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Shock Radio’s Top 5 Needle-Drops in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

As Chloe Zhao’s Eternals is currently being shown in UK cinemas, Marvel Studios continue on their quest to license every song ever written for their features. The new blockbuster uses The End of the World by 60s-star Skeeter Davis in the marketing and the film itself. Ever since Iron Man debuted in 2008 with AC/DC classic Back in Black in the first thirty seconds, Marvel movies have loved their needle-drops, and it’s easy to see why. Some of the best MCU moments have had classic tracks underscoring them. Here are Shock Radio’s top five Marvel musical moments (so far)…

5 – The Immigrant Song Thor: Ragnarok

From the very first trailer for Thor: Ragnarok, you could tell it was going to be an entirely different beast to the previous snooze-fest that was The Dark World. Taika Waititi immediately set the mood by using the Led-Zeppelin classic as a punchy and powerful introduction to his Thor. The track is used a few times in the film itself, to an appropriately electrifying effect. The iconic guitar riff perfectly fits the God of Thunder’s ass-kicking, and the tone of Ragnarok at large. It’s only at spot number five, unfortunately, but it has some incredibly stiff competition.

4 – The Chain Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2

You could easily fill an entire top ten list with ranking the tracks of the Guardians of the Galaxy films alone: James Gunn’s soon-to-be-trilogy is filled with phenomenal music moments. So, whilst I’m restricting myself to just one from each of the two Guardians flicks, I am cheating by picking a song that’s used twice. Arguably Fleetwood Mac’s best-known track, The Chain, fits so perfectly into Awesome Mix Vol.2, it feels unfair. It’s the perfect mood-setter for the climactic battle between Peter and Ego, and I challenge anyone to not look cool whilst strutting to Lindsey Buckingham – even Chris Pratt managed it…

3 – All the Stars Black Panther

Marvel films have always had “score” of some sort, but 2018’s Black Panther was the first time the franchise looked to commission original songs. The album is made up of great tracks by dozens of artists, but it’s Kendrick Lamar and SZA’s All the Stars that takes the bronze medal on this list – a slow track that plays over Black Panther’s credits and lets the audience sit in the film’s final scene. Marvel end titles are normally something you want to ignore as you wait for the post-credits sting, but All the Stars makes Black Panther’s end unskippable.

2 - On and On Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Sam Wilson has some damn good playlists – from the minute he meets Steve Rogers, he’s already recommending Marvin Gaye’s funk-filled film LP, Trouble Man. It’s the choice of Curtis Harding that takes the number two spot here, however, as On and On plays over the closing scene of Falcon and the Winter Soldier. It’s a hopeful track, which really nicely underscores all that the two titular characters have overcome.

1 – Come And Get Your Love Guardians of the Galaxy

My favourite musical movie moment of the entire MCU, Peter Quill’s first dance on Morag to Redbone is an electric opening that perfectly sets the tone of the bizarrely brilliant Guardians of the Galaxy. This forever iconic opening makes it easy to forget that a great many people thought that the original Guardians film would be a box-office flop at the time – before it went on to be one of the biggest movies of 2014, and the MCU as a whole. The opening highlights what I think catapulted James Gunn’s franchise into success: it’s silly and spontaneous but also sincere – it’s not just a song for a song’s sake.


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