Top Gun Anthem

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"Top Gun Anthem"
Single by Harold Faltermeyer and Steve Stevens
from the album Top Gun
Released1986 (1986)
Recorded1985
Genre
Length4:12
LabelColumbia
Songwriter(s)Harold Faltermeyer
Producer(s)Harold Faltermeyer

"Top Gun Anthem" is an instrumental rock composition and the theme for the 1986 film Top Gun and its 2022 sequel Maverick. Harold Faltermeyer wrote the music with Steve Stevens playing guitar and Faltermeyer on the keyboard on the recording. In the film, the full song is heard in the film's ending scene.

Overview

An edited version of the song without the electric guitar is played in the opening sequence set aboard the aircraft carrier deck during launch preparations - the music is set so that after the F-14 Tomcat's engines are on full afterburner and the aircraft subsequently launches from the catapult, it immediately changes to "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins. This edited version would re-appear in a similar fashion during the opening scene of Top Gun: Maverick, but with F-18s and F-35s replacing the F-14s.

In an interview for RedBull Academy in 2014, Faltermeyer recalled simultaneously recording keyboard parts for Billy Idol's Whiplash Smile while also composing a melody for a scene in the movie Fletch. Idol passed by the control room on a break and opened the door for a listen. He liked the melody and pumped his fist in the air, saying it was “Top Gun“. In a 2002 interview with AXS TV, Stevens said Faltermeyer showed him a Betamax copy of the film's workprint and offered him to record the guitar section of the song.[1]

Achievements

"Top Gun Anthem" won a 1987 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.

Music video

The song's music video, directed by Dominic Sena, shows Faltermeyer playing the piano and Stevens on electric guitar in a hangar with naval aircraft. This video was re-released within the 2004 Top Gun Collector's Edition DVD.

Stevens used a Hamer SS signature guitar in the music video but for the recording he used his Charvel San Dimas Glow and a 100-watt Marshall amplifier to record his part. He also used a Boss compressor pedal to add more sustain.[citation needed] There is only one guitar track throughout the entire piece, with the exception of the ending.

Availability

The song is available on both the original Top Gun soundtrack album and the expanded edition. A re-recorded version is also available on the soundtrack, Top Gun: Maverick (Music From the Motion Picture).

Personnel

Other uses

The theme was used in Bollywood movie Darr.

The theme was played on organ as an intro to "Don't Need a Gun" during Billy Idol's Whiplash Smile tour.

A similar tune was found in the 1988 Amiga flight simulator F/A-18 Interceptor.

Rapper T.I. sampled the guitar riff for his song "Big Things Poppin'."

On July 3, 2008, Activision released a free downloadable version of the "Top Gun Anthem" covered by Steve Ouimette for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.[3]

A remixed version of the song is featured as the official soundtrack for the Top Gun: Maverick DLC in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, alongside "Danger Zone".

Charts

Chart performance for "Top Gun Anthem" (Maverick version)
Chart (2022) Peak
position
Hungary (Single Top 40)[4] 11
US Rock Digital Song Sales (Billboard)[5] 11

References

  1. ^ AXS TV (May 29, 2022). Kenny Loggins Reveals How "Danger Zone" from Top Gun Came to Life. YouTube. Retrieved June 3, 2022.
  2. ^ "Harold Faltermeyer's Top Gun Anthem was originally intended for a Chevy Chase comedy, but then Billy Idol got involved". 19 May 2022.
  3. ^ Ludwig Kietzmann (2008-07-01). "Guitar Hero III Getting Free Top Gun Anthem DLC". Joystiq. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
  4. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  5. ^ "Lady Gaga Chart History (Rock Digital Song Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved June 8, 2022.
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