WARNING: This post contains major spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2. This is your heads up!
With another Awesome Mix to accompany Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, we go track-by-track to touch on the song’s context in the film and its pop culture history.
Song: Electric Light Orchestra – “Mr. Blue Sky”
History: Released in 1978; a top 10 hit in the UK
In the Film: Opening credits, while the Guardians are fighting a gigantic beast
Fun Fact: ELO’s song was used in the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Song: Sweet – “Fox on the Run”
History: Released in 1975; #5 in the U.S. and the UK
In the Film: When the Guardians are trying to escape the Sovereign
Fun Fact: Was also featured on one of the greatest movie soundtracks ever: Dazed and Confused.
Song: Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah – “Lake Shore Drive”
History: Released in 1971
In the Film: While the Guardians are chatting on the ship
Fun Fact: Almost definitely about taking LSD, even though songwriter Skip Haynes insists it’s only about taking Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.
Song: Fleetwood Mac – “The Chain”
History: Released in 1977
In the Film: During Peter and Ego’s big fight
Fun Fact: This track was used to great effect during the abduction scene in season 3 of The Americans.
Song: Sam Cooke – “Bring It on Home to Me”
History: Released in 1962; a top 15 hit in the U.S.
In the Film: When Peter and Gamora dance on the balcony
Fun Fact: Peter refers to Cooke as one of “Earth’s greatest singers.” It’s true. Despite dying tragically at age 33, he was a charter member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Song: Glen Campbell – “Southern Nights”
History: Released in 1977; #1 in the U.S.
In the Film: When Rocket is working on repairing the ship
Fun Fact: Glen Campbell was nominated for an Academy Award for co-writing the song “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from the documentary Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me.
Song: George Harrison – “My Sweet Lord”
History: Released in 1970; #1 in the U.S.
In the Film: When Peter, Gamora and Drax first arrive on Ego
Fun Fact: The song was the subject of a major plagiarism lawsuit that George Harrison lost.
Song: Looking Glass – “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)”
History: Released in 1972; #1 in the U.S.
In the Film: Opening prologue, when Ego and Peter’s mom are falling in love
Fun Fact: The song was so popular that in the year after its release, Brandy became one of the 100 most popular names for girls in the U.S.
Song: Jay and the Americans – “Come a Little Bit Closer”
History: Released in 1964; #3 in the U.S.
In the Film: When Yondu escapes his holding cell and gets revenge on his mutinous crew
Fun Fact: Former lead singer Jay Black had to sell the rights to the name to pay off his gambling debts.
Song: Silver – “Wham Bam Shang-A-Lang”
History: Released in 1976; Top 20 hit in the U.S.
In the Film: When the Guardians are fighting Ego and the Sovereign
Fun Fact: Phil Hartman designed the cover art for their only album.
Song: Cheap Trick – “Surrender”
History: Released in 1978
In the Film: When Kraglin is learning to use Yondu’s arrow
Fun Fact: The song played in both the first and last episodes of The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.
Song: Cat Stevens – “Father and Son”
History: Released in 1970
In the Film: During Yondu’s funeral
Fun Fact: The song was originally going to be used in the opening scene of Moulin Rouge! but the deeply religious Stevens objected.
Song: Parliament – “Flash Light”
History: Released in 1978; #1 on the R&B charts in the U.S.
In the Film: During the end credits
Fun Fact: The song was used more prominently in such wildly different movies as Straight Outta Compton and Muppets from Space.
Song: The Sneepers featuring David Hasselhoff – “Guardians Inferno”
History: Released in 2017
In the Film: During the end credits
Fun Fact: The song was written specifically for the film. Although David Hasselhoff is best known to American audiences as the star of Knight Rider and Baywatch, he had a huge music career in Europe. “Looking for Freedom” was a #1 hit in Germany.