What is the best guitar anthem from a film ever? The Top Gun theme featuring Steve Stevens must be high on the list?
It seemed apt that with all the talk of a Top Gun 2 our latest Flashback Friday should be the Top Gun Theme featuring Steve Stevens.
So lets jump back to 1986 where the best selling UK single of the year was “Don’t Leave me This Way” by The Communards, Chernobyl had blown up in April and the biggest grossing movie of the year was?
You guessed it the nation was gripped by two fly boys going by the names of Maverick and Goose. With an estimated budget of $15,000,000 it was also the most expensive recruitment ad ever filmed for the US Air Force. However, with box office takings of over $176,000,000 and the US Air Force inundated with applicants the film could be considered a success.
With its cheesy lines, high octane flight sequences and brilliant rock soundtrack it is not surprising that it was such a hit but perhaps more surprising that it never spawned a sequel. Until now perhaps.
Anyway back to the reason for the post. The soundtrack for Top Gun is a solid homage to soft rock with classic songs like “Take my Breath Away” by Berlin and “Danger Zone” by Kenny Logins. However, the stand out recording on the soundtrack has to be the Top Gun theme featuring Steve Stevens.
The Top Gun theme was actually written by composer Harold Faltermeyer, who was recording keyboard parts for Billy Idol’s Whiplash Smile album.
Faltermeyer asked Stevens, Idol’s longtime guitarist, to play guitar on the track. Stevens was shown a clip of the film, and agreed to play on the track believing that the film would be a big smash hit.
Interestingly a guitar track had already been recorded on the demo that was given to Stevens. However, it has been said that Stevens wanted to record his guitar part using one track to avoid any overdubbing.
For the recording Steve Stevens used a Hamer SS through a Boss Compressor pedal, to increase the sustain, and a 100-watt Marshall amplifier.
So to paraphrase one of the films cheesy lines – I feel the need, the need for Steve…
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