PRIMARY WAVE MUSIC WELCOMES THE WORKS OF ACADEMY AWARD WINNING SONGWRITER TOM WHITLOCK
TERMS OF THE DEAL WILL SEE THE PUBLISHER ACQUIRE TOM’S MUSIC PUBLISHING CATALOG INTERESTS INCLUDING COPYRIGHTS, ADMINISTRATION, AND WRITER’S SHARE
INCLUDED IN THE DEAL ARE EARNINGS FROM “DANGER ZONE”,
TOM’S HIT FROM TOP GUN AND 2022’S BOX OFFICE SMASH
TOP GUN: MAVERICK
New York, NY (June 15, 2022) – Primary Wave Music, the leading publisher of iconic and legendary music in the world, welcomes Academy Award winning songwriter Tom Whitlock to the family. The multi-million-dollar deal, which was announced today, brings all of Whitlock’s music publishing interests to the powerhouse publishing company. Included in the catalog-wide deal are earnings from the biggest hits of Whitlock’s impressive 40 plus year career including “Danger Zone” from the 1986 film Top Gun, as well as its sequel – 2022’s box office smash Top Gun: Maverick. Once again “Danger Zone” appears in the film’s opening sequence which has introduced the song to a whole new audience of fans. The song has already begun climbing the charts for a second time and has nearly 300 million streams on Spotify alone. Earnings from “Take My Breath Away” are also included in this exciting new deal, as well as many of Tom’s other hits across his incomparable career such as “Meet Me Halfway,” “Hand In Hand” and “Wings To Fly.”
“Danger Zone” was the first song written for Top Gun. The single was performed by Kenny Loggins and was also released in 1986 as the lead single off the movie’s soundtrack. It went on to drive the soundtrack’s success as one of the best-selling of all time. The second single from the soundtrack was Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away.” The song was a request from the film’s producer who needed a ballad to accompany a romantic scene in the movie. When it was released, the song shot straight to number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and went on to win the Academy Award for “Best Original Song,” as well as the Golden Globe for “Best Original Song” in 1986.
“I’m thrilled that my songs are continuing to find new audiences and pleased that my catalog will now be in the hands of a company like Primary Wave who will continue to care for my music and keep my legacy alive moving forward in time,” said Whitlock.
“We are excited to acquire the legendary catalog of renowned songwriter Tom Whitlock,” says Justin Shukat, President of Primary Wave Music. He goes on, “His classic song ‘Danger Zone’ proves that legendary songs will stand the test of time as it has found new audiences upon the release of Top Gun: Maverick. 30 years later, the song is once again climbing the charts showing the staying power of a truly iconic piece of music.”
Thomas Ross “Tom” Whitlock (born 1954) is an American songwriter and musician, best known for his Academy Award-and Golden Globe-winning song “Take My Breath Away”, from the film Top Gun, which he co-wrote with Giorgio Moroder. Tom was born and raised in Springfield, Missouri, made famous as many musicians visited the city as it hosted television show Ozark Jubilee and others, influencing Whitlock to play drums. Soon, he was a session musician working with notable composers as well as a drummer for live bands. He entered Drury University in 1971 to major in music. The university honored him as Distinguished Alumni in 1998, and with an honorary doctorate in music the following year. In 1983, Whitlock traveled to Los Angeles, California, planning to start a band there. While helping his friend at the now defunct Oasis Sound Studios, Whitlock met famed composer Giorgio Moroder and at first was just helping Giorgio around the studio. In the meantime, he studied recording with Moroder’s engineer’s and when the opportunity arose prior to the production of the Top Gun soundtrack, Moroder, knowing Whitlock was a lyricist invited him for the project. Whitlock and Moroder then went on to co-write five songs for Top Gun including “Take My Breath Away” and the Kenny Loggins hit “Danger Zone”. ASCAP shows 113 songs registered, and performed by artists such as Berlin, Bonnie Tyler, Jennifer Rush, Michael McDonald, Ray Charles, Graham Nash, Falco, and others Whitlock and Moroder had other collaborations, for the films Over the Top, American Anthem, and Rambo III, and co-wrote the official theme songs for both the 1988 Summer Olympics (“Hand in Hand”) and the 1990 FIFA World Cup (“To Be Number One”). In 2012, the Library of Congress honored Whitlock for his songwriting contributions a wonderful honor he cherishes to this day.