Soundtracking is a regular column that appears on looking at the music featured in the biggest new releases both in theatre and on home video. Shane McNeil looks at the Number One hit soundtrack to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

Originally published on – August 12, 2014.

So, by now you’ve worn your tape deck (or, modern 21st century equivalent) clean out listening to the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack… and kudos to you if it’s actually a tape deck.

The soundtrack has taken off alongside Marvel’s latest cinematic smash, with the film’s more than $175 million gross eclipsed only by the soundtrack’s debut at number three on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. The film everyone expected to hit, but when you can make a top-five album out of songs that are almost exclusively 35 years old (at least), you’ve truly hit a nerve.

It only took Tom Petty’s first album in four years and a new Eric Clapton disc to keep Guardians from debuting at the top spot.

But the Guardians would have their revenge as the album hit Number 1 in its second week of release.

If you’re uninitiated (and this is sad), the soundtrack mirrors a mixtape given to Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) by his mother prior to her death. It is jammed with anthemic, 1960s and ‘70s AM radio jams. It trots out some favourites, including The Jackson Five and Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, but it also digs for some rarer gems like Redbone and The Raspberries.

To save you some effort, here’s one of many YouTube Playlists devoted to the growing cult of “Awesome Mix, Vol. 1”.

But what you might not be aware of are the Easter eggs filmmaker James Gunn buried in the film’s closing credits. If you Shazam said credits (after you’ve turned your phone back on after dutifully and politely turning it off during the movie, of course) you find yourself bestowed with some bonus features to accompany the film’s soundtrack.

Most interesting among these are exclusive videos where Gunn goes in-depth with his musical process. Without giving too much away, Gunn cites the likes of soundtrack giants Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino as his role models in helping integrate music into their pictures. Clearly, with the Guardians soundtrack taking off the way it has, Gunn has studied hard.

The videos themselves are nice added touches for a film that’s bound to do repeat business anyway. So, should you find yourself seeing Guardians again (and, be honest, you just might), give the bonus materials a try before you hit play on your iTunes one more time.

Since we’re talking Easter eggs, here’s another one. Since the Guardians soundtrack only runs 45 minutes, logic dictates that you’re only getting one side of the tape. Cassettes usually run 90 minutes and we don’t think a mother’s love would cheap out for just a 60-minute mix.

Here are another 13 songs that might well have appeared on the B-side.


1. Jeepster – T-Rex

2. The Oogum Boogum Song – Brenton Wood

3. American Girl – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

4. Little Green Bag – The George Baker Selection

5. Train in Vain – The Clash

6. Mr. Big Stuff – Jean Knight

7. Saturday Night – The Bay City Rollers

8. Gotta Get Up – Harry Nilsson

9. The Chain – Fleetwood Mac

10. Just What I Needed – The Cars

11. War – Edwin Starr

12. Baby Blue – Badfinger

13. Livin’ Thing – Electric Light Orchestra