Galaxy's soundtrack might be the coolest you'll hear all year

Music plays a huge part in science fiction movies.

Take, for instance, John Williams' genius Star Wars scores. How about the inspired kitsch of Queen's Flash Gordon Original Soundtrack?

Then there's Vangelis' shimmering synthesiser work on Blade Runner.

Stanley Kubrick's hand-picked classical pieces for 2001: A Space Odyssey?

Let's not forget Daft Punk's throbbing Tron: Legacy score or the sensitive work Arcade Fire did on Her. We could go on and on, but we're here to talk about Guardians Of The Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1.

It's a bit different from your typical sci-fi soundtrack, in that it uses a lot of songs from the 70s. Not very spacey, but it makes a lot of sense within the context of the movie.

Our hero Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is an earthling who keeps his own Awesome Mix Tape Vol. 1 playing (on a constant loop) in his old-school portable cassette player.

It's his magical musical memento of home.

The music Quill - aka Star-Lord - plays on his headphones is the same music we hear in the movie. Let's break down the awesomeness!


Blue Swede

This is the tune that's most closely associated with Guardians at this point, as it is used in the trailers.

The song bounced around with a few different artists before Blue Swede finally took this version to the top of the US charts in 1974. Before Guardians, it was mostly associated with Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, which is proof enough of its cool cred.

But if you're a masochist, check out the cover by Baywatch star David Hasselhoff!



This is not a song you'd expect to hear in a space flick. This lush tune hit the top of the UK charts in 1975, and hit No. 2 in the US.

Its trademark "virtual choir" was painstakingly created using analogue technology, and no one had ever heard anything like it at the time.

Everyone from Donny Osmond to Queen Latifah has covered the tune, and it also appeared on the soundtrack of Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason.


The Runaways

If any song captures the sheer bad-ass attitude of the Guardians, it's Cherry Bomb.

This anthem of rebellion from the ill-fated 70s girl group The Runaways is a thumb in the eye of any would-be oppressor - even Ronan The Accuser!

Cherry Bomb reached No. 1 in Japan, and came in 52nd place on VH1's list of Greatest Hard Rock Songs. Dakota Fanning does a killer version in The Runaways movie.


The Five Stairsteps

Without giving too much away, hopefully, we must tell you that 0-0-0-H Child plays a huge part in this flick. Suffice it to say that after seeing Guardians Of The Galaxy, you'll never hear O-O-O-H Child the same way again.

In 1970, the song became a top 10 hit in the US, and placed 402nd in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time. It was also used in the film Boyz N The Hood. This is soft soul music at its sweetest, and Guardians may just give it a whole new life.


Rupert Holmes

This is surely one of the silliest songs ever created, a little ditty about a pair of lovers trying to find extracurricular relationships, and then finding each other by mistake.

Considering that Guardians Of The Galaxy is a comedy and a space adventure, Escape really helps set the tone.

The contrast between the exotic setting and the humdrum lyrics is delicious.

Fun Fact: This was the last No. 1 song of the 70s. It also has the distinction of being used in Shrek and Grown Ups.

This article was first published on July 30, 2014.
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