Ever wondered how the Awesome Mix tracklists in the Guardians of the Galaxy films come together?

One of the best bits of James Gunn’s Guardians films is their soundtracks. Curated by Peter Quill’s (aka Star-Lord’s) mother Meredith, Awesome Mix 1 and 2 were both given to him before her death.

On the Blu-ray commentary for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Gunn has revealed the process behind curating the tracks for each film, transcribed by comicbook.com.

“The truth is I have a list of about 500 songs that I think of as ‘Meredith Quill songs.’ Songs she would really love. And in that list I keep the files on my computer, and as I’m writing the screenplay — actually as I’m writing the treatment before the screenplay — I’ll go through it and find songs that fit a moment or a place that needs a song, and I’ll search out a song that will fit the moment.”

Obviously, the music can’t be released after 1988 – the year of Meredith’s death – and the result is a stellar tracklist.

“Sometimes I’ll go outside of that list of 500 songs and go a little bit deeper and find something that is more appropriate, which I’ll do at times, but I write them all into the treatment. Then when I give everyone that original story, I’ll give that story to Marvel and I’ll give them a compact disc, an old school compact disc with the songs on it, so that they can listen to all of the music along with the treatment and know exactly what we’re getting into.”

You’ll next see the Guardians in next year’s Avengers: Infinity War, and then eventually Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, once again directed by James Gunn.

Experience the magic for yourself in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.