Monday, May 9, 2016

Album of the Week: Top Gun Soundtrack

30 years ago this week, the original motion picture soundtrack for Top Gun was released. Building on what would become the #1 grossing movie of 1986, the soundtrack also became a commercial success for the year. To this date, over 9 million copies have been sold in the United States alone. In 1999 and 2006, deluxe editions were re-released which each added 5 additional tracks not included on the original album. I've also used the soundtrack as part of my Movie vs. Soundtrack Punch Out! series.

It took awhile for the album to come together. Toto, Brian Adams, and REO Speedwagon were all approached to perform the hit single "Danger Zone" before Kenny Loggins took the job and sky-rocketed the track to #2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 pop chart. The worldwide #1 hit and Oscar/Golden Globe award-winning single "Take My Breath Away" by Berlin was initially considered to be performed by the Motels who released their demo version on the Anthologyland album. Tracks by The Cars, Judas Priest, and Ratt were also contemplated by producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer.

The Top Gun soundtrack would spend 5 total weeks atop the US Billboard 200 album chart in 1986. In addition to the aforementioned singles, the power ballad "Heaven in Your Eyes" by Loverboy would also climb the pop chart to #12 along with Kenny Loggins follow-up "Playing with the Boys" attracting moderate airplay and charting at #60.

My favorite track from the album has always been the instrumental "Top Gun Anthem" performed by Harold Faltermeyer and Steven Stevens. At the time, both were performing for Billy Idol's Whiplash Smile album with Faltermeyer recruiting Stevens to play the guitar part. The track would win the 1987 Grammy award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.

Rediscover the Top Gun Original Motion Picture Soundtrack album this week via YouTube below or subscribers can listen to the full album for free on Amazon Prime music. You can also join me by posting your favorite tracks or memories in the comments.