Take My Breath Away – 1986

“Take My Breath Away” is a song written by Giorgio Moroder and Tom Whitlock for the film Top Gun, performed by the band Berlin. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song in 1986.

Once Giorgio Moroder wrote the musical backing to what would become “Take My Breath Away”, lyricist Tom Whitlock wrote the lyrics driving home from the studio, and then spent a few hours at home polishing them. The demo done with a background singer impressed director Tony Scott and producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson, who decided to film more romantic scenes between Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis to feature the song.

The song was originally offered to The Motels; they released their original demo on their compilation album Anthologyland. Columbia Records suggested some of their signed artists, but eventually Moroder thought of the band Berlin, whose hit song “No More Words” he had produced. Whitlock did a few lyrical changes before Terri Nunn recorded the vocals. Moroder said that he is most proud of this song, of all the other hits he has had in his career.

Releases and performances[edit]
“Take My Breath Away” was the first single from the Top Gun soundtrack album and was released in 1986 as a split single alongside the song “Radar Radio”:

“Take My Breath Away (Love Theme from Top Gun)” (performed by Berlin)

“Radar Radio” (performed by Giorgio Moroder featuring Joe Pizzulo, written by Giorgio Moroder and Tom Whitlock)
The song peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and also topped the charts in Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland and Belgium.

“Take My Breath Away” is available on both the original Top Gun soundtrack album and the expanded edition. The song was also featured in several of the band’s best-of and remix albums: Best of Berlin 1979–1988, Master Series, Greatest Hits Remixed (which includes a “Mission UK Remix” version), Live: Sacred & Profane and Metro Greatest Hits. “Take My Breath Away” was one of the only songs not written by Berlin’s John Crawford that they had performed on any album up to that point.

“Take My Breath Away” was re-released in the United Kingdom in October 1990 to coincide with the first television showing of Top Gun (by ITV, on the evening of October 6, 1990) as well as Peugeot’s new television advertising campaign for the 405 model range. The re-release reached number three on the UK Singles Chart.


Terri Nunn: vocals
Ric Olsen: lead guitar
David Diamond: rhythm guitars
Matt Reid: synthesizers, keyboards
John Crawford: bass
Rob Brill: drums, percussion

Additional Personnel

Luís Jardim, Osamu Kitajima, Masakazu Yoshizawa: percussion
Richard Niles: orchestral arrangements
Art Damage Choir, John Batdorf, William Batstone, Lance Ellington, George Merrill, Tessa Niles: additional backing vocals

Track listings

“Take My Breath Away” – 4:13
“Radar Radio” by Giorgio Moroder featuring Joe Pizzulo – 3:40

UK release
“Take My Breath Away” – 4:13
“Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins – 3:36