Yes, we all saw Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend, and it was pure fun. In fact, I’d say this film is a strong contender for best standalone Marvel movie not only because it’s incredibly well done but aside from the first Iron Man, it’s the only one you can watch without having seen any of the other Marvel movies. The fact that almost half the opening weekend’s audience was female and more than half over the age of 25 also proves superheroes aren’t just for adolescent males anymore.
But do you know what is possibly my favorite part of this film? The soundtrack! I’ve gone on many times about how movie soundtracks used to mean something in the 80’s and 90’s, and how disappointed I am that there hasn’t been much emphasis on putting together a great album to complement a film in recent years. The closest we’ve come has been an atrocious Linkin Park song to go with every Transformers film, and that isn’t going to get it done.
Chances are loads of kids will be seeing Guardians in theaters and re-watching it endlessly after its well-timed holiday home video release. This is probably the first time most of them will be exposed to not only great music but music made by musicians. Every week, the Top 40 is littered with autotuned pop tarts competing with monotone rappers for the most consumed song, which are all manufactured to reach the same vapid club-going audience anyway. I’m guessing David Bowie and The Runaways will be brand new to anyone age 16 and under (unless they were raised by parents with good taste) and I’m hopeful the songs in this movie will be a refreshing change from what most younguns are used to hearing. It’s likely most people on the planet have heard “I Want You Back” but “Come and Get Your Love” must’ve been a huge curveball for them. Frankly, that song has been stuck in my head since I saw the movie on Thursday, and my first introduction to it happened to be Real McCoy’s cover version from 1995.
The “Awesome Mix Vol. 1” soundtrack was selling quite well in advance of the film’s release and I hope both it and the movie keep putting up huge numbers. It’s inspiring to see quality have a home in the mainstream marketplace of 2014.