Music of 2017, Part 4: Thorseman of the GaLaLaLaxy


In which we’ve arrived in the movie music territory.

15. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, “City of Stars” (2016)

While I hated (well, not as much “hated” as was utterly unimpressed by) “Bla Bla Bland”, I have to admit this is a really nice song that deserved the Oscar it’s got. Much more than the movie istelf deserves all the attention.

16. Grouplove, “Back in the 90s” (2014)

A short piece that plays over end credits of “BoJack Horseman”, the – to quote I Hate Everything – “an absurdist Netflix cartoon that has no reason being as good as it is” is a true earworm and one of the reasons I kept going back to this nihilistic but strangely addictive show.

17. Mark Mothersbaugh, “No One Escapes” (2017)

The Marvel movies of 2017 broke ground with finally having some memorable music. While their previous works are scored with bland and completely forgettable orchestral music, “Thor: Ragnarok” contained the fantastic 80s synthpop score I actually took notice of during the movie. At least in the scenes on Jeff Goldblum’s world, because when we were back in Asgard we were also back in Bland Orchestra land as well.

But, yeah, it turns out space fantasy adventures invite some pretty good music! Which brings us to…

18. Electric Light Orchestra, “Mr Blue Sky” (1977)

There are two types of soundtrack albums: the musical score and the collections of songs. The first ones are only as good as the music is without the accompanying movie (compare “Blade Runner” to “Lord of the Rings”) while the second ones are only as good as your tastes are compatible with the director’s (“The Great Gatsby” vs “American Beauty”).

And it that’s the case, in my previous life I must have been James Gunn, because what he did with the soundtrack to “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (which, by the way, is THE best movie of 2017) is otherworldly…

The amount of music this soundtrack inspired me to get to know last year is unspeakable. Based on this collection I finally got to know Electric Light Orchestra and their best release, “Out of the Blue” (I did know “Mr Blue Sky” before, because who hasn’t, but this song represents the whole fantastic double album here), but also…

19. Fleetwood Mac, “The Chain” (1977)

… which also is kind of a cheat, because I had known this song (and several others from this album) before from Guitar Hero or that one episode of “Glee”. But while I was always fascinated with the story of how it got made, it wasn’t until I heard it on the “Guardians” soundtrack that I actually gave it a conscious listen and did dig deeper into the story. And, yep, I’m hooked, I’m in love, I’m addicted. Hooked like Christine McVie was on the band’s lighting director, whom she sang about in “You Make Loving Fun” and told her husband, the band’s bassist John McVie it was about their dog. I’m in love as Stevie Knicks was with Mick Fleetwood, which she sang lied herself about singing in “Oh Daddy”. I’m addicted as Christine was to cocaine, as she sang about it in “Gold Dust Woman”.

“The Chain” is the song of 2017. And I’m not the only one thinking that, judging from the number of places and contexts I heard it in throughout the year, from it’s not one but two appearances in “Guardians Vol. 2” (and that’s not counting the trailers!), the movie critic David Ehlrich including it in his 2017 Movies Countdown for no other reason than it’s awesome and numerous other sources.

The only one in Fleetwood Mac’s history with a writing credit from all members, this is one of the Frankenstein songs that – like The Beatles’ “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” or Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” – was assembled from bits and pieces of individual songs (an intro from early Buckingham Nicks song, the verses by one member with the chorus from another and the epic finale by Fleetwood and John McVie) but somehow managed to make a truly perfect song, with heartbreaking emotions throughout both music and lyrics.

20. The Sneepers feat. David Hasselhoff, “Guardians Inferno” (2017)

And to finish the list with this… this wonderful piece of music. Much has been said and written about this song (by the author James Gunn himself, no less) so I don’t want to repeat myself, but EVERYTHING about this piece is amazing, from the 70s disco rendition of “Guardians of the Galaxy” theme through the fantastic lyrics (including words like “infantilized sequoia” or “procyon lotor”, which sounds like a Sci-fi contraption straight from a comic book but actually is just the Latin name of a racoon!), performed by Zardu Hasselfrau (who else!) to the indescribable music video starring almost the entire cast of the movie: there’s Zoe Saldana, Joe Bautista, the completely a-rythmic Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Chris fucking Pratt, Sean Gunn with his brother, the director James Gunn and Stan Lee (of course), not to mention Zardu himself.

This is beyond words. You just have to see it. And hear it. And see it again, and again, and again… Much like the movie itself (did I mention it’s the best movie I’ve seen this year?).

Now, to see what 2018 brings musically… See you, hopefully, in a year (not in six) with another list! And sooner with other content. Fingers crossed!

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