The release of Top Gun: Maverick also brings a new soundtrack full of perfect Top Gun songs to go along with Tom Cruise’s amazing aerial stunts. Most of Top Gun: Maverick is overlaid by an incredible score composed by Harold Faltermeyer, who also composed the score for the first film, including the iconic “Top Gun Anthem,” with help from Hans Zimmer and Lady Gaga. But the few pop songs contributed to the film are important in setting the mood for Maverick’s continued story of learning to let go of the past.
Top Gun: Maverick prominently features several new songs, including an original pop ballad from Lady Gaga, taking the Top Gun sequel’s music to new heights while also evoking memories of songs from the first film. In bringing the character of Maverick to the 21st century, the Top Gun: Maverick soundtrack is a limited but fun mixture of new songs and popular oldies. The original movie even won an Oscar for one of its songs, and Lady Gaga’s single matches that success with a new Top Gun song. Here are the songs used in the Top Gun: Maverick soundtrack and where they play in the film.
The Complete Top Gun: Maverick Soundtrack
“Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins – Probably the best Top Gun song. In the Top Gun: Maverick soundtrack, the Top Gun song is played in a very similar context to how it was used in the original movie, although it is only played one time in the new film compared to the multiple times in the original. It plays as Maverick returns to the TOPGUN school, during a montage of Navy fighter jets landing on an aircraft carrier.
“Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis – This classic is played and sung in the movie by Miles Teller in the role of Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw while in a bar early in the film, surrounded by his fellow pilots. This version is also included on the official soundtrack for Top Gun: Maverick. The use of the Top Gun song is very obviously a reference to a memorable scene from the first movie, in which Rooster’s father and Maverick’s wingman, “Goose” Bradshaw, play the same song in a restaurant during a double date.
“I Ain’t Worried” by OneRepublic – This fun Top Gun song plays during a beach football game put on by Maverick where his TOPGUN students play against one another, a scene reminiscent of the infamous volleyball scene from the original movie.
“Hold My Hand” by Lady Gaga – Little parts of this Lady Gaga Top Gun song are included in the score throughout Top Gun: Maverick but it isn’t used in full force until after Maverick has successfully completed the mission for which he was training the students and returns safely to Penny, his love interest in Top Gun 2 played by Jennifer Connelly. The soaring anthem rounds out the movie’s soundtrack and sends Maverick’s story out on a high note.
How One Top Gun 2 Song Formed The Core Of The Story
The Top Gun song that pays the biggest homage in Top Gun: Maverick is “Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis. It was fitting to have Goose’s son sing the song that was played at that double date all those years ago, as the film’s core is the lasting impact of Goose’s death. The song set up the contentious yet compelling relationship between Goose and Maverick in the first film, so it’s only natural for the tune to be used to pass the torch over to Rooster.
It’s an effective tool to bring Goose’s death from Top Gun back into the picture to remind audiences that his demise hangs over the movie, motivating Maverick’s actions and reactions. The score helps stop Top Gun: Maverick from being a nostalgia grab. However, including the song reminds audiences of what is at the core of the movie, which is Goose’s death, and effectively hands the legacy over to Rooster.
The Top Gun Franchise Can Win Another Best Song Oscar
Top Gun Maverick has another big song that matches up with the Oscar winner from the original film. The song that won the Oscar in the original was Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away.” While not as famous as Kenny Loggins’ hit song, it was the one that took home the gold over songs from movies like The Karate Kid Part II and Little Shop of Horrors. Top Gun Maverick has Lady Gaga’s “Hold My Hand” competing against songs from Everything Everywhere All At Once and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, but it has every chance to repeat the original Top Gun song success at the Oscars.
More: Top Gun’s Original Rejected Theme Song Told Maverick’s Story Even Better