Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Retro Video of the Week: "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins

This Friday will mark the 30th anniversary of the release of the Top Gun soundtrack, a few days before the film hit theaters and changed the way we looked at Naval aviators.  Top Gun is one of the most iconic movies from the '80s, and the theme song to the movie -- Kenny Loggins's "Danger Zone" -- is one of the most recognizable movie theme songs ever.  You can't hear the song without thinking about Maverick buzzing the tower, improperly dropping below the 10,000-foot hard deck in order to defeat Jester, or riding a motorcycle without a helmet (which is, in fact, a danger zone).

The song was written by the film's soundtrack producer Georgio Moroder and songwriter Tom Whitlock.  (The pair also wrote the movie's love theme, "Take My Breath Away" by Berlin, which garnered an Oscar for best song.)  "Danger Zone" was offered to Toto, Bryan Adams, and REO Speedwagon, all of whom declined for different reasons (and are probably regretting it).  Then, they offered it to Loggins, and the rest is history.  

"Danger Zone" peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, giving Loggins his fourth Top 25 hit (and third Top 10) from movie soundtrack songs -- the others being "I'm Alright" from Caddyshack (#7), and "Footloose" (#1) and "I'm Free (Heaven Helps The Man)" (#22) from Footloose.  He would have two more, by the way:  "Meet Me Half Way" from Over The Top (#11) and "Nobody's Fool" from Caddyshack II (#8).  And "Playing With The Boys" -- featured during the blatantly homoerotic beach volleyball scene in Top Gun -- hit #60.

The video is directed by Top Gun's director, Tony Scott, and it features ample clips from the movie, as well as shots of Loggins's fantastic hair, which I can only describe as a cockatiel mullet.  

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