The Best Songs on the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Soundtrack
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 once again has an awesome soundtrack, and we're here to show off some of our favorite songs from it!
Some mild Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 spoilers follow.
Once again, director and writer James Gunn has added another unique dimension to one of his films, with the perfectly curated batch of oddball tunes that populate the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 soundtrack. And yes, once again, these tracks are presented as things being listened to by the characters during the events of the film, dropped in increasingly inventive, energizing, and even heartbreaking fashion at the appropriate moments.
Sure, things have changed a little bit, with the songs no longer being tied to any specific era, and being played as an assortment of tunes that had been uploaded onto a Zune MP3 player of all things, but they still hit just as hard, loud, and unexpectedly as they ever have. So if you’re ready to groove like your favorite bunch of interstellar misfits, here’s how you can do it. We’ve got the Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol. 3 song list and playlist right here for you, as well as some of our personal favorites of how they were used in the film itself.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Song List
Here’s the full tracklist:
“Creep” (Acoustic Version) – Radiohead
“Crazy On You” – Heart
“Since You Been Gone” – Rainbow
“In the Meantime” – Spacehog
“Reasons” – Earth, Wind and Fire
“Do You Realize??” – The Flaming Lips
“We Care a Lot” – Faith No More
“Koinu no Carnival” (From “Minute Waltz”) – EHAMIC
“I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” – Alice Cooper
“San Francisco” – The Mowgli’s
“Poor Girl” – X
“This Is the Day” – The The
“No Sleep Till Brooklyn” – Beastie Boys
“Dog Days Are Over” – Florence + The Machine
“Badlands” – Bruce Springsteen
“I Will Dare” – The Replacements
“Come and Get Your Love” – Redbone
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Song Highlights
As for how these songs are used in the movie itself, it’s something of a mixed bag. Personally, I don’t think that the incorporation of the Awesome Mix tunes has ever been quite as seamless as it was in the first film, where every single song (not to mention the novelty of having deep cut AM radio tunes in an incongruous outer space setting) hit with maximum impact. And, of course, those earlier soundtracks had the additional novelty factor of being mixtapes that had been specifically made by characters in the films. That being said, the “random tunes loaded onto a Zune” approach taken with Awesome Mix Vol. 3 gives Gunn more freedom in terms of the eras he can pull from, and still makes for some unforgettable cinematic moments that feel pretty far removed from the usual Marvel fare.
Radiohead – “Creep”
First and foremost is the use of Radiohead’s “Creep” in the film’s opening scene. While “Creep” was an unforgettable, even overplayed staple of the peak MTV/grunge takeover years in the early ’90s (and an albatross the band spent most of the rest of its career trying to shed) it’s still a hell of a tune. But the version we hear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 isn’t the one familiar to most casual fans, but rather an acoustic alternate version which turned up as a b-side on several of the band’s early releases.
The downbeat, plaintive tune is appropriately used to highlight Rocket’s alienation as he mopes around Knowhere. It’s a stark contrast to the upbeat numbers and action sequences which opened the previous installments in the franchise, and it appropriately sets the tone for the rest of the film. Plus, even with just an acoustic guitar and Thom Yorke’s voice, it sounds incredible at movie theater volume.
Spacehog – “In The Meantime”
But the real highlight, and a genuine highlight of the entire Guardians franchise itself, is the use of Spacehog’s “In The Meantime…”. One of the greatest one-hit wonders of the ’90s, a band that was gloriously out of step with the grunge movement of their era, Spacehog’s unapologetic love of David Bowie and Roxy Music is enough to make me forgive that somehow no actual Roxy Music song ever made it on to an Awesome Mix. That eerie telephone buzz opening giving way to a glorious bassline and soaring guitars is what accompanies the “Among Us meets 2001: A Space Odyssey” spacesuit sequence that featured so prominently in the film’s trailers and it doesn’t disappoint one bit when it hits here.
Beastie Boys – “No Sleep Til Brooklyn”
The Beastie Boys’ License to Ill album often plays like a parody of the excesses of early MTV culture, and the absurd riffery and posturing of this track are perhaps the best example of it. But the fact that this accompanies a spectacular one-take action sequence, one of the best in the entire history of the MCU, makes it really special. Another one best appreciated in IMAX.
Rainbow – “Since You Been Gone”
For this writer, while it doesn’t feel as perfectly joined up to the story itself as some of the other tracks, the moment when Rainbow’s “Since You Been Gone” hits is a real shot of adrenaline. Perhaps it’s because in the United States, Rainbow in general isn’t really given the love they deserve as part of the classic rock pantheon, and the band’s incarnation from after legendary vocalist Ronnie James Dio left is even more obscure. “Since You Been Gone” hits like a power pop masterpiece rather than the mystical proto-metal of the Dio years.
And these are far from the only highlights. Alice Cooper’s bizarre cover of “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” is perfectly placed as Florence + The Machine’s triumphant “Dog Days Are Over.” If this movie is the reason more young fans discover classic LA punks X thanks to “Poor Girl” then all the better.
These are just our favorite musical moments in the film. What are yours? Tell us in the comments!