Captain Marvel's soundtrack is full of hit songs from the 1990s, featuring some of the most popular rock, hip-hop, and grunge songs of the era. The film isn't Marvel's first period piece (yes, the 1990s are now a "period"), but it is the first of their films to integrate popular music as a way of highlighting the film's setting.
Unlike Guardians of the Galaxy, which includes 1970s/80s pop songs to keep Peter Quill connected to his roots, Captain Marvel's soundtrack uses pop songs to reacquaint both Carol Danvers and the audience to the year, 1995. The music isn't the only period clue, though, there's also the Blockbuster Video store Carol crashes into as well as her incognito outfit of a Nine Inch Nails t-shirt and some flannel. But it's the music that really triggers the nostalgia for that most totally awesome decade.
There are a few songs on Captain Marvel's soundtrack that haven't really ever gone out of style, but some of these needle drops are quintessentially '90s. Here's the full list of 1990s songs on Captain Marvel's soundtrack:
- Whatta Man - Salt-N-Pepa
- Connection - Elastica
- Only Happy When It Rains - Garbage
- Crush With Eyeliner - R.E.M.
- Waterfalls - TLC
- You Gotta Be - Des'ree
- Come as You Are - Nirvana
- Just a Girl - No Doubt
- Man on the Moon - R.E.M.
- Celebrity Skin - Hole
Most of these songs can be heard playing in the background, such as when Carol visits an internet cafe or returns to her old stomping grounds, Pancho's Bar. Salt-N-Pepa's "Whatta Man" is the first 90s song heard in the film and features in a funny exchange between Carol and a completely baffled security guard who just watched her crash through the roof of Blockbuster Video and walk out unscathed. TLC's "Waterfalls" plays on the radio as Carol and Fury drive out to the U.S. Air Force base; the warning to "not go chasing waterfalls" may be meant for Carol since she may not have really thought through where learning the truth might lead.
The Nirvana track can be heard when Carol is captured by Starforce and taken to the Supreme Intelligence's virtual world. The Supreme Intelligence explains that they've pulled the song from Carol's subconscious and then shows it playing on a turntable, which is presumably just how Carol would remember listening to it (releasing a single on vinyl was still a thing in the 1990s). However, though the song is a great fit for the scene, it does create a tiny plot hole - Carol leaves Earth in 1989 and "Come as Your Are" was released in 1995. But then, we can't really blame anyone for wanting to include such an iconic 90s song.
No Doubt's "Just a Girl" is heard soon after and is the musical cue for once Carol removes the Kree implant that's been suppressing her powers and proceeds to kick the butt of everyone in Starforce. It's a perfectly chosen tune for the triumphant moment, giving the scene that added punch of girl power while also being one of the greatest hits of 1995. All in all, Captain Marvel's soundtrack is an expertly crafted 1990s mixtape that we sure hope gets an official release.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019