Danger Zone (Kenny Loggins song)
|Single by Kenny Loggins|
|from the album Top Gun|
|B-side||"I'm Gonna Do It Right"|
|Released||May 13, 1986|
|Kenny Loggins singles chronology|
"Danger Zone" is a song, with music composed by Giorgio Moroder and lyrics written by Tom Whitlock, which American singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins recorded and released in 1986. The song was one of the hit singles from the soundtrack to the 1986 American motion picture Top Gun, the best-selling soundtrack of 1986, and one of the best-selling of all time. According to Allmusic.com, the album "remains a quintessential artifact of the mid-'80s" and the album's hits "still define the bombastic, melodramatic sound that dominated the pop charts of the era."
Film producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson, along with music supervisor Michael Dilbeck, had over 300 songs to employ on Top Gun. Testing compositions against the dailies of the opening scenes at the aircraft carrier, nothing satisfied them, and Bruckheimer asked soundtrack producer Giorgio Moroder to write something. With the help of songwriter Tom Whitlock, he composed "Danger Zone" and had Joe Pizzulo record a demo. With the approval of the producers, soundtrack distributor Columbia Records requested Moroder to have "Danger Zone" performed by an artist signed by the label.
The band Toto was originally intended to perform the track, but legal conflicts between the producers of Top Gun and the band's lawyers prevented this. In a 2018 interview with AXS TV, Kenny Loggins revealed that it was Jefferson Starship that was the first act to be offered the track, but the band pulled out of the project.
Corey Hart was also approached to perform "Danger Zone," which he declined, preferring to write and perform his own compositions. Loggins said in a 2022 interview that Kevin Cronin told him he said no because the notes were too high.
Eventually, the film producers offered the song to Loggins, who would recall his assent to recording "Danger Zone" as "a very snap judgement". Whitlock went to Loggins' Encino home, and once shown the lyrics, the singer added his own improvisations. Reaching number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, "Danger Zone" was kept out of the number 1 spot by Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer". It became Loggins' second-highest chart hit, bested only by his 1984 number 1 hit "Footloose". In a 2008 interview, Loggins said that the song does not represent himself as an artist.
In 2018, Loggins told TMZ that he was having discussions with the film's lead actor Tom Cruise about having a new version of the song featured in the now released film Top Gun: Maverick. Ultimately, however, the original recording was used instead; Loggins stated that Cruise wanted to invoke the same feelings listening to the song as with the original Top Gun.
Dann Huff, lead singer and guitarist of the 1980s hard rock group Giant, played guitar on the song. The bass line is performed on a Yamaha DX7 synthesizer. A tenor saxophone is added near the end of the song.
The song peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 for the week of July 26, 1986.
A music video was released in May 1986 to promote the single. The video was directed by Tony Scott and featured footage of Loggins singing, as well as clips from the film Top Gun, which Scott also directed.
- Kenny Loggins – vocals and rhythm guitar
- Dann Huff – lead guitar
- Giorgio Moroder – synthesizers, sequencer and drum machine
- Tom Whitlock – synthesizer
- David Woodford – saxophone
|Denmark (IFPI Danmark)||Gold||45,000|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||Platinum||20,000|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||600,000|
* Sales figures based on certification alone.
- In 1991, the American rock band Guns N' Roses released the song "You Could Be Mine", which uses the same verse melody as "Danger Zone".
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