Danger Zone (song)

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"Danger Zone"
Loggins - Danger Zone single cover.png
Single by Kenny Loggins
from the album Top Gun
B-side"I'm Gonna Do It Right"
ReleasedMay 13, 1986
RecordedJanuary 1986
Composer(s)Giorgio Moroder
Lyricist(s)Tom Whitlock
Producer(s)Giorgio Moroder
Kenny Loggins singles chronology
"I'll Be There"
"Danger Zone"
"Playing with the Boys"
Music video
"Danger Zone" on YouTube

"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 was one of the hit singles from the soundtrack to the 1986 American motion picture Top Gun, the best selling soundtrack of 1986 and one of the best selling of all time.[2][3] According to Allmusic.com, the album "remains a quintessential artifact of the mid-'80s" and the album's hits "still define the bombastic, melodramatic sound that dominated the pop charts of the era."[3]


Film producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson, along with music supervisor Michael Dilbeck, had over 300 songs to employ on Top Gun. Testing compositions against the dailies of the opening scenes at the aircraft carrier, nothing satisfied them, and Bruckheimer asked soundtrack producer Giorgio Moroder to write something. With the help of songwriter Tom Whitlock, he composed "Danger Zone" and had Joe Pizzulo record a demo. With the approval of the producers, soundtrack distributor Columbia Records requested Moroder to have "Danger Zone" performed by an artist signed by the label.[4]

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.[5]

Bryan Adams was approached to allow his song "Only the Strong Survive" on the soundtrack and perform "Danger Zone", to which Adams declined any involvement, feeling that the film glorified war, and he did not want any of his work linked to it.

REO Speedwagon was also approached to perform "Danger Zone", to which the group declined due to not being allowed to contribute any of its own compositions to the soundtrack.

Corey Hart was also approached to perform "Danger Zone," to which he declined, preferring to write and perform his own compositions.[6]

Eventually, the film producers offered the song to Kenny Loggins, who would recall his assent to recording "Danger Zone" as "a very snap judgement".[5][7] Whitlock went to Loggins' Encino home, and once shown the lyrics, the singer added his own improvisations.[4] Reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, "Danger Zone" would be Loggins' runner-up career record - bested only by his 1984 #1 hit "Footloose" - but in a 2008 interview Loggins said that the song does not represent himself as an artist.[7]

In 2018, Loggins told TMZ that he was having discussions with the film's lead actor Tom Cruise about having a new version of the song featured in the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick.[8]


Dann Huff, lead singer and guitarist of the 1980s hard rock group Giant, played guitar on the song. The bass line is performed on a Yamaha DX7 synthesizer. A tenor saxophone is added near the end of the song.

The song peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 for the week of July 26, 1986, kept from the top spot by Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer".

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".[citation needed]


  • Kenny Loggins – voices and rhythm guitar
  • Dann Huff – lead guitar
  • Giorgio Moroder – synthesizers, sequencer and drum machine
  • Tom Whitlock – synthesizer
  • Tom Scott – saxophone


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1986-1987) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[9] 14
Canada (RPM) 7
Germany (GfK Entertainment Charts)[10] 12
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[11] 12
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[12] 6
UK Singles (OCC)[13] 45
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[14] 2
U.S. Cashbox Top 100 4
U.S. Billboard Album Rock Tracks[15] 7

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1986) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[16] 62
US Top Pop Singles (Billboard)[17] 42

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Japan (RIAJ)[18] Gold 100,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[19] Gold 400,000double-dagger

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ "Pop > Picks > Kenny Loggins – Danger Zone (3:35)". Billboard. Vol. 96 no. 19. May 10, 1986. p. 79. ISSN 0006-2510.
  2. ^ Denisoff, R. Serge; Romanowski, William D. (2011-12-31). Risky Business: Rock in Film. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 9781412833370.
  3. ^ a b "Top Gun [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] - Original Soundtrack | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-05-19.
  4. ^ a b Back to the 80s: Interview with Tom Whitlock, co-writer of 'Take My Breath Away' & more – Kickin' it Old School
  5. ^ a b "Official TOTO Website - Encyclopedia". www.toto99.com. 2007-04-29. Retrieved 2012-03-12.
  6. ^ "Corey Hart". Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. December 16, 2013. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Springfield News-Sun "Kenny Loggins Will Cut Footloose at Kuss: singer's adaptability has kept career going since '70s" 9 October 2008 p.B1
  8. ^ "Kenny Loggins is recording a new version of "Danger Zone" for Top Gun: Maverick". Consequence of Sound. 2018-06-07. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  9. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 180. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. N.B. The Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA from mid-1983 until June 12, 1988.
  10. ^ "Kenny Loggins – Danger Zone (song)" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  11. ^ "Charts.nz – Kenny Loggins – Danger Zone". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  12. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Kenny Loggins – Danger Zone". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  13. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  14. ^ "Billboard > Kenny Loggins Chart History > Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  15. ^ "Billboard > Kenny Loggins Chart History > Mainstream Rock Songs". Billboard. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  16. ^ "Kent Music Report No 650 – 29 December 1986 > National Top 100 Singles for 1986". Kent Music Report, via Imgur.com. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  17. ^ "1986 The Year in Music & Video: Top Pop Singles". Billboard. 98 (52): Y-21. December 27, 1986.
  18. ^ "Japanese single digital certifications – Danger Zone" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved December 27, 2016. Select 2016年4月 on the drop-down menu
  19. ^ "British single certifications – Danger Zone". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved July 26, 2019.Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Danger Zone in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]