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Kenny Loggins Was Asked To Remake Both Of His Top Gun Songs For Maverick…And Neither Of Them Made It Into The Movie

Joseph Kosinski’s Top Gun: Maverick remains the story of the movie year, walking that fine line between nostalgia and contemporary cinematic thrills that’s unfortunately quite rare these days. The long-anticipated sequel has shattered box-office records for Paramount Pictures, provided yet another massive hit for Tom Cruise, and generated Oscar talk… which may be a bit too soon, but Academy recognition isn’t out of the question. The movie’s use of songs and score from the initial movie, Top Gun, helped fuel that nostalgia for older audiences (and made a fan out of Miles Teller). But as it turns out, two Kenny Loggins classics from the Top Gun soundtrack were re-recorded, and then left out of the movie. 

During a recent press day on behalf of the home video release of Top Gun: Maverick, singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins spoke about getting the opportunity to return to a film] that catapulted his career to even higher heights (following the artist’s work on Caddyshack and Footloose). His songs Danger Zone and Playing With the Boys are as much a part of the movie’s fabric as Tony Scott’s filmmaking. When talking about Top Gun: Maverick, Loggins told CinemaBlend that he re-recorded versions of his hit songs, beefing them up. But it was for nothing, sadly. He said:

Instead of one or two electric guitars like in the original version, I had like six. Because I wanted a Foo Fighters-like wall of guitars approach to it. But (Tom Cruise) definitely wanted to bring that memory, and the vibe of that original Top Gun to Maverick. And it really does that. It sets you up perfectly.

If you are going to head back to San Diego and the flight school that churns out the best of the best in Naval aviators, then you might as well allow Kenny Loggins the opportunity to improve on what already were classics. Especially when it came to the theme music for the beach volleyball scene in the original Top Gun. Because Monica Barbaro is a crucial member of the flight team, Playing With the Boys wasn’t as up-to-date as Top Gun: Maverick needed to be. But Loggins had a solution. He told us:  

I did a remake of Playing With the Boys with Butterfly with (singer-songwriter) Butterfly Boucher, which we called Playing With the Boys and Girls. Because now there are female pilots.

As Kenny Loggins has mentioned, the updated versions of both Danger Zone and the revamped Playing With the Boys and Girls are available wherever you stream music. And that’s because we don’t hear them in the final cut of the movie. We’re not sure why, but you can listen to one of them on Kenny Loggins’ YouTube channel.

Soon you will be able to own Top Gun: Maverick on home video, as the movie is making its way to shelves on Blu-ray, 4K and in a special Steelbook release. But when you pay attention to the box office results, you’ll see that Top Gun is still performing well, because audiences love experiencing this movie on the biggest screens possible. It’s that special.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.