After ranking in $37.8 million on its opening day, Disney and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is a film that offers high energy action and revisits a slew of 1970s pop hits. Two of the tracks used for the movie’s trailers are Hooked on a Feeling by Blue Swede and Cherry Bomb by The Runaways. Both of the songs are also used during the duration of the film.
When the first preview of Guardians was released earlier in the year, audiences were treated to the catchy melodies of Hooked on a Feeling. Thanks to the trailer, the song became a hit song for a new generation. According to Billboard, the track sold for over two thousand downloads on Wednesday February 19, 2014. It was also a No.1 hit back in 1974 for a band from Sweden called Blue Swede.
However, it should be noted that Feeling was a cover tune by Blue Swede. The original recording was by an artist named B.J. Thomas from the year 1968. Six years later, Swede’s cover reached the top spot on Billboard’s Hot 100. It was one of four Hot 100 hits for the group.
Blue Swede’s take on Hooked on a Feeling also got fresh new listeners in 1998, thanks to its use on the television show Ally McBeal. In an episode for the series a hallucination sequence featured a dancing baby dancing to the song. Thanks to that episode, it reached No. 71 on the Hot 100 on June 6, 1998. Aside from its catchy chorus, what also gives the song its appeal is the chanting that goes “Oogachacka ooga ooga oogachaka!”
For the second trailer of Guardians of the Galaxy, female rock came into the mix via Cherry Bomb by The Runaways. The song was composed during a rehearsal by the band’s manager Kim Fowley and guitarist Joan Jett for their debut album. The idea of the title came about from the name of lead singer Cherie Currie, who was only sixteen years old at the time of its release. A cherry bomb is an explosive device that is popular with kids. However, in regards to the song, a cherry bomb is a girl under age eighteen and who is trouble. In the case of the lyrics, the girl is one who taunts her parents and the adult community with suggestive lines of promiscuous behavior. Best example is in the line that goes “I’ll give you something to live for/Have you and grab you until you’re sore”.
After a few more albums The Runways broke up, even though they had started to gain respect from critics and the rock and roll community. The biggest struggle the group had was being an all-girl hardcore rock band. Many believed that they could not play their instruments and in their early days of playing parties they got laughed at and had beer cans thrown at them. What also kept them from being taken seriously was having lead singer Cherie Currie onstage wearing lingerie and presenting herself in the jailbait persona. Decades later the group would become so influential that Cherry Bomb would be one of the 1970s pop classics used for revisiting in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
Out of all the members, only two were able to have good solo careers, guitarists Joan Jett and Lita Ford. When The Runways ended, Jett did not get contract offers from record companies. Nearly all of them rejected her debut album. What helped her was the new partnership with Kenny Laguna, who produced her album and assisted in forming Blackheart Records. Through the record label they wrote and recorded many songs, such as the rendition of the Arrows tune I Love Rock And Roll, which is now Jett’s anthem song and a hard rock classic.
Lita Ford gained success in the 1980s with such hits as Kiss Me Deadly and Close My Eyes Forever, which was a duet with heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne. Thanks to the rising popularity of pop-metal, Ford’s career took off. However her success was short-lived and she stepped out of the spotlight for more than a decade, and in her time away she got married and became a mother. In 2009 she returned to the spotlight with her studio album titled Wicked Wonderland and to this day she continues to tour.
The uses of 1970s pop songs that are revisited in Guardians of the Galaxy are not just for entertainment purposes. The songs play a role in the plot of the film as well. Audiences will get to experience the action and the music of the latest feature from Disney and Marvel, which is believed to hit the $100 million mark by the end of its first week of release.
By Andrew Cerecedes