Warning! SPOILERS ahead for Avengers: Endgame.
Avengers: Endgame doesn't lean on its musical cues as heavily as either of the Guardians of the Galaxy films or Captain Marvel, but the film does include a few needle drops that it uses to great effect. The Marvel Cinematic Universe may still lag behind DC and Warner Bros. when it comes to iconic musical themes for its heroes, but no superhero franchise better uses pop music than the MCU.
With the release of Avengers: Endgame, the Infinity Saga is now coming to an end. It began with 2008's Iron Man, and the two-part culmination began in last year's Avengers: Infinity War, in which Thanos used the stones to kill half of the universe's population with a snap of his fingers. Now that the deed is done, Avengers: Endgame finds those who survived dealing with the fallout from the Decimation. Needless to say, such a monumental and tragic loss weighs heavily on the remaining Avengers, and that gets reflected in the tracks which play throughout the film.
Avengers: Endgame largely features an instrumental score (composed by long-term Marvel collaborator Alan Silvestri), but these songs can be heard playing whenever the film needs to set a certain kind of mood. Here's every song in Avengers: Endgame:
- Dear Mr. Fantasy - Traffic
- Supersonic Rocketship - The Kinks
- Doom and Gloom - The Rolling Stones
- Come and Get Your Love - Redbone
- Hey Lawdy Mama - Steppenwolf
- It's Been a Long, Long Time - Harry James And His Orchestra
The first song in Avengers: Endgame, "Dear Mr. Fantasy" comes before the movie even really begins, in fact, playing over the Marvel Studios logo. That is itself an unusual move, but this 1967 Traffic song is a perfect introduction to the film. The lyrics, "Do anything, take us out of this gloom," speaks to the depressive mood, while lines like, "You are the one who can make us all laugh/But doing that you break out in tears," seemingly suggests that even the characters we think of as funny and jovial are struggling to stay positive.
Endgame's soundtrack sticks to its score until the Avengers start gathering allies and begin working on their time travel plan. The Kink's "Supersonic Rocketship" starts when Scott Lang/Ant-Man is trying (desperately) to eat his lunch and continues as Rocket Raccoon and Hulk make their way to New Asgard. The tune is great for traveling, but its lyrics speak to a hopeful future, mirroring the renewed optimism among the Avengers now that they believe they have a chance at saving everyone who Thanos killed.
Not long after, when Thor returns to the Avengers compound and Rocket (or Rachet, as Tony calls him) is repairing his ship, "Doom and Gloom", a more recent song from The Rolling Stones is heard. That title alone makes it a good choice for Avengers: Endgame's soundtrack considering the state of things, with lyrics like, "Guess it just reflects my mood/Sitting in the dirt/Feeling kind of hurt." The next song heard comes once the Avengers begin traveling back in time and, technically, it's from the first Guardians of the Galaxy seeing as it's heard when Nebula and Rhodey/War Machine are spying on Peter Quill/Star-Lord as he belts out "Come and Get You Love" by Redbone. Still, the scene is a great callback and gives another perspective on Star-Lord's musical introduction in that film.
Endgame's time-traveling goes on for longer than initially was planned after the Avengers fail to get the Space Stone (Tesseract) during the Battle of New York. So Tony Stark/Iron Man and Steve Rogers/Captain America take a gamble and jump all the way back to 1970 to visit the Camp Lehigh Army Base since it's where they know they'll find both the Space Stone as well the additional Pym particles they now need to travel back to the present. Perfectly setting up this 1970s flashback is Steppenwolf's "Hey Lawdy Mama", heard playing as Tony and Steve sneak on the base - which also happens to be when Stan Lee makes his requisite and, sadly, final MCU cameo.
For all the epic action and funny quips, Avengers: Endgame ends on a heartwarming, emotional beat as it's revealed that Steve - who took an additional trip back in time to return the Infinity Stones to their proper place - chose to remain in the past and live out his days with Peggy Carter. As the camera slowly moves in on a suburban home, the tune "It's Been a Long, Long Time" by Harry James And His Orchestra is heard wafting through the air while Steve and Peggy finally get to have that dance. It's a beautiful song and a beautiful moment on which to end the saga, continuing to play as the credits roll.
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