The band Toto were originally intended to perform the track but legal conflicts between the producers of Top Gun and the band's lawyers prevented this.
Bryan Adams was approached to allow his song "Only the Strong Survive" on the soundtrack and perform "Danger Zone". But Adams refused any involvement, feeling that the film glorified war and he did not want any of his work linked to it.
REO Speedwagon were also approached to perform "Danger Zone," but the group declined due to not being allowed to contribute any of their own compositions to the soundtrack.
Eventually, the film producers agreed that "Danger Zone" would be recorded and performed by Kenny Loggins.
Dann Huff, lead vocalist and guitarist from '80s hard rock group Giant, performed guitar on the selection. The main instruments used in the track were synthesizers and not, as commonly believed, guitars. The bass line is a classic 1980s sound comprised in the main of a plucked bass sound from the ubiquitous Yamaha DX7 Synthesizer, with the drums being provided by the LinnDrum (a drum machine designed by Roger Linn) which also appears on hundreds of other 1980's pop hits. A tenor saxophone joins in near the end of the song.
A music video was released in May of 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.