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Take My Breath Away by Berlin

Album: Top Gun SoundtrackReleased: 1986Charted:
1
1
  • This was featured in the movie Top Gun, helping its soundtrack become one of the best selling ever. It was the love theme from the movie, which starred Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis. The song plays over a steamy love scene between the two that was not originally in the film - test audiences asked for something more intimate, so Cruise and McGillis were called back to the bedroom. They are seen in silhouette because by then, McGillis had dyed her hair for another role.
  • This was written by the songwriting team of Giorgio Moroder and Tom Whitlock, who also wrote Kenny Loggins' "Danger Zone" for Top Gun and "Meet Me Halfway" for the movie Over The Top.
  • Recalling inspiration for the lyric, Tom Whitlock said: "The title was a phrase that had been running through my mind, in terms of asking for that kind of awe, something so striking that you can't breathe."
  • Berlin lead singer Terri Nunn recalls in The Sunday Express magazine, October 1, 2006: "By 1986 we'd already been together as a band 13 years and were on our third album. We were approached by the producer Giorgio Moroder, who had worked with David Bowie and Blondie and was putting together the soundtrack for this movie Top Gun. He said, 'I've got this great ballad, it's going to be the sound of the summer, it's going to be huge, you have to do it.' I was happy to go ahead, but John Crawford (the band's songwriter, founder member and keyboard player) hated it - he kept saying it just wasn't our sound or the right direction for us as a band, and that if we didn't write it we shouldn't record it. But our label insisted it wouldn't hurt us, so we went ahead. The song didn't go straight to #1. In fact, it couldn't get any radio play at all but for some reason, someone at Columbia just wouldn't give up on it. They pushed it for a month and then it exploded."
  • Before becoming the lead singer of Berlin, Terri Nunn appeared in several films in the late 1970s. She auditioned for the role of Princess Leia in Star Wars. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Adam - Dewsbury, England
  • This won an Oscar for Best Original Song.
  • Most synthesizer-based hits of the era were uptempo tunes, but this was a rare synth ballad. It worked because the drone that plays throughout the song creates an unusual rhythm that makes the vocals stand out. It also helped that the song had a strong visual accompaniment thanks to its use in Top Gun.
  • Many Michael Jordan highlight videos used this song. It went well under slow motion video of his spectacular dunks.
  • Jessica Simpson recorded this in 2004 and included it on the re-release of her album In This Skin. She has loved the song ever since hearing it in Top Gun, and made sure it was playing the first time she kissed Nick Lachey, who became her husband (they divorced a few years later).
  • Having saved the sound of the bass on a computer, Giorgio Moroder then lost it and couldn't retrieve the recording, so he had to redo it himself. The Italian producer recalled to Redbull Music Academy: "Basically, that song was something that I played. And I'm not a very good bass player. [laughs] That song has a lot of little things that were not well done. But it seemed to do OK."
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Comments: 37

Nice song but I know where they got this song from. Storm clouds are coming on this issue believe me.Chris Eggleton - Queensland
A friend once gave a cassette,of Berlin,I was not into that type of music,but Sex I'am,The Metro and others i liked then bought their greatests hits,and Take my breath away,was the least i liked from their best,lolJorge - Bronx, Ny
Would like to know what country Berlin are from. Haven't heard the JS version so can only say how the original has lasted the test of time.Alistair - Daventry, United Kingdom
This´s the best song I´ve ever heard!Guillermo - San Joaquƭn, E. Carabobo, Venezuela
Berlin has so many other songs that are better than this one. Why is this the only one I ever hear on the air?Tim - Clarkdale, Az
Hated Jessica Simpson's version. Terri Nunn has powerful pipes - one of my fave love songs.Theresa - Murfreesboro, Tn
Which language did she choose to sing this song? I did here her break into English with a few words but the rest of this song so lost.I did not know this is not the original version.I want to hear the original so that hopefully they pronounce the words clearly.You never know!I might like it.PIGS FLY.John - Brisbane, United States
I know for some reason this song get's a bad rap -maybe it's because Tom Cruise today isn't the same Tom Cruise from Top Gun (although he probably still feels the same).Linc - Beaumont, Tx
This song is also featured on their album "Count Three and Pray" but surprisingly it wasn't the best one on the album. My favorites are still "Like Flames" and "Pink and Velvet."Dan - Denver, Co
Nothing against Jessica, but she should have left this song alone! Only Terri Nunn can pull off this song!!Sofia - Ogden, Ut
The film is from 1990 i think but on july 21, 2008. I watched and heard it. But i have heard about both. I thought the song was of eurithmics. I had
made not a right selection. The feeling of the song is the top. It's words are the best. The sound of the band is excellent. Even though i only listen it from the tape. There are already 10 times. And jessica simpson didn't ruin it but she is a sloopy singer in this one. This song is for people in love or are going to Panama. The case of maverick and charlie is
a vivid instance.
Uriel - Panama, Panama
The music is what attracted my attention, it did something to me that I want to hear this song over and over again. I think that Jessica did a wonderful job with this song.Rita Linzmeier - Hortonville, Wi
Berlin's has a great voice.. And i more like her version than JessicaRosse - K.lumpur, Malaysia
I am in agreement with Rebecca in Vegas and Kristy, saco, ME. Jessica Simpson butchered and damaged this song. For one, there are certain songs that shouldn't be revised or even sung by different singers other than the people who made them. And for the second, Jessica doesn't have the VOICE to sing this song. The voice that makes this song come to life and is real is by Berlin. Jessica: sing and make your own songs!Allyson - Huntsville, Al
The song essentially defined the Eighties genre...
The lyrics are flowing, and the synthesizer drone is hauntingly seductive and romantic that easily lights up the fire inside you. There's never a song like it. It's very beautiful.
King - Quezon City, Other
When this song was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song, the people from the Academy wanted all of the nominees (the artists) to cut their songs down, so they could all perform that part of their song in a medley at the Awards.
Berlin, however, didn't agree with it, and refused to cut their song. The Academy then told them that if they didn't cut it down for the medley, they weren't allowed to perform at all at the Awards. So Berlin refused to even go to the Academy Awards because of it.
So, even without their song "Take My Breath Away" being performed at the Academy Awards, they still won Best Original Song.
I just thought that was interesting. I heard it on an interview with Berlin on the Top Gun DVD.
Eric - Lewisburg, Tn
I had a dream that this was used for a scope commercial....takes bad breath awayyyyyyRob - Vancouver, Canada
I don't think anybody will ever top Berlin's version of this songBobbie - Central, Nm
Add me to the list of people who hate Jessica Simpson's version. Why do today's female pop singers either a) sound completely over-melodramatic and fake or b) sound like a sixth-grader eeking out a tune for a talent show? My dad likes Jessica's version better than Berlin's, and I can't imagine why.Tony - Topeka, Ks
Heard Toni Childs was a member of this band

