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What's The Song In The Suicide Squad Trailer?

The first full trailer for James Gunn's anxiously awaited anti-superhero confection The Suicide Squad is here, and holy cow is this movie shaping up to be something truly special. As evinced by the film's very Red Band trailer, it's also looking to be a bloody, foul-mouthed masterwork worthy of the books that inspired it. As it is, the less we say of that trailer for now the better, because it really does contain sights that have to be seen to be believed — and even then, you still may not.

Suffice it to say, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), and a slew of fresh faces (including John Cena, Idris Elba, Alice Braga, Nathan Fillion, Michael Rooker, and more) are indeed back in action to do the dirtiest of the United States government's dirty work and, assuming they survive the mission, maybe trim a couple of years off of their prison sentences to boot. And as you might realize while watching (and rewatching) that trailer, Gunn found a suitably offbeat yet beautifully on-point soft rock anthem to soundtrack the action.

By now, Gunn's undying affinity for AM radio and guitar rock hits from the 1970s is legendary, with the director peppering era diamonds throughout his Guardians of the Galaxy flicks to brilliant effect. And Gunn's penchant for picking exactly the right song to both bolster and offset the onscreen action is again on full display in The Suicide Squad trailer, as he drops the needle on a stone-cold classic from O.G. "Dad rock" icons Steely Dan to soundtrack the mayhem.

The song from The Suicide Squad trailer is a classic from the Steely Dan vaults

If you're unfamiliar with the low-key grooves of Steely Dan's 1970s oeuvre, the band was fueled by the singular song-craft of co-founders Walter Becker and Donald Fagan. The band first came together in 1971 and released a string of hits throughout the decade. Many of Steely Dan's biggest hits, however, arrived on their debut album, 1972's Can't Buy a Thrill. So too did the song you hear in The Suicide Squad trailer, the aptly titled "Dirty Work."

Boasting a smooth Wurlitzer groove, intricate guitar play, and meticulously layered vocals, "Dirty Work" fronts many of the stylistic staples the group became known for in the early days, and it rightfully became a fixture in their setlists. Oddly, the song features neither Becker nor Fagan (who did most of the band's in-studio singing) on lead vocals, with David Palmer (who sang the songs live during their early years) doing the honors.

On the surface, "Dirty Work," a soapy lovers' lament about a conflicted man's affair with a married woman, doesn't exactly jibe thematically with the foul-mouthed carnage on display in The Suicide Squad's trailer. And as it is, Gunn largely focuses on the song's pointed chorus — "I'm a fool to do your dirty work, oh yeah. I don't wanna do your dirty work, no more" — in regard to the squad's precarious place in the world. He also savvily twists the meaning in the song's opening lines — "Times are hard. You're afraid to pay the fee. So you find yourself somebody who can do the job for free" — to rather stunning effect, too.

For fans of Gunn, whose audio choices have essentially allowed music to become a character of its own in his films, it's no surprise that the use of "Dirty Work" lends to marvelous mood-making in The Suicide Squad trailer.