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One of the best parts of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies is the way they use music, and that continued when they were introduced in Avengers: Infinity War. James Gunn had previously mentioned that the song that was used in Infinity War, "The Rubberband Man" by The Spinners, was one of a few different options that he gave to the Russo Brothers for inclusion in the film. Now, Gunn has revealed what the other options were, as well as another song that was nearly used elsewhere in the movie. Here's the full list, which is now also a Spotify playlist.
"Rubberband Man" - The Spinners
"Draw the Line" - Aerosmith
"Train in Vain" - The Clash
"Caught in a Dream" - Alice Cooper
"New York Groove" - Ace Frehley
James Gunn had previously said that he gave the Russos three options for songs, but it turns out it was actually four. In addition to the song that was used, he gave them tunes by Aerosmith, The Clash, and Alice Cooper that could have been used during the intro sequence for the outer space heroes. "Draw the Line" is a bit more of a hard rocking song than the smooth groove of "The Rubberband Man." It would have certainly set a different tone, but it would have worked. "Caught in a Dream" and "Train in Vain" both fall somewhere in between the two in tone and tempo. Apparently, the Russos decided they liked the Motown sound of the Spinners as opposed to the more traditional 70's pop or rock tunes. Really, if you close your eyes and envision that first scene with Guardians flying through space and singing along, any of these songs would have worked, but there's clearly something about "The Rubberband Man" that feels special.
The fifth song on the playlist, which James Gunn has titled Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix 2.1 is from Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley. Gunn says the song was nearly included somewhere else in Avengers: Infinity War, though he doesn't say where. The title "New York Groove," makes you wonder if the plan was for this song to be used outside of the Guardians of the Galaxy entirely. New York is the focal point of much of the first act of the movie, but the Guardians never make it there. It's possible that the song was meant to be non-diegetic and was just going to help set the scene for New York City, but since the vast majority of the music James Gunn uses is diegetic music, it has a source within the story, one would think this was a song a character was listening to at some point. Perhaps the scene where the song was going to be used didn't end up in the final film since it also doesn't seem this song was replaced with anything else.
The entire playlist is worthy of a listen so check it out here.