Both of director James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy movies have been huge hits, thanks in no small part to their sublime, retro soundtracks. And, while we have Gunn’s taste to thank for the resurgence of classic ‘60s and ‘70s jams in the real world, it was Peter Quill’s mother, Meredith, who compiled Awesome Mix Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 in the fiction of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What you might not have noticed, though, is that the tracklists for the two versions of the mixtapes don’t line up.
Mild spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 are below.
At the end of the first Guardians of the Galaxy, Peter finally has the courage he needs to open up the present his dying mother gave him right before he was abducted. It turns out that a new cassette tape, Awesome Mix Vol. 2, was inside. Peter pops the tape into the rebuilt player on his spaceship, and Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s 1967 classic “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” starts to play. Now, even though that track is pretty explicitly from Vol. 2, it’s included on the first soundtrack album, Vol. 1, in the real world.
It goes the other way, too. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Rocket, Yondu, and Baby Groot decide it’s time to make their escape from the mutinous Ravager ship. Before they make their move, Rocket asks Kraglin if he has any backups of Peter’s old music on the ship. Kraglin says yes, and Jay and the American’s 1964 song “Come a Little Bit Closer” starts to play over the ship’s speakers. If this song is some of Peter’s “old music,” and there’s no reason to believe Star-Lord hung around with the Ravagers after the first movie long enough to upload the second Awesome Mix to their computers, then “Come a Little Bit Closer” rightfully belongs on the first Awesome Mix, not the second.
There are a couple other songs that could be mixed up, too. The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” the song that Groot dances to at the end of the first movie, seems like it comes right after “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” because we didn’t see that song start playing in-universe. It’s impossible to say for sure if it’s the second track on Vol. 2 or a cut from the first one. (Even if Quill’s Walkman got busted at the end of the movie, we know from the sequel that he has digitized backups somewhere.)
Of course, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Come a Little Bit Closer” are on the “wrong” albums in the real world because that’s how movie soundtracks work. But, if you want to have a truly movie-accurate listening experience, maybe switch up the order of your Guardians playlist — and make sure you’re listening on a Microsoft Zune, of course.