By: Matt Walz
Everyone has heard a bit of it at least once – that is if they’ve been to the movies in the past few months. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy brought humor, action, and a fantastic retro soundtrack that melded to the movie perfectly. Now, the songs from the movie are out on CD and digital, titled after Star-Lord’s Awesome Mix Vol. 1. Having not heard many of the songs on the album before, Awesome Mix Vol. 1 brought a new music experience with songs that my parents knew and loved. The compilation of these songs works really well, and each was a great hit in its own right and in its time.
First off, we hear that catchy and a slightly cheesy commercial song – Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling.” This is the song that grabs peoples’ attention as they ask “Who?” right along with Djimon Hounsou’s Korath. “Hooked on a Feeling” perfectly balances out the action heavy trailer, and adds a touch of ridiculousness. On its own, the “ooga chaka” start is enough for smiles and maybe even a laugh. The rest of the song throws out some great trumpet and drums, with a chill rhythm reminiscent of another on the album – one that still gets a good amount of radio time, even today. I write of Rupert Holmes’ classic “Escape” – you may know it as “The Piña Colada Song.” “Escape” is still featured prominently in many movies directed to middle aged people. Guardians of the Galaxy brought it to the attention of our generation, and after a few listens, it’s earned a very secure place on my iPod. It’s an energetic song, but manages to maintain an overall relaxed feel that’s perfect for just hanging around.
Many songs on this album have a similar feel, and Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky” follows suit. With its catchy tune and great guitar, the song fits in well with my rock and alternative playlists. Whatever the reason for picking up the album – be it nostalgia from childhood or memories from a fantastic movie – the retro tracks on Awesome Mix No. 1 deliver. All I’m looking for now is the sequel.
Matt Walz is a J-School student here at Mizzou. He grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago with science fiction, rock n’ roll, and the Blackhawks.