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Album: Top Gun SoundtrackReleased: 1986Charted:
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
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."