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, dance-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.


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.[1]

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.[2]

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.[2] Whitlock went to Loggins' Encino home, and once shown the lyrics the singer added his own improvisations.[1]


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 LinnDrum drum machine, both instruments extensively used in 1980s pop music. A tenor saxophone is added 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]

In other media[edit]

  • Dell used the song on one their "pc does what" commercial a rescue helicopter goes to rescue someone.
  • In episode 174 of the anime Sailor Moon: Sailor Stars, the lyrics of "Danger Zone" can be seen on a letter that was printed by Ami Mizuno.
  • 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 heard in a US trailer for the 2005 animated film Valiant.
  • The song is featured in Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay; it is played when the film's main characters are detained a second time.
  • The song is played by How I Met Your Mother character Barney Stinson in the sixth episode of Season 1, "Slutty Pumpkin".
  • The animated comedy series Archer features a running joke involving the song, with the title character frequently saying "Call Kenny Loggins, 'cause you're in the danger zone." Loggins appeared as himself in the fifth season episode "Baby Shower," performing a country version of the song with Cheryl Tunt.[3]
  • 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.
  • The song was featured in a trailer for the 2016 video game Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, and features in the intro to the Beta.
  • 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
  • In the Family Guy episode "Chris, Brian and Stewie's Excellent Adventure," members of the orchestra on board the R.M.S. Titanic play the song when the ship is sinking, due to the fact Stewie gave them the sheet music to the song earlier.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1986-1987) Peak
Canada (RPM) 7
Germany (Official German Charts)[4] 10
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[5] 12
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[6] 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 Back to the 80s: Interview with Tom Whitlock, co-writer of 'Take My Breath Away' & more – Kickin' it Old School
  2. ^ a b "Official TOTO Website - Encyclopedia". www.toto99.com. 2007-04-29. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  3. ^ http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2014/01/archer-season-5-kenny-loggins-duet-soundtrack-lanas-baby-and-more.html
  4. ^ "Musicline.de – Kenny Loggins Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  5. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Kenny Loggins – Danger Zone". Top 40 Singles.
  6. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Kenny Loggins – Danger Zone". Swiss Singles Chart.

External links[edit]