Harold Faltermeyer (born October 5, 1952 in Munich) is a German musician, keyboardist, composer and record producer.
He is recognized as one of the composers/producers who best captured the zeitgeist of 1980s synth-pop in film scores. Best known for the "Axel F" electronic theme for "Beverly Hills Cop" and the "Top Gun Anthem" from the soundtrack for "Top Gun" - both often imitated, highly influential instrumental hits that to some extent practically redefined action film scoring in the 80s.
As a session musician, arranger and producer, Faltermeyer has worked with several international pop stars including Donna Summer, Pet Shop Boys, Blondie, Amanda Lear, Patti LaBