It’s too bad that radio legend Casey Kasem died two months ago. I’ve got a feeling he would have loved the soundtrack to Guardians Of The Galaxy: Awesome Mix, Vol. 1, which jumps from #3 to #1 in its second week on The Billboard 200. After all, he introduced seven of the 12 songs on his weekly American Top 40 countdown. The Five Stairsteps' “O-o-h Child” was on the very first AT40 countdown in July 1970. Rupert Holmes's “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” hit #1 in December 1979, when the show was in its 10th year.
The soundtrack also includes three pop hits that predated the launch of AT40 (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell's “Ain't No Mountain High Enough,” the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” and Norman Greenbaum's “Spirit In The Sky”) and two rock classics that didn't fit the show's hit-based formula (David Bowie's “Moonage Daydream” and the Runaways's “Cherry Bomb”).
Billboard's Keith Caulfield notes that Guardians Of The Galaxy is the first soundtrack to reach #1 where the entire album consists of previously released material. All 12 songs on the album were released between 1967 and 1979. Nine of them made the top 10 on the Hot 100. Three made #1: the Jackson 5's “I Want You Back,” Blue Swede's “Hooked On A Feeling” and Rupert Holmes's “Escape (The Pina Colada Song).”
James Gunn, who directed and co-wrote Guardians Of the Galaxy, spearheaded the use of oldies in the movie. The movie ranked #2 at the box-office after ranking #1 last weekend.
The album, which sold 109K copies this week, is the second soundtrack to reach #1 in 2014, following Frozen, which logged 13 weeks on top. This marks the first time that two or more soundtracks to theatrically-released movies have reached #1 during a calendar year since 2009, when the soundtracks to Hannah Montana: The Movie, The Twilight Saga: New Moon and Michael Jackson’s This Is It all reached the top spot.
With soundtracks having led the chart for 14 weeks so far this year, this is the biggest year for soundtracks since 1998, when Titanic, City Of Angels and Armageddon led the chart for a combined 21 weeks during the year.
Guardians Of The Galaxy is also #1 on Top Soundtracks for the second week.
Here’s a little background on the three songs on the album that weren’t top 10 hits. Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell's original version of “Ain't No Mountain High Enough” reached #19 on the Hot 100 in July 1967. Three years later, Diana Ross took the song to #1. David Bowie's “Moonage Daydream” was a track on his 1972 album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. The Runaways's “Cherry Bomb” “bubbled under” the Hot 100 (at #106) in August 1976.
Now 51, another compilation of hits (albeit much more recent hits),debuts at #2 (94K). All but two of these 51 regular Now volumes have debuted in the top five. All but six have debuted in the top three.
Godsmack's sixth studio album 1000hp debuts at #3 (58K). It’s the band’s fifth studio album in a row to make the top five. Even so, it breaks a string of three consecutive #1 albums. (Consolation prize: It’s this week’s #1 album of new music.) The album arrives just four weeks after Sia's similarly-titled 1000 Forms Of Fear debuted at #1.
Spoon's eighth studio album, They Want My Soul, debuts at #4 (39K). It’s the band’s second top five album in a row. Transference debuted and peaked at #4 in January 2010.
The Vamps's Somebody To You debuts at #10 (20K). This is the fifth EP to hit the top 10 this year, following EPs by 5 Seconds Of Summer, Luke Bryan, Austin Mahone and Shawn Mendes. The British band’s current single, “Can We Dance,” has the fizzy sound of such pop hits as Hot Chelle Rae's 2011 smash “Tonight Tonight.” The song reached #2 on The U.K.'s Official Singles Chart 10 months ago.
Ed Sheeran's x holds at #11 for the second week. The album is #1 on The U.K.’s Official Albums Chart for the seventh week. That’s the longest run on top for an album by a British male solo artist since James Blunt's Back To Bedlam spent 10 weeks on top in 2005-2006.
Luke Bryan's Crash My Party rebounds from #21 to #12 in its 52nd week. The album logs its 12th week at #1 on Top Country Albums. That’s the longest run for an album by a male solo artist since Jason Aldean’s My Kinda Party had 12 weeks on top in 2011.
Boston's Greatest Hits leaps from #159 to #48 in its 24th week. The album jumps to #1 on Top Catalog Albums, displacingJourney's Greatest Hits. Boston’s album has sold 2,234,000 copies since its release in 1997.
Coming Attractions:Look for The Gaslight Anthem's Get Hurt, SOJA’s Amid The Noise And Haste and Caleb Johnson's Testify to rank among next week’s top new entries. Johnson was the Season 13 winner on American Idol. (Remember when Idol winners were instant household names? Those days are gone.)
Follow Paul on Google+