What is it that made Top Gun the pop culture phenomenon that it is today? Some say it’s the iconic quotes and one-liners. Others argue it’s the action made possible by involvement with the U.S. Navy. One thing that all fans of the film can agree on is that the music absolutely rocked. From the hit single “Danger Zone” which epitomizes the film to the lesser-known “Mighty Wings” that underscored Maverick and Goose’s dogfight with Jester, Top Gun always has the right tune for the occasion. However, the power of the film’s opening instrumental cannot be overlooked.
“Top Gun Anthem” provides the iconic melody that viewers hear throughout the film. It was composed by Harold Faltermeyer who also performed the piano/keyboard portion of the song; the guitar portion was performed by Steve Stevens. The song won a 1987 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance and returns for the film’s sequel, Top Gun: Maverick. With its iconic sound, “Top Gun Anthem” can evoke goosebumps and the feeling of excitement as the opening scenes on the deck of the carrier play. To commemorate the release of Top Gun: Maverick, the Royal Australian Air Force paid tribute to the film and song with a cover.
Arranged by Leading Aircraftman Niels Rosendahl, the RAAF Band performed a brilliant cover of the iconic song. The percussion introduction is matched with archival footage of WWI Australian aviators before the guitar kicks in along with footage from across the service’s history. The music video flows between the RAAF Band recording in the studio and historical imagery provided by the Australian War Memorial. The arrangement adapts Faltermeyer’s original to accommodate the band’s wind instruments and succeeds in paying homage to it while incorporating its own style.
The six-minute performance from down under is an impressive cover set to top-notch video editing. With Top Gun fever taking the world by storm, the RAAF is making sure that we all have plenty of content to take us into the danger zone.
Feature Image: Paramount Pictures