Kenny Loggins on Tom Cruise, “Top Gun” volleyball scene

The singer also opened up about the moment Tom Cruise told him “Danger Zone” would be used in “Top Gun: Maverick.”

One of the best-received movie sequels in years, Top Gun: Maverick received rave reviews from critics and dominated the box office in its opening weekend. Almost everyone seems to agree that it’s a vast improvement over the original “Top Gun,” trading in the cheesy 1980s vibes for a more serious tone (by Blockbuster standards). But one thing hasn’t changed: the use of Kenny Loggin’s “Danger Zone”.

For many, the synth-heavy song, composed and produced by Giorgio Moroder, is synonymous with “Top Gun,” a sentiment apparently shared by Tom Cruise. In a new interview with Vulture, Loggins revealed the moment he learned his iconic song would be used in the sequel. The singer explained that he didn’t actually know Cruise in the 1980s and only met him when they both appeared on an episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” in 2016. Backstage, Loggins couldn’t help but inquire about the fate of his song.

“That night I said, ‘I know you’re going to do the new one. Is ‘Danger Zone’ part of the new Top Gun?’” Loggins said.

As for Cruise’s answer? “It wouldn’t be ‘Top Gun’ without ‘Danger Zone,'” Loggins recalled the actor saying. “He stuck to that.”

Of course, “Danger Zone” isn’t the only song Loggins sang for “Top Gun.” He and Peter Wolf also provided “Playing With the Boys,” which was used in the film’s infamous beach volleyball scene. Loggins said he was inspired to write this song before he was sure he got the job. He was one of several musicians considered for the film and he thought writing a song for the volleyball scene could set him apart.

“So we watched it, and we could say when the opening scenes came — the aircraft carrier scenes — everyone was salivating, ‘Oh my God. That’s what most of these people are going to write for,'” Loggins said. “But when the volleyball scene came along, Peter and I were like, ‘Yeah, this one. Nobody will write for this scene. Let’s make this happen.’ I knew the most important thing about being on the album was getting a strong cut somewhere they wouldn’t have a lot of options.”

While it’s easy to laugh at certain parts of the original film, Loggins only had positive things to say about the film. He also loved Top Gun: Maverick and has high expectations for the sequel.

“I think it’s going to be a big hit,” he said. “It’s amazing that it’s been over 30 years since the first one. It feels like it’s been 10 or 12 years and then when you do interviews at the premiere they say it’s 36 years. I had no idea how long it’s been. It’s incredibly fortunate that it’s still such an iconic film and is still relevant.”

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Lindsay Lowe

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