Tyler Bates announced that he would return to score the film by August 2015. As with Guardians of the Galaxy, Bates wrote some of the score first so that Gunn could film to the music, as opposed to Bates scoring to the film. Recording for the score began in January 2017 at Abbey Road Studios. By August 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 writer and director James Gunn had "some ideas listed, but nothing for sure" in terms of songs to include in Quill's Awesome Mix Vol. 2 mixtape. In April 2015, Gunn said he felt "a little pressure for the soundtrack because so many people loved [the first film's soundtrack] and we went platinum and all that other stuff. But I feel like the soundtrack in the second one is better." In June 2015, Gunn stated that all of the songs for Awesome Mix Vol. 2 had been chosen and built into the script. One of the most exciting things for Gunn in selecting the songs for the album "was knowing I would be making bands that may have been forgotten suddenly be a topic of conversation." Gunn had hoped to include "She's Gone" by Hall & Oates in the film, calling it "one of the greatest pop songs ever written", but could not find a place for it, as with "Teenage Lament '74" by Alice Cooper In January 2016, Gunn stated that he had chosen an additional David Bowie song to appear in the film (after "Moonage Daydream" was featured in the first film) but had cut the original scene it was featured in. The inclusion would have made Bowie the only artist to be featured on both mixtapes. With Bowie's death however, Gunn hoped to find a way to include the chosen song somewhere else in the film as a "fair and appropriate" way to honor him, as Bowie was one of Gunn's idols. "For Once in My Life" by Stevie Wonder was also considered for a scene. Gunn called the Awesome Mix Vol. 2 "more diverse" than the first one, with "some really incredibly famous songs and then some songs that people have never heard."
All songs—with the exception of "Fox on the Run", which is played in the trailer—are featured in the film. Also featured in the film was the song "Un Deye Gon Hayd (The Unloved Song)" by Jimmy Urine. It was written for the film and appears during the scene on Contraxia.
The album debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200 chart with 34,000 units in its first week, almost all of which came from traditional album sales. It later peaked at number four, reaching 87,000 units, again nearly all traditional album sales.Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Awesome Mix Vol. 2 finished 2017 as the country's eighth highest-selling album with 600,000 copies, and has been certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It was also the best-selling album on cassette tape in the United States in 2017, selling 19,000 copies.