so much talk about multiverses these days, consider this: What if Starship had actually agreed to sing “Danger Zone” for “Top Gun”?
Instead, after Starship – the purveyors of tunes such as “We Built This City” and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” – turned it down, the iconic tune went at the last minute to Kenny Loggins, who was already working on his own number for the 1986 film, “Playing With the Boys.”
The sequel “Top Gun: Maverick” (in theaters May 27) features Lady Gaga’s dramatic new power ballad “Hold My Hand,” as well as Loggins’ original version of “Danger Zone,” one of four songs by Giorgio Moroder and Tom Whitlock on the original “Top Gun” soundtrack. The first film arrived at a time when a blockbuster movie could spawn multiple instant hits, and that record in particular had noteworthy chart-toppers and solid deep cuts.
In honor of the new “Top Gun,” we’re feeling that need for speed and to rank every song on the ’86 soundtrack:
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Highly melodramatic and aggressively mediocre, it’s not hard to understand why it was stuck near the end of the album. The song just kind of meanders without any real high points, which is probably fitting considering the title.
Seeing Gloria Estefan’s group on an ’80s soundtrack would usually be an exciting proposition, but “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” this is not. A really hooky chorus does help lift an otherwise average track.
Those who enjoy pure ’80s cheese – like that gooey, comes-out-of-a-spray-can stuff – will find it with this very earnest rock ballad. Not terrible, not great either, yet just right for when you want to hold up a lighter.
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This is pretty much “Danger Zone Lite”: While it has the same hard-charging vibe, and the Fortune lead singer does what he can, the song doesn’t quite reach the same heights as Loggins’ number.
This is a very different outing for the band known for “I Want You to Want Me” and “The Flame.” Co-written by “Top Gun” composer Harold Faltermeyer, the synth-rocker manages to showcase some of Cheap Trick’s signature sound even with lyrics about fighter jets.
Maybe Marie accidentally got the Miami Sound Machine song? Backed with brassy flair by a funky trumpet section, the RB and soul singer excels on an up-tempo number that offers a funky counterpart to the album’s heavy dose of ’80s rock.
Simply put, it’s the perfect tune to match with a bunch of tanned, ripped dudes playing beach volleyball. Loggins sidelines the rock bombast a bit and just has some retro Reagan-era fun.
Although some may prefer Faltermeyer’s quintessential synth-pop theme “Axel F” (from “Beverly Hills Cop”), we’ll take this instrumental gem – starring Stevens’ memorable guitar-shredding melody line – every time.
Who doesn’t automatically have this come into their mind when seeing Tom Cruise sitting in a fighter jet? Loggins’ passionate vocals partner with an unapologetically ’80s sonic tapestry for one of the most earworming movie tunes ever.
An Oscar and Golden Globe winner for best original song, it’s more than just a great cinematic number. We’re talking an all-timer power ballad – not to mention a staple at weddings and school dances ever since – thanks to Terri Nunn’s gorgeous yearning amid an ethereal orchestral atmosphere.
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