After it was released on May 27, Tom Cruise's Top Gun: Maverick had cinema-goers raving, but six-string-savvy film buffs were also wondering who was smashing those sweet electric guitar licks.
That player, as revealed by Film Music Reporter (opens in new tab), is Lexii Lynn Frazier, who joined the Top Gun: Maverick soundtrack team alongside Harold Faltermeyer, Lorne Balfe, Hans Zimmer, Chad Smith, Guthrie Govan and more high-profile names.
A prolific session player with a number of endorsements and artist collaborations under her belt, Frazier had the unenviable task of recreating and reimagining Top Gun’s goosebump-inducing, none-more-’80s lead lines, which were originally performed by Steve Stevens.
Frazier did so from the comfort of her own home – all of her guitar parts were recorded virtually in 2020 at the height of the Covid-induced lockdown.
“Last night I went to see Top Gun: Maverick for the first time and hear the guitar I remote recorded in my bedroom back in 2020 during the height of the pandemic,” Frazier wrote on Instagram. “I can’t express how grateful I am for this opportunity.
Frazier’s guitar contributions can be heard all over the Top Gun: Maverick soundtrack, most notably in the nostalgia-inducing lead lines of Main Titles (You’ve Been Called Back to Top Gun), which are revisited and extended for the reprised finale, Top Gun Anthem.
Speaking to Guitar Girl Mag (opens in new tab) in 2020, Frazier revealed she first picked up guitar when she was 12 years old after seeing Eddie Van Halen play Little Guitars. At 14, she was endorsed by PRS, and a year later was on the road touring the US with various bands.
Frazier was signed to SYCO/Sony when she turned 16, though was diagnosed with a rare life-threatening blood disorder called Severe Aplastic Anemia when she was 18. Her diagnosis meant she was forced to put her career on hold for a year to focus on her health.
Since returning to action, Frazier has racked up appearances on The Late Late Show with James Corden, The MTV TV & Movie Awards, Jimmy Kimmel! and more.
“It’s so insane to see my name amongst such incredible musicians and to hear/see it all finally come together,” she continued in her Instagram post. “Thank you so so much Lorne Balfe, Hans Zimmer and Peter [Rotter] and Queenie [Li], and congrats to everyone who worked on this incredible film. I know this is just the beginning.”
Unsurprisingly, the Top Gun: Maverick soundtrack has been hotly received. According to Billboard (opens in new tab), it shot straight into the Top 10 of its Top Album Sales and Soundtrack charts. As such, it looks like an Oscar nod might possibly be on the cards.
The Cruise-lead action film hasn't done too bad, either: it broke the $100 million mark on its opening weekend, making it the highest-opening non-superhero movie release since the pandemic began.
Joining Frazier on the soundtrack credits list was a wealth of other industry regulars, including Lady Gaga, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith – who was credited as a featured musician – and Guthrie Govan, who was listed as a score consultant.
Govan is no stranger to the world of film music, having teamed up with Oscar-winner Zimmer to play guitar on various films such as Dune, Army of Thieves and X-Men: Dark Phoenix.
Head over to Lexii Lynn's Instagram (opens in new tab) to follow her musical exploits.