The 30 Best Movie Songs of the Last 40 Years – Part II

20 Jul

12. Danger Zone, by Kenny Loggins, from Top Gun (1986)

He’s back! When the producers of Top Gun wanted someone to sing Danger Zone for their soundtrack they had a bit of trouble. They initially wanted Toto to perform the song, but legal problems shot that idea down in flames like a fighter jet piloted by Duke Mitchell. Bryan Adams was then approached but turned down the chance as he thought the film glorified war. REO Speed Wagon was next in line but declined as well. Enter the master of the ‘80s movie song, Kenny Loggins, to save the day Maverick style!

Look, I know that Take My Breath Away by Berlin was the more successful song from the film, both on the charts and with awards, but Danger Zone is the iconic Top Gun song and always will be. When you think of Top Gun do you think of Tom Cruise trying to score with his hot instructor? No! You think of him breaking speed records in his fighter jet or on his motorbike. You don’t do that to a ballad, you do that to the scratching vocals of Kenny Loggins. In fact, it gets played three different times in the movie. Three!!! ‘Nuff said.

Stats: Number 2 in the US, number 14 in Australia and number 45 in the UK.

Penalty Points: Danger Zone was grossly outperformed by Take My Breath Away, which was number 1 in the US and UK, number 2 in Australia, and won the Academy Award and Golden Globe that year.

Bonus Points: Still the only song you’re allowed to listen to when playing volleyball with jeans, aviator sunglasses, and no shirt; that first moment when Kenny Loggins appears in the music video (around the 0:19 mark) is classic Loggins magic!

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