The Songs To Summarize Kenny Loggins’ Career
via Kenny Loggins/YouTube
The Soundtrack King
In the ’70s, Kenny Loggins achieved fame with Loggins and Messina – one of the most popular musical duos of the decade. They had a string of hits and sold over 16 million records. But by the ’80s and ’90s, Loggins became known as the King of Movie Soundtracks. Caddyshack, Footloose, Top Gun, Over the Top – he contributed songs to all of them. He was also part of the Philadelphia leg of Live Aid 1985.
From soft rock to children’s songs, he has done it all. Now looking back at his career spanning five decades, here are five of his best songs.
5. Whenever I Call You Friend
His first major solo hit, it’s a duet with Stevie Nicks. He wrote it with Melissa Manchester but they never got around to recording together. Speaking of the songwriting collaboration, Manchester said: “It came out of the oddity of the times – he and I kept running into each other at televised award shows, which were fairly new…We were frequently paired up to present awards together. We would meet and chat in the Green Room, and finally he asked if we could get together and write something. He came to my house one night and we polished off that song.”
4. I’m Free (Heaven Helps the Man)
This is one of the two singles Loggins contributed to the 1984 musical drama film Footloose. It didn’t crack the top 20 on the US Billboard Hot 100 but it became one of his most popular tunes. This fist-pumping soft rock number is catchy and powerful enough to make you want to listen to it a second, third, fourth time. The vocal performance is stellar too!
3. I’m Alright
An absolute fan favorite, this rousing rocker was used in the 1980 comedy film Caddyshack. You can hear it at the beginning and towards the end of the movie. After watching a rough cut of Caddyshack, Loggins drew inspiration from the character Danny Noonan. In an interview with St. Petersburg Times, he shared: “The character was trying to figure out where he fit. But at the same time he wanted people to leave him alone and let him find his own way. So I wanted to grab him and summarize that character, and that’s what ‘I’m Alright’ is doing.”
The song that spent three weeks at the top of the US Billboard Hot 100. At this point, Kenny Loggins was already a household name after scoring several hits for the past few years. With Footloose, he was propelled to another level of stardom. In 2007, Loggins revealed that of all his soundtrack hits, this is his favorite one to perform because “It’s such a lighthearted tune. It’s like doing a Chuck Berry song every night.”
1. Danger Zone
From the 1986 film Top Gun, it became one of the best-selling soundtracks of all time. There were actually several other artists (Toto, REO Speedwagon, Bryan Adams, and Corey Hart) who were approached before the producers offered it to Loggins. He’s also re-recording it for the upcoming movie Top Gun:Maverick. He spoke of the song saying, “It’s a good rock ‘n’ roll song, but I don’t think it holds up that well.”