Ray Van Horn, Jr. is a veteran entertainment journalist whose writing and live photography has been featured in Blabbermouth.net, Dee Snider’s House of Hair Online, Fangoria.com, Horror News.net, About.com Heavy Metal, MetalManiacs, New Noise, Music Dish, AMP, Hails & Horns, Unrestrained,Noisecreep, Impose, Pit, The Big Takeover.com, Rough Edge.com, Pitriff and others. His blog The Metal Minute won a “Best Personal Blog” award in 2009 from Metal Hammer magazine and he wrote and produced his own hard rock e-zine, Retaliate.

He has contributed essays to UK author Neil Daniels’ Iron Maiden and ZZ Top biographies. Ray’s fiction has been published in various periodicals and anthologies, including his flash fiction piece “Off the Record” for Akashic Books’ “Mondays Are Murder” noir series. His recent short stories “Before the Ball” and “Widow” were featured in subsequent editions of Alex S. Johnson’s Axes of Evil anthologies. Ray wrote serialized original superhero fiction for Cyber Age Adventures and five of those stories appear in the anthology Playing Solitaire. He was the winner of Quantum Muse’s fiction contest in 1999.

Ray is a former NHL game analyst for The Hockey Nut and one-time host of the forum “Comic Books” at ReadWave. He has done beat reporting, photography and lifestyle articles for Metromix, an affiliate of The Baltimore Sun, Carroll Magazine, The Northern News and The Emmitsburg Dispatch.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Ray's Hypothetical Playlist for the "Guardians of the Galaxy 2" Soundtrack

Here I go hijacking one of my old posts from ReadWave Comic Books since it vanished into the cyber ether following the site's disassembly.

I first wrote directly to Marvel with a for-fun hypothetical playlist the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy sequel.  Like so many other people, I loved the first film not only because it was mega fun, but because of its slamming retro soundtrack.  Being of his generation, I resonated with Starlord's "Awesome Mix Vol. 1" left to him by his dying mother in the film.  That cassette tape filled with cuts by the Runaways, David Bowie, the Jackson Five, Blue Suede, Elvin Bishop, the Raspberries, 10cc and Redbone was not only way-hip throwback material recycled with style, it was also a clever part of the plot.  Those songs represent not only Starlord's connection to his mother, but to Mother Earth.

As those who have seen the film know, Starlord's mom left him a final parting gift, which he'd refused to open well into his adult life as a celestial treasure scavenger and playboy.  That gift is ultimately revealed to be a second tape of music, which shrewdly leaves us in wonder what the next film's score is going to be like. 

Being the music dweeb that I am, I set out to not only hypothesize what Marvel has in store for us musically in Guardians 2, I wanted to chime in and play the game with them.  Considering the first Guardians soundtrack went platinum (a rarity in this sales-strapped market), you know the opportunity is huge to strike hot again come the sequel. 

So, in case you missed it over at ReadWave Comic Books, here's how I would assemble a potential Guardians of the Galaxy 2 soundtrack:

Maxine Nightingale - "Right Back Where We Started From" (could be the opener or closer and it has such a positive vibe with a message that might resonate with the new film, depending on where the script's going - plus it's been field tested to success in the Slapshot film)

ELO - "Telephone Line" (an opportunity to have a touching scene with Starlord in a private moment with this song as he remembers his mother)

Bad Company - "Bad Company" (a marching stride anthem for the quintet in the same fashion as The Runaways)

Doobie Brothers - "China Grove" (a cool, energetic scene transition number)

Barry White - "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More, Baby" (or ANYTHING by Barry White, since no mother of the Seventies could resist this cat)

Three Dog Night - "Shamballah" (a peppy little number to drive a spaceship by)

Steppenwolf - "Magic Carpet Ride" (more pep while keeping in theme of gliding through space)

Atlanta Rhythm Section - "So Into You" (a sexy number for Starlord and Gamora - or whomever might constitute a love interest for our hero-pimp)

Bob Marley - "Is This Love" (another flirty number to consummate a romance in the film)

Ozark Mountain Daredevils - "Jackie Blue" (because it has one of the most killer riffs ever and a pumping groove)

James Brown - "Get Up Offa That Thing" (could be used for comedy relief or even in the midst of a high energy action sequence)

Christopher Cross - "Sailing" (breezy transition scene song to keep in theme of crossing the galaxy, no puns intended)

                                        Listenin' to:  Rammstein - Mutter

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