5 – Take My Breath Away (Berlin)
Not really my type of song, but hot damn the fuggin’ SOUND of this song is exceptional. Can’t not see a steamy gulf of mexico sunset with this thing playing in the background. The blorpy synth, the percussion, the click-clacky accents tinkling underneath the second verse… there’s a lot to like here.
While Danger Zone is “the” song from Top Gun, this was billed as the “Love Theme from Top Gun,” giving it extra prominence and radio play. It also WON AN OSCAR so that’s a nice accolade for Berlin too.
4 – Playing with the Boys (Kenny Loggins)
Played over a man-meaty beach volleyball scene, this song creates one of the most fun moments of the whole film. Is it about a dude lovin’ time with his pals, or a guy discovering he’s gay and realizing how much he can’t wait to get out there? Either way is a great message to have in a summer tentpole release, whether it’s guys opening up and being closer friends, or not being afraid to be yourself.
My favorite memory of this song though is riding around in my dad’s 1989 Firebird with the T-Tops down cranking this song on a Florida beach. If there’s a more appropriate place to blast this song than a 1990 white sands Florida beach while riding in a sky blue sports car, I’d like to see it.
3 – Danger Zone (Kenny Loggins)
I think this marks the one millionth time I’ve heard this song. Not only was it everywhere in 1986-87, but it was in constant play in my home AND it keeps popping up at air shows, monster truck rallies, commercials, random internet videos and who knows what else. It’s somehow one of the most famous songs of the 80s despite like, no one owning it OR an album it’s on save for the Top Gun soundtrack.
Still, what a song. Hits you right out of the gate with a great riff, raspy vocals and then never lets up. Later on you get a fantastic solo and – in true 80s rock fashion – a sax screams in from the stratosphere to lay down suppressing fire on the whole song. Overplayed, overused and boy am I tired of this song, but you can’t deny its popularity and staying power. REO Speedwagon, Toto and Bryan Adams all had a crack at this, but Kenny Loggins is the one pulling in the checks today. They may be the ONLY checks, but hey – money!
2 – Mighty Wings (Cheap Trick)
My favorite song on the whole damn thing. The opening volley is forceful and instant – this song gets going faster than anything else on the soundtrack and embodies all the traits you’d want in a hit song. A clean, produced sound, soaring vocals, amazingly catchy riffs and moments throughout make this a real treat to listen to. And that opening is so hot it clearly influenced Ken’s theme from Street Fighter II.
It’s also great how the song is seemingly about a man who wants to either have sex with a jet or at the very least be held and swooned by one. After listening to the way Cheap Trick talks about that feeling, I kinda want the same thing?
I’m also STUNNED at how poorly this has been handled over the years. Didn’t chart in the 80s, wasn’t really performed or acknowledged by Cheap Trick since then and has more or less fallen off the face of the Earth.
1 – Top Gun Anthem (Steve Stevens)
The best. Just the best. The is the alpha and omega of music. If we’re ever overrun by replicants or skrulls or whatever, this song will be my human emotions test. React to this appropriately or be put in the dungeon with the Spider-Man soundtrack.
And if you made it to the end of this, by god listen to our commentary track and watch the movie with us!