WARNING: This contains SPOILERS for Minions: The Rise of Gru.
The Despicable Me and Minions movies are known for their irreverent and inspired soundtracks, and Minions: The Rise of Gru is no different. Sever years after Minions (2015), the minions are back for another solo adventure, except that, this time, a young version of Steve Carell’s Gru is also a major part of the story. Throughout their next adventure – which is really the first Gru and minions adventure in the Despicable Me chronology – classics from the 70s are reimagined to illustrate what the life of 12-year-old Gru was like.
Despite the addition of Gru to the Minions: The Rise of Gru cast, the movie remains very much a Minions sequel. Gru’s first steps into trying to become “despicable” are an important part of the movie, but the script finds a way to keep the minions in the spotlight. Steve Carell’s character ends up being kidnapped by his hero – or villain, to be more accurate – and it is up to the minions not only to rescue Gru but also to retrieve a McGuffin stone.
Considering it is set in the 70s, it was easy to predict that Minions: The Rise of Gru would feature a lot of classics from that period. It was also easy to predict that those classics would be reinvented in some way. As such, many of the Minions: The Rise of Gru songs are modern covers of songs from the 70s or before. Here is a breakdown of every song on Minions: The Rise of Gru.
“Shining Star” by Brittany Howard ft. Verdine White (originally recorded by Earth, Wind & Fire, 1975): The first song heard in Minions: The Rise of Gru is “Shining Star”, in an opening sequence that goes right after Universal’s title card as had happened in previous Despicable Me and Minions movies.
“Bang Bang” by Caroline Polachek (originally recorded by Nancy Sinatra, 1966): After the cold opening introduces the Vicious Six and the stones, Minions: The Rise of Gru sees another fun opening credits sequence as Caroline Polachek’s cover of “Bang Bang” plays it.
“Cecilia” by The Minions (originally recorded by Simon & Garfunkel): The minions get to sing their own rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Cecilia.” The song plays while the minions are working in Gru’s shop in preparation for his big interview the day after.
“Vehicle” by Gary Clark Jr. (originally recorded by The Ides of March, 1970): Gary Clark Jr.’s version of “Vehicle” plays while Gru is heading to his interview with the Vicious Six, perhaps a parody of Spider-Man’s Sinister Six, at the Criminal Records store.
“You’re No Good” by Weyes Blood (originally recorded by Linda Ronstadt, 1975): The password to meet the Vicious Six is “You’re No Good,” – and it holds a bigger meaning in the plot of Minions: The Rise of Gru. Gru has to play “You’re No Good” by Weyes Blood in order for the secret passage to open, except that it only works when Gru plays it backward.
“Fly Like an Eagle” by Thundercat (originally recorded by Steve Miller Band, 1976): When Gru complains that the minions only mix things up, one of them takes it a cue to play a mixtape, and it is possible to hear a bit of “Fly Like an Eagle.”
“Goodbye To Love” by Phoebe Bridgers (originally recorded by The Carpenters, 1972): Similarly, after Steve Carell’s Gru leaves his house angry at his minions for having lost the stone, that same minion plays a sad track – “Goodbye To Love” by Phoebe Bridgers.
“Blitzkrieg Bop” by Ramones: To make up for their mistake, the plot of Minions: The Rise of Gru then has the minions start a mission to retrieve the stone. “Blitzkrieg Bop” then plays as they head back to the party where they had left the stone.
“Dance to the Music” by H.E.R (originally recorded by Sly and The Family Stone, 1967): The stone the minions were looking for was with the Biker. Not only did he return to them, but he also offered one of the minions a ride back to San Francisco. That’s when “Dance to the Music” plays.
“Born To Be Alive” by Jackson Wang (originally recorded by Patrick Hernandez, 1979): Part of the minions’ journey in Minions 2 was to learn how to fight. They go ask for the help of Master Chow, played by Everything Everywhere All At Once‘s Michelle Yeoh, and “Born To Be Alive” plays during her final lesson in the Despicable Me franchise movie.
“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones: “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” is the song that plays at the end of Minions: The Rise of Gru, in a most fitting choice to mark the beginning of Gru’s journey.
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Author: Marcelo Leite