she's hot tooooo
Pete - Nowra, Australia
Terri Nunn.............riding on the metro.Ken - Flint, Mi
A very romantic song, I like berlin's version better, thoughElizabeth - New York, Ny
Jessica Simpson took this song and slaughtered it, she took a knife and gutted it with her own bare hands ,then just spat it out in the gutter, whereupon she then picked it up and threw the leftovers to some mangey dogs , who were starving and looking for scraps ...they devoured it then regurgitated it ..only to be left on the pavement for the blowflys to nibble on....just my thoughtsPete - Nowra, Australia
I have to say that I dont like this song! It sux! But I have to say that Jessica Simpson didnt do an original but to me she has a great voice for this kinda music that really a strong voice. I didnt like Berlins version,its okay though. I mean Jessica is putting it into the new generation version and its fine!Casie - Denver, Co
Jessica Simpson has completely destroyed this magnificent song. She sound very constipated,it's a musical tragedy.Chance - Melbourne, Australia
I think this song is beautiful and Jessida's version did not butcher it!!Cindy - Sydney, United States
i think that the Jessica Simpson Version is not as bad as you guys are making it out to be. it is worse then the original, but not that much worse, and i like the acoustic guitar on it. maybe its just that the girl i have a huge crush on requested the song to dance with me at the formal last yearAriel - Woodbridge, Ct
Jessica Simpson took this song to hell. Berlin's version is undoubtedly the one to stick with.Aj - Cleveland, Ga
I agree with Rebecca in Vegas, Simpson totally butchered this songKristy - Saco, Me
Berlin gave permission to use this song in the movie Top Gun before they read the script to the movie. After the movie came out and the lead singer saw it, she actually said she regretted letting Top Gun use it because she believed the movie promoted war and she was anti-war.Ronnie - Ft. Meyers, Fl
This song was a huge departure for Berlin, whose music was more dance/new wave music. And yes, their manager made a bet that he'd shave his head if the song went Top 10 and was sitting in the barber chair about to get it all cut off when he got the call that it topped the Hot 100. I think they also had a MTV crew filming him while his hair was being cut off.Melissa - Green Bay, Wi
The manager of Berlin was not so confident of their ability to produce a hit. He told them that if the song was able to reach Top 10, he would shave his hair off. Well, the song did not only break into the Top 10, but reached the peak positions on both sides of Atlantic. So, did he shave his hair off? I failed to get an update.Jonathan - Georgetown, Malaysia
Copeland covered this song on there "know Nothing Stays the Same" EP. Incredible version.Peter - Boston, Ma
Berlin's version great - Jessica Simpson's version - PANTS! And that's coming from a Jessica Simpson fan as well.Dave - Cardiff, Wales
Jessica Simpson has a hot bodPete - Nowra, Australia
Jessica Simpson ruined this song.Rebecca - Vegas, Nv
this is easily one of the best slow songs everAriel - Woodbridge, Ct
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