FLYING’s Top Gun: Maverick Music Playlist

FLYING curates a special music playlist surrounding the release of Top Gun: Maverick, celebrating the franchise and honoring U.S. Navy aviators.

[Courtesy: Skydance Media]

Friday’s release of Top Gun: Maverick got us thinking about mood music for pilots and others who enjoy listening to a few tunes while aviating—what a great opportunity to curate a special music playlist. 

Naturally, our FLYING Top Gun playlist includes music from the original Top Gun movie soundtrack as well as songs from the new film. For fun, we’ve also added music that references actors, characters, aircraft, and situations from the franchise. 

While the 1986 soundtrack featured Berlin and Kenny Loggins, the sequel updates the tone with 21st century superstars.

“This album continues the musical legacy that the original Top Gun ignited back in 1986,” producer Jerry Bruckheimer said in a news release. “We are so thrilled to have Lady Gaga and OneRepublic lend their artistry towards putting a modern spin on the already iconic and beloved soundtrack.”

In the new film, Tom Cruise reprises his original role as U.S. Navy fighter pilot Pete Mitchell—call sign Maverick. Decades after he attended the Navy’s elite fighter jet training school nicknamed “TOPGUN,” Maverick finds himself training a detachment of “TOPGUN” graduates for a specialized mission. 

Maverick also encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (call sign Rooster), played by Miles Teller. Rooster is the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka Goose. 

Just like the original, which featured characters with call signs like Iceman, Jester, Viper, and Hollywood, the new film includes characters nicknamed Phoenix, Cyclone, Warlock, Payback, Fanboy, and Coyote. Our playlist reflects some of these characters—and yes, there actually is a song titled Kelly McGillis.


Thom is a former senior editor for FLYING. Previously, his freelance reporting appeared in aviation industry magazines. Thom also spent three decades as a TV and digital journalist at CNN’s bureaus in Washington and Atlanta, eventually specializing in aviation. He has reported from air shows in Oshkosh, Farnborough and Paris. Follow Thom on Twitter @thompatterson.

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