Berlin on Lady Gaga’s “Hold My Hand” and original hit “Top Gun”

Berlin on Lady Gaga’s “Hold My Hand” and original hit “Top Gun”

With a searing anticipation for “Top Gun: Maverick,” which hits theaters May 27, Lady Gaga takes flight on “Hold My Hand,” the new single from the film’s soundtrack.

But when Berlin recorded “Take My Breath Away” – the Oscar-winning hit that made the hearts of Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis soar in the original 1986 film – the group was hardly in Gaga’s superstar stratosphere. .

“We were very lucky because back then we were nothing,” Berlin lead singer Terri Nunn told The Post. “We had no success at all. We were an underground band.

But working with Giorgio Moroder — the legendary producer of “Take My Breath Away” — on other material, Nunn and Berlin got their chance. “He approached a bunch of other female artists who were way bigger than me and Berlin, and a few of them did demos, but the [‘Top Gun’] the producers didn’t like them,” Nunn said. “So finally, I had a shot. And they loved it.

Berlin
Berlin at its electro-pop heyday around the 1980s.
Archive of Michael Ochs

Thirty-six years after the Berlin-based synth-pop swooner was released, Nunn can hear echoes of the melody in Gaga’s ’80s retro power ballad of “Hold My Hand,” which was released earlier this week.

“What I love is this nod to Giorgio Moroder’s production, because the drums are so big and reverberant,” she said, noting that Gaga was the perfect singer to pilot a piece of “Top Gun”. “She’s a great writer, she’s a great artist. If they can get her to do that, yes, that’s a good choice.

After Nunn infused cool sexiness to the top of the 1986 Berlin charts, the song – co-written by Moroder and Tom Whitlock – followed Kenny Loggins’ ‘Danger Zone’ as the second hit single from the hit soundtrack. “Top-Gun”. But after “Take My Breath Away” was nominated for Best Original Song at the 1987 Oscars, Nunn declined an offer to perform the truncated tune as part of an Oscar medley.

Kelly McGillis and Tom Cruise in
Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” became Kelly McGillis and Tom Cruise’s romantic theme song in the original “Top Gun.”
Getty Images

“I said, ‘Well, no, because if I can’t do the whole song, I won’t,'” said Nunn, who was on tour with Berlin when Lou Rawls and Melba Moore performed his song instead. “That night I watched the Oscars on TV in Taiwan. And we won.

To this day, Nunn regrets that decision. “I was just young and stupid,” she said. “That’s just stupid.”

After Berlin – which, despite its name, is actually a Los Angeles-based band – split up in the late 80s, the band reformed in 1998, and they’ve been recording and touring ever since. In fact, after a pandemic hiatus, the band are now back on the road in support of their latest album, 2019’s “Transcendence.”

Terri Nunn from Berlin
Terri Nunn’s band Berlin released their latest album, “Transcendence,” in 2019.
Louis Rodiger

And although after all this time Nunn, 62, has never had the chance to meet ‘Top Gun’ star Cruise, she had a touching encounter with McGillis about 10 years ago.

“I met Kelly McGillis in Italy while doing [an event], honoring great movie songs,” she said. “And she cried when we met. She said, “I just can’t tell you what this song means to me.” She was very moved by it. So it was great to finally meet her.

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