The most memorable thing about David Ayer’s Suicide Squad was arguably its soundtrack album, which debuted in the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart in 2016 and went on to earn a Grammy nomination for its Collector’s Edition. The soundtrack patterned itself after the jukebox sensibility of Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1, which also reigned atop the Billboard Top Soundtracks chart for 11 weeks straight.
For the standalone sequel/soft reboot The Suicide Squad, director James Gunn has crossed over from the Guardians franchise at Marvel to DC, with his musical taste in tow. Apparently, there were so many songs that he wanted to include in the movie — but couldn’t — that he had enough leftover to make a whole playlist, which you can now hear on Spotify.
Gunn’s Playlist and John Murphy’s First Soundtrack Cut
Music was a key element in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, with Chris Pratt’s character, Star-Lord, carrying around a Walkman with a mixtape of old ’60s and ’70s hits from before he left Earth. In the spirit of that, Gunn recently shared on Twitter that he has created an entire Spotify playlist comprised of songs that he considered for The Suicide Squad but that didn’t make the final cut.
“Here’s a list of songs that I almost used in The Suicide Squad but in the end opted for other choices,” Gunn introduced.
On YouTube, Troll Court / Water Tower Music has also released the first track from the film’s original score by composer John Murphy. The track is titled “So This Is the Famous Suicide Squad” and you can hear it in the video embed below. Murphy had this to say about its creative genesis:
“‘So This Is the Famous Suicide Squad’ was actually the first thing I wrote for the film. James and I wanted the score to have attitude. And because of the characters we were being introduced [to] in this scene, all I could hear in my head was this crunchy, relentless low E string; a bit punk but with a dirty swagger. I’ve always wanted to write a theme around one note so when I picked up the guitar it just came out in one go.”
Suicide Squad’s Soundtrack Approach
Johnny Cash, Aerosmith, and Queen are among the more famous artists featured on Gunn’s Spotify playlist. Back in 2016, Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” also featured prominently in the first official trailer for Suicide Squad. That trailer came about half a year after the leaked one that rocked Comic-Con 2015, with its slowed-down cover version of the Bee Gees’ “I Started a Joke” by ConfidentialMX (featuring Becky Hanson). There was also the “Ballroom Blitz” trailer, which transitioned into Sweet from a cover of “You Don’t Own Me” by Grace (featuring G-Eazy).
The final trailer showcased some of the newer popular artists Suicide Squad had brought in as it attempted to match the success of Guardians of the Galaxy and build a catchy soundtrack around a collection of quirky characters. “Heathens” by Twenty-One Pilots, “Sucker for Pain” by Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifia, and Imagine Dragons (with Logic, Ty Dolla Sign, and X Ambassadors), and “Purple Lamborghini” by Skrillex and Rick Ross can all be heard in that trailer.
Some of the film’s needle drops were rather on-the-nose: utilizing “House of the Rising Sun,” for instance, when cutting to a prison in New Orleans. Nevertheless, it paved the way for Gunn to assemble his own unique soundtrack this time around.
The Suicide Squad hits theaters and HBO Max on August 6, 2021.
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