Single Review: Berlin “Take My Breath Away”

Take My Breath Away
Album: Top Gun Soundtrack
Year: 1986

In the movie Top Gun, Maverick (Tom Cruise) finally lets his guard down and allows himself to fall in love with Charlotte (Kelly McGillis). They make love while the theme “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin, plays in the background. However, her love is not enough to reach him. He is not over his father’s death. He loses his best friend forever. He drops out of flight training school because of it, wondering if he will ever fly those oh so beautiful, spacious American skies. Oh the predictable drama! How will it ever end?

With Maverick finally discovering it’s not Charlotte he wants, but Iceman. All those nasty little comments had to be leading to something, right? The movie “Sleep With Me” has some excellent dialogue related to the homoeroticism in the movie.

“Take My Breath Away,” the soft pop anthem of 1986, is actually better than the movie. Terri Nunn is singing from the point of view of Charlotte. In the single, she wants the man she’s in love with to admit it (“Watching I keep waiting/still anticipating love/never hesitating to become one of the fated ones.”) However, in the bridge, he does tell her to “take my breath away.” But by the end, she knows he was only going to be around for a little while. The lyrics are overemotional, as they should be. “Top Gun” is not an understated movie and needed a histrionic love theme.

The guitar mainly powers the song throughout, which is featured in the well-known hook. Terri Nunn’s vocals are solid. Raspy and forceful, her voice is typical of other female singers in the 80s. However, when she reaches the high notes, she doesn’t strain them (3:16-3:28). She seems to float over them, by singing them a bit softer.

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