Guardian of the Galaxy’s Awesome Mix in Vol 2: ELO, Glen Campbell, Cat Stevens

Posted on May 5, 2017 at 8:00 am

Like the first “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Vol 2. has a fabulous soundtrack of 70’s songs.

Electric Light Orchestra – Mister Blue Sky

Already on the soundtrack of films from “The Game Plan” to “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” “Role Models,” “Wild Mussels,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “The Magic Roundabout,” “The Game Plan,” “Martian Child,” “The Invention of Lying,” “Megamind,” and “Battle of the Year” as well as the television shows “Doctor Who,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “American Dad!,” “Divorce,” “Revolution,” and “Waterloo Road,” this song kicks off “Guardians 2” with an adorable Baby Groot dance in the middle of a fight with a giant space monster.

Sweet – Fox on the Run

Most recently heard on the soundtracks of “Dazed and Confused” and “Detroit Rock City,” this 1974 song about groupies by the British band Sweet has been covered by many performers, including KISS’s Ace Frehley and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah – Lake Shore Drive

This 1971 song is a tribute to Chicago’s famous road along Lake Michigan.

Fleetwood Mac – The Chain

Credited to all five members of the band, reportedly this 1977 song was literally spliced together on tape from pieces they were working on.

Sam Cooke – Bring it on Home to Me

Lou Rawls sings back-up in this romantic Sam Cooke classic.

Glen Campbell – Southern Nights

One of my favorite Glen Campbell songs, this Allen Toussaint composition from 1977 features a guitar lick from Jerry Reed.

George Harrison – My Sweet Lord

One of the ex-Beatle’s biggest solo hits is this deeply spiritual song calling for unity between people and between individuals and God.

Looking Glass – Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)

Here’s the story behind the 1972 hit that plays an important part in the film.

Jay & The Americans – Come a Little Bit Closer

Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart with Wes Farrell wrote this classic story song about a flirtatious barmaid.

Sliver – Wham Bam Shang-a-Lang

This one-hit wonder sounds like the essence of the 70’s.

Cheap Trick – Surrender

Band member Rick Nielsen said: “When I wrote the song, the ‘we’re all alright’ was originally only intended to refer to the four of us; that’s why it comes right after the ‘Bun-E/Tom/Robin/Rick’s alright’ section. After we started playing it live however, I came to realize that, to our audience, it was inclusive of all of us – our generation; that we’re ALL alright, we survived the 60s & Vietnam & Nixon & everything, and we’re all still here, playing music and having fun. That’s when we started playing with it a little in concert; I’ll tell ya, you get 50 – 60 thousand people screaming ‘WE’RE ALL ALRIGHT!’ in unison, that’s a pretty positive affirmation!”

Cat Stevens – Father and Son

Like “Surrender,” this is a 70’s-era song about the conflict between baby boomer teenagers and their Greatest Generation parents.

Parliament – Flash Light

The essence of 70’s funk, this song by George Clinton, Bernie Worrell, and Bootsy Collins was also on the soundtrack of “Set it Off” and “Roll Bounce.”

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Thunder Soul

Posted on October 6, 2011 at 6:00 am

Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief language and momentary historical smoking
Profanity: Brief mild language
Alcohol/ Drugs: Smoking, social drinking
Violence/ Scariness: Sad death, reference to off-screen teen violence
Diversity Issues: A theme of the movie
Date Released to Theaters: October 6, 2011 ASIN: B005H4TDNY

A real-life “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” this is the inspiring story of a dedicated teacher who transformed the lives of his students and the gathering 35 years later, when he was 92 years old, to perform a concert in his honor.

No one expected much from the kids who went to Houston’s Kashmere High School in a depressed African-American neighborhood.  But a teacher the kids called “Prof” (for “professor”) showed them they could learn to play music that would take them to a national championship,  international tours, and a recording that would rise the Amazon charts decades later as a CD re-release.

Prof was Conrad Johnson, Jr.  In the 1970’s, as the Black Power movement was inspiring a reawakening of pride in African-American culture, Prof took the school’s jazz band and added discipline, ambition, and a lot of funk.  One of the documentary’s highlights is the description of the repertoire of the other high school jazz bands of the era — mostly a lot of 1940’s and 50’s standards.  When the Kashmere band, called Thunder Soul, showed up for the national championships in Mobile Alabama with their Afros and their attitude, the only black high school to compete, they caused an uproar.  The judges initially tried to declare two winners but Prof insisted they go back and pick just one.

Prof’s insistence on excellence, his innovative approach, and most of all, his own example inspired several years’ of students to try harder and dream bigger.   The music is genuinely thrilling but the real thrill here is seeing what a great educator can do.  The love he had for music and for his students and the respect they still have for him decades later is powerful and moving.  A feature film about this story is in the works and I hope it will be everything Prof deserves, but nothing will match the heart of the real-life footage, archival and new, of the people who lived it.

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Documentary Movies -- format Music
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