Over the past few months, we’ve been privy to all kinds of tidbits about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, be it news about Baby Groot, its focus on “family,” or its five post-credits scenes. But one big part of the film that’s remained a mystery is its soundtrack. Given how important pop songs were to writer-director James Gunn’s 2014 original, fans expect more big nostalgic fun from Awesome Mix Vol. 2. Now, Gunn has at last made public his playlist, with a track-by-track annotation for Rolling Stone.
There are 14 tracks on Awesome Mix Vol. 2 (out April 21), which is the same tape that Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord discovered at the end of the original Guardians. With the new film’s focus on the relationship between Pratt’s hero and his newly discovered dad, Ego (Kurt Russell), it’s little surprise to see Cat Stevens’ “Father and Son” included in the line-up, although there are more than a few unexpected gems sprinkled throughout the soundtrack, including Cheap Trick’s “Surrender” (“Gunn repaying the band for letting him use one of their songs in his 2011 film Super), ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky” (Gunn says if Guardians had a house band, it’d be ELO), Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” (one of two songs “deeply embedded into the fibers of the film,” Gunn says), and — believe it or not — an original tune featuring Star-Lord’s favorite, David Hasselhoff.
As Gunn explains, the guiding ethos behind picking these songs was Star-Lord’s (deceased) mom Meredith, who in the film is the character who assembled these mix-tapes: “She’s a music lover, but she’s completely not elitist. If it’s something that’s thought of as goofy and pop, she likes it. If it’s cool or funk, she likes it. She just likes hooks and melodies. She’s a very quirky, young girl who fell in love with, you know, as it ends up, an alien. And falling in love with an alien is right up there in Meredith Quill’s alley. She’s an oddball, like her son.”
No doubt those tunes will help provide a hummable jolt of electricity to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 when it rocks into theaters on May 5. Read Gunn’s full track-by-track breakdown of the soundtrack at Rolling Stone.
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