Danger Zone (song)

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This article is about the Kenny Loggins song. For other songs with the same title, see Danger Zone (disambiguation).
"Danger Zone"
Single by Kenny Loggins
from the album Top Gun
B-side "I'm Gonna Do It Right"
Released May 13, 1986
Format 7" single
Recorded January 1986
Genre Hard rock, pop rock
Length 3:36
Label Columbia Records
Writer(s) Giorgio Moroder, Tom Whitlock
Producer(s) Giorgio Moroder
Kenny Loggins singles chronology
"I'll Be There"
"Danger Zone"
"Playing with the Boys"

"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 appeared on the soundtrack to the 1986 American motion picture Top Gun.


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.[1]

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.[1]


Dann Huff, lead vocalist and guitarist from the 1980s hard rock group Giant, performed guitar on the selection. The bass line is a classic 1980s sound composed 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 1980s pop hits. A tenor saxophone joins in near the end of the song.

Music video[edit]

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.

According to the MuchMusic network's program Pop-Up Video, the U.S. Navy described this video as "the most effective recruiting poster ever produced."

Cover versions[edit]

  • An animated portion of the Super Mario Bros. Super Show featured a cover of this song sung by a female vocalist.
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song in 1990 for The Chipmunks Go to the Movies episode "Batmunk" (a spoof of the 1989 Batman film).
  • The song was sung on the 2013 episode "Girls (And Boys) On Film" from American TV series Glee, in a mash-up with Bob Seger's song "Old Time Rock and Roll" from the 1983 film Risky Business, also starring Tom Cruise.
  • The animated comedy series Archer turned the song into a running joke about any dangerous situation. Loggins would later appear as himself in season 5, episode 6: "Archer Vice: Baby Shower", performing "Danger Zone" as a country duet with Cheryl Tunt.[2]
  • A Megaman-inspired band known as "The Protomen" released a cover EP that featured a cover of this song.
  • Comedy metal band Psychostick has been covering the song in their live performances, and recorded a studio version on their album IV: Revenge of the Vengeance.
  • In the "Family Guy" episode "Chris, Brian and Stewie's Excellent Adventure," members of the orchestra on board the R.M.S. Titanic play Danger Zone while the ship is sinking, due to the fact Stewie gave them the seet music to the song earlier.

In other media[edit]

  • In an episode of the anime Sailor Moon, a letter is printed from a college, but if you read it, the letter has the lyrics.
  • The song was featured in Nissan's 1997 Super Bowl XXXI commercial for their Nissan Maxima.
  • The song was featured in a trailer for the 2014 animated film Penguins of Madagascar.
  • The song was also in a domestic trailer for the 2005 animated film Valiant.
  • The song is also featured in Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay; the song is played when the film's main characters get detained a second time.
  • The song is played by How I Met Your Mother breakout star Barney Stinson on the sixth episode of Season 1 "Slutty Pumpkin".
  • A version of the song is sung in the fifth season of Archer by Kenny Loggins and the fictional country singer Cherlene. In previous episodes, the song was heavily referenced by the lead character, Sterling Archer.
  • The song was featured in a trailer for the 2001 animated film Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.
  • Ann Perkins and Chris Traeger of Parks and Recreation sang the song in a drunken karaoke duet in the second season of the show.
  • The song appears on the in-game radio station "Los Santos Rock Radio" in the re-release of Grand Theft Auto V which is presented by Kenny Loggins himself, who lent his voice as the DJ. The song's presence on Top Gun is referenced in a mission description. Furthermore included in the Heists update for Grand Theft Auto Online is a mission in which players have to steal a jump jet from an aircraft carrier. Once the jet is stolen all players have to defend the jump jet with their stolen fighter jets against opposing fighter jets. After the enemy jets have been taken down the song will automatically start playing on the radio (in the re-released version only). This is another reference to the Top Gun movie.
  • "Danger Zone" appeared in the E3 trailer for Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2.
  • The song is parodied by YouTube channel and members of The Yogscast, Hat Films, for the theme of their GTA V based show, Stunt Lads

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1986) Peak
Canada (RPM) 7
Germany (Official German Charts)[3] 10
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[4] 12
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[5] 6
United Kingdom (The Official Charts Company) 45
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 2
U.S. Billboard Album Rock Tracks 7

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1986) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100 42


  1. ^ a b "Official TOTO Website - Encyclopedia". www.toto99.com. 2007-04-29. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  2. ^ http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2014/01/archer-season-5-kenny-loggins-duet-soundtrack-lanas-baby-and-more.html
  3. ^ "Musicline.de – Kenny Loggins Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  4. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Kenny Loggins – Danger Zone". Top 40 Singles.
  5. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Kenny Loggins – Danger Zone". Swiss Singles Chart.

External links[edit]