‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ is for Kids — but its Soundtrack of ’70s Covers from Indie Stars is for Everyone Else (Listen)

Adrian GarroCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

If you breathe air and are living on Planet Earth, you’re no doubt aware that Minions: The Rise of Gru crashed into movie theaters today, July 1, primed for a box-office bonanza over the 4th of July weekend and beyond.

The titular talking yellow blobs have scored Illumination and Universal Pictures a major hit in recent years, and the new film is likely to add to their ubiquity in pop culture — not to mention the thrills and squeals of glee their irreverent antics will inspire in millions of kids who drag their parents to the theater to watch it.

While Minions may obviously be designed for the younger audience, the folks behind the soundtrack album for the film aimed for something more. In reference to the film’s setting in the 1970s, the album — produced by the heralded Jack Antonoff — brings together a number of noteworthy indie, R&B, pop and hip-hop artists, lending their talents for new versions of classic songs from the era.

Click here to pick up Minions: The Rise of Gru soundtrack on CD from our Rock Cellar Store
Click here to pick up Minions: The Rise of Gru soundtrack on LP from our Rock Cellar Store

The album was first previewed with an original track, “Turn Up the Sunshine,” combining the talents of Diana Ross and Tame Impala:

The full album hit streaming platforms today to accompany the film’s theatrical debut, and there are a few other covers worthy of special mention. Here’s St. Vincent’s take on Lipps, Inc.’s disco classic “Funkytown”:

Bassist/multi-hyphenate Thundercat tackled “Fly Like an Eagle” by the Steve Miller Band:

Phoebe Bridgers tried her hand at the Carpenters’ “Goodbye to Love”:

Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes and Verdine White of Earth, Wind & Fire combined for “Shining Star”:

And so on. You get the idea — and it’s a good one, as the Minions: the Rise of Gru soundtrack album is a highly enjoyable experience of spirited covers of songs everybody knows, carried out by an eclectic mix of noteworthy artists.

If you’re dragged to the theater, good luck! At least you’ll have some fun music to enjoy. And, on the other side, if you do whatever you can to avoid the film entirely, the soundtrack should still be pretty enjoyable.

The track listing:

1. Turn Up The Sunshine – Diana Ross ft. Tame Impala
2. Shining Star – Brittany Howard ft. Verdine White (Earth, Wind & Fire 1975)
3. Funkytown – St. Vincent (Lipps Inc in 1979)
4. Hollywood Swinging – BROCKHAMPTON (Kool & The Gang 1974)
5. Desafinado – Kali Uchis (Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto 1959)
6. Bang Bang – Caroline Polachek (Nancy Sinatra 1966)
7. Fly Like an Eagle – Thundercat (Steve Miller Band 1976)
8. Goodbye To Love – Phoebe Bridgers (The Carpenters 1972)
9. Instant Karma! – Bleachers (John Lennon 1970)
10. You’re No Good – Weyes Blood (Linda Ronstadt 1975)
11. Vehicle – Gary Clark Jr. (The Ides of March 1970)
12. Dance to the Music – H.E.R. (Sly and The Family Stone 1967)
13. Black Magic Woman – Tierra Whack (Santana 1970)
14. Cool – Verdine White
15. Born To Be Alive – Jackson Wang (Patrick Hernandez 1979)
16. Cecilia – The Minions (Simon & Garfunkel 1970)
17. Bang Bang – G.E.M. (Nancy Sinatra 1966)
18. Kung Fu Suite – RZA
19. Minions: The Rise of Gru Score Suite – Heitor Pereira

Give it a listen:

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