"Take my Breath Away", the eternal hit that took off with Top Gun and that its performers hated

“Take my Breath Away”, the eternal hit that took off with Top Gun and that its performers hated

An unwritten rule of remake culture seems to be the reversal of the weight of fame in the cast of the soundtrack. When best gun created in 1986, the work was entrusted by director Tony Scott to Harold Faltermeyer and Giorgio Moroder, resulting from the creation of audiovisual landmarks with their sequences for midnight express (1978), lightning dance (1983) and scarface (1983). Moroder composed a ballad as the film’s central theme and chose the unknown band synth pop Berlin to interpret it. The success of “Take My Breath Away” was one of the cases of an amazing shot the most resounding in the history of pop: neither the song nor even less the group could lift the shadow of best gun from the top

Now, in the endless saga of film twists, the story with Tom Cruise also returns and the central song was entrusted to Lady Gaga with “Hold My Hand”. It’s like that. The remakes put the whole culture main stream At your disposal. The next Batman could be dressed by Balenciaga; the interiors of a Disney 2.0 could be entrusted to Damien Hirst or, as now, with Madonna’s surrogate taking over the musical direction of the new Top Gun, Maverick, which will be released in local cinemas on the 25th. But the cultural exhaustion of the prequel and sequel industry carries over to the music. There’s no way Gaga’s output, with all the firepower she’s known for, is going to eclipse Terri Nunn’s vocals in that “Watchin’/every motion/in my stupid lover’s game” voiced in the memory pops with the belief of someone who knows there may not be another chance.

And there were none.

The American group Berlin, part of the synth pop scene in Los Angeles

However, from “Take my Breath Away” it is likely that all the lyrics are known without even noticing its performers. Although Moroder was born in Munich, the choice of Berlin (which we now associate with one of the characters in money theft) had no trace of Germanophilia or even a correspondence between the composer’s ideas and the sound of continental Europe. Berlin, the group, had been formed in 1979 in Orange County, California, under the name Eurythmics from the Pacific: two synthesizers and the voice of Terri Nunn in the middle. Until they were touched by Moroder’s magic wand, Berlin bordered on insignificance. With “Sex (I am)”, they had a modest scandal since the lyrics and the style soft core of the singer made them turn off the radio. They were therefore more known than heard. At the time they edited The Subway (1982) was touted as an appealing synth adaptation of Blondie and a song from their next album (“No More Words”) was chosen by Geffen as the B-side to “Crazy For Yyou”, Madonna’s single released for the film. vision quest. The strange incident is that the soundtrack of this romantic comedy had been entrusted to the Germans Tangerine Dream, pioneers of electronic music in the 70s. Too many crossings not to notice that the (brief) time of Berlin was yet to come .

However, when Moroder chose them to perform the song he had composed with Tom Whitlock, the Berliners were far from being a consecrated group. Animotion, another emerging synth pop Los Angeles (what a bizarre scene!) had at least struck a blow with “Obsession” and its absurd music video. And that’s where the song’s own story becomes a movie within. best gun. At the request of the film’s co-producer, Moroder wrote “Danger Zone” for Kenny Loggins to sing. Plus: they asked for a ballad for a romantic scene. Moroder composed the melody on a synthesizer tuned to a bass sound that would go straight into the final version. Then it was Tom Whitlock’s turn to complete the lyrics. Another absolute unknown in the industry that best gun highlighted. It was the first collaboration between the two, as Whitlock was the mechanic to whom Moroder entrusted his Ferrari and an amateur lyricist. He had to go back along the highway listening to Moroder’s demo until he found the right words. the hit in an embryonic state.

Giorgio Moroder
Giorgio MoroderEmiliano Lasalvia – Archives

Motels, pioneers new wave, were the first to record a version which was not released until 2001 and after several attempts by the Columbia label, which owned the soundtrack, to impose artists from its catalog, Moroder thought of Berlin for whom he had produced “No More Words”. The result so excited Tony Scott that he filmed new scenes between Cruise and Kelly McGillis to promote the song. Thus, “Take My Breath Away” was released as a single on June 15, 1986 with Moroder’s “Radar Radio” on the B-side reaching number one on the Billboard top 100 and the pole position charts in the UK, Ireland, Holland and Belgium. The success of “Take My Breath Away” affirmed Moroder’s King Midas aura but did not catapult Berlin’s career. They included it on the next album (Count three and pray) without any commercial effect, which precipitated the dissolution. For Terri Nunn, the hit was a new starting point for Berlin while John Crawford, the frontman of the trio, considered it a bit illegitimate. “None of us have anything to do with this song; none of us played on this recording; We had nothing to do with it.”

Kelly McGillis will no longer be part of Maverick, but Tom Cruise, high-powered motorcycles and the desert will be
Kelly McGillis will no longer be part of Maverick, but Tom Cruise, high-powered motorcycles and the desert will beScreenshots of Top Gun

Indeed, it was the collaboration between Moroder and Nunn that defined the power of the hit and highlighted the inconsistency of the band’s previous repertoire. A look at Berlin’s profile on Spotify suffices: of the five most-streamed songs, three are versions of “Take my Breath Away.” The soundtrack original reached a peak of 318 million clicks.

Forget Berlin. What is the alliance between best gun, Moroder and Nunn (who in this ballad seemed to approach the record of a Bonnie Raitt) caused more of a cultural landmark than a hit. Think about how Wong Kar Wai once again used the song in Over the tears (1988) but in a Cantonese version by Sandy Lam. As if this slight change of tonality in the harmony arranged by Moroder represented a new feeling.

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