Top Gun was one of the biggest movies of the 1980s, inspiring many catch-phrases (“I feel the need for speed!”) igniting the career of Tom Cruise, (who went on to become one of our biggest action-adventure stars) and a stable set of acting jobs for others (Anthony Edwards went on to have important roles in many successful movies and shows, such as ER), as well as providing a music soundtrack that is still selling today. Behind the scenes of the movie, there were many interesting happenings that you probably never heard about.
“The Danger Zone” Almost Wasn’t a Loggins Song
Top Gun director Jerry Bruckheimer asked soundtrack producer Giorgio Moroder to write a song for the scenes of planes landing on the ship in the ocean. Along with songwriter Tom Whitlock, Moroder composed the song “Danger Zone.” Columbia Records then requested Moroder to have “Danger Zone” performed by an artist signed to the label.
Toto and REO Speedwagon were offered the chance to record Danger Zone before the honour went to Kenny Loggins. Kenny Loggins had a string of great successes with soundtracks, including the beloved soundtrack to the eighties movie Footloose with Kevin Bacon.
The Navy Considered the “Danger Zone” Video a Boost
After Kenny Loggins recorded the song Danger Zone (including some of his own improvisations on the original lyrics) with Dann Huff, the lead singer and guitarist of the 80’s group, “Giant”, who played guitar on the song. The song included the very 80’s synthesizer, as well as a drum machine also classic to that period of time. At the end, there is a tenor sax which adds a punch to the song.
The music video for “Danger Zone” came out in May of 1986 to promote the release of the single. The video featured dramatic clips from the movie Top Gun. The U.S. Navy described the video as “the most effective recruiting poster ever produced.”