Danger Zone (song)

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"Danger Zone"
Loggins - Danger Zone single cover.png
Single by Kenny Loggins
from the album Top Gun (soundtrack)
B-side"I'm Gonna Do It Right"
ReleasedMay 13, 1986
Format
RecordedJanuary 1986
Genre
Length3:36
LabelColumbia
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Giorgio Moroder
Kenny Loggins singles chronology
"I'll Be There"
(1985)
"Danger Zone"
(1986)
"Playing with the Boys"
(1986)

"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]

Background[edit]

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 agreed that "Danger Zone" would be recorded and performed by Kenny Loggins.[5] Whitlock went to Loggins' Encino home, and once shown the lyrics, the singer added his own improvisations.[4]

According to TMZ, Kenny Loggins has confirmed that "Danger Zone" will be featured in the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick.[7]

Overview[edit]

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, with the drums being provided by a Roland S-50 keyboard, both instruments extensively used in 1980s pop music. 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]

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1986–87) Peak
position
Canada (RPM) 7
Germany (Official German Charts)[8] 10
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[9] 12
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[10] 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
position
US Billboard Hot 100 42

Sales certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Japan (RIAJ)[11] Gold 100,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

In popular culture[edit]

  • On September 21, 1989, the song was played in an episode of the American animated series The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!.
  • On November 21, 1999, the song was played in an episode of the American animated comedy series The Simpsons,
  • On October 24, 2005, the song was played in an episode of the American comedy series How I Met Your Mother.
  • On July 27, 2008, the song was played in an episode of the Australian television travel series Postcards.
  • In 2009, this song was played in the American comedy film 17 Again.
  • On July 20, 2010, the song was played in an episode of the British comedy series Mongrels.
  • On July 19, 2012, the song was played in an episode of the American television game show Take Me Out.
  • On October 13, 2013, the song was played in an episode of the British reality television series Rude Tube.
  • On November 11, 2014, the song was played in an episode of the American comedy series The Mindy Project.
  • On March 18, 2015, the song was played in an episode of the American comedy series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
  • On November 8, 2015, the song was played in an episode of the American animated comedy series Family Guy.
  • On September 17, 2016, the song was played in an episode of the British television game show Go for It.
  • On September 23, 2017, the song was played in an episode of the British television game show Cannonball.
  • On April 1, 2018, the song was played in an episode of the American animated comedy series Family Guy.
  • On April 4, 2018, the song was played in an episode of the American comedy-drama series Suits.
  • The song shall be heard in the 2019 film Top Gun: Maverick. with Loggins singing a new version of the song.[7]
  • The song is frequently referenced in episodes of the American animated comedy Archer. Kenny Loggins himself sang the song in a country music-inspired duet with Jessy Lynn Martens in season 5 of Archer (Vice): Baby Shower, which first aired March 3, 2014.
  • The song is featured on the virtual radio show Los Santos Rock Radio hosted by Loggins himself, on the 2014 updated version of the video game Grand Theft Auto V.

References[edit]

  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. ^ "Encyclopedia". thecanadianencyclopedia.ca. 2007-04-29. Retrieved 2012-03-12.
  7. ^ a b "Kenny Loggins is recording a new version of "Danger Zone" for Top Gun: Maverick". Consequence of Sound. 2018-06-07. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  8. ^ "Musicline.de – Kenny Loggins Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  9. ^ "Charts.nz – Kenny Loggins – Danger Zone". Top 40 Singles.
  10. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Kenny Loggins – Danger Zone". Swiss Singles Chart.
  11. ^ "Japanese single certifications – Danger Zone" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved 27 December 2016. Select 2016年4月 on the drop-down menu

External links[edit]