving music. I could dance to this anthem all day.
9. Cherry Bomb — The Runaways, 1974?
So Wikipedia says this song came out in the early 70s, but for some reason I was thinking 80s. Regardless, it made VH1’s Top 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs Of All Time. I mean, it was written by an all female rock group (that included Joan Jett), so I can see why it makes it. It seemed a little out of place in Guardians, but hey, I enjoyed it.
10. Escape (The Pina Colada Song) —Rupert Holmes, 1979
I always associate this song with Shrek, but it was equally appreciated here. I love this song, despite the ridiculousness of it. Why is it awesome? Two people are just meant to be together, and a pretty late 70s guitar riff. That’s why.
11. O-O-H Child — The Five Stairsteps, 1970
This song is so inspiring. It makes me wish I listened to more soul. It’s another favorite of Rolling Stone, ranked #402 on their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The context it was used in the movie just makes it better here.
12. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough — Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, 1967
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. I was born in the wrong decade. It’s another one of those that everyone knows, and it’s another one of those that makes me wish I listened to more R&B/soul. It’s almost been covered to death, but the original is just. plain. awesome.
So there you have it, probably the most awesome mixtape ever made, and it knows it. I really appreciate this mixtape because of what it adds to not only the movie, but modern expectations for music today. With these hits revived, there’s not telling what could happen.
Seriously, go listen to this one. And look, follow this link, because Marvel is making it easy for you. You’re welcome.