When the first full trailer for the movie Guardians of the Galaxy was released back in February, I was really pleased at the use of the song, “Hooked On a Feeling,” especially since the trailer offered a hint at the explanation of why the one human character in this far-off interstellar adventure would be obsessed with music from the 70s (an old Sony Walkman and single cassette mix tape is the only connection he has to the homeworld he was snatched from as a kid). The trailer also made it clear that the movie was going to be a silly romp about a bunch of misfits, which I must admit was a big relief. When I first heard Marvel was going to adapt Guardians, I was confused as to how that would work as a movie, but then, I was most familiar with a much earlier version of the series which was very grim and featured almost entirely a different set of characters.
But the important thing was the music…
I immediately set about creating a playlist built around Blue Swede’s cover of “Hooked On a Feeling,” which is what was featured in the first trailer. As I was building said playlist, which I eventually decided to call “Hooked on Love,” I realized that some how I didn’t own any music by B.J. Thomas, who had first recorded the song and had a hit with it, so I downloaded a bunch of his hits from iTunes, because my playlist would have both versions. I have a lot of playlists where different artist’s recordings of the same song appear.
I found another cover of “Hooked On a Feeling” by Jonathan King that I liked. I also found a copy of another Blue Swede hit, “Never My Love.” And I put several other songs from the 70s that seemed, to me, to fit the vibe of the song.
Then the second trailer was released, and it featured Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky,” so I had to add it to the playlist. And that sent looking for more songs.
Then they announced that one of the two official soundtracks for the film was going to be the director’s list of which songs were on Star Lord’s “Awesome Mix Vol. 1” tape, and of course I had to pre-order it. So it downloaded automatically to my iTunes last Monday, and I started listening to the album, which I kept doing all week long.
One very amusing thing for me was that when I was assembling my own list, in addition to the two songs that were in the trailer, I managed to pick two other songs that were in the official mix tape. Or maybe one-and-a-half, depending.
I included “O-O-H Child” by the Five Stair Steps, which is in the mix. I also included Diana Ross and the Supreme’s recording of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” while the official album has Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell’s recording of the same song. The two recordings are each considered classics. Gaye & Terrell’s was the original, recorded in 1966, while the Supreme’s did theirs in 1968. I had included the Ross song because I thought the version I had was the one that was a big hit for Diana Ross in 1970, and I was going for 70s songs on my mix. Turns out the 1968 version is the one I had, while Ross’s solo version that was a big hit in 1970 has more of a gospel feel.
All that said, I really enjoyed the movie, and was particularly happy with the way that the mix tape itself moved the plot at more than one point in the movie. I love music, and of course love a hero who loves music.
So Sunday night I made a couple more playlists. One, called “Pelvic Sorcery” is a mix of songs from the official Awesome Mix Vol 1 album, and other songs mostly from that era that I think might be used by Star Lord to woo a romantic partner if he knew of them… or just songs I’d really like to watch the actor do a sexy dance to.
Another is called “A Little Starlord,” which is sort of my attempt to guess at just what might be on Awesome Mix Vol 2…
And of course, once I was making playlists, I had to tweak a couple of others, and I made another list called “Another Hooked,” because I’ve now collected so many different versions of “Hooked On a Feeling,” that I’m building lists based on the music style of each cover.
As you do. Right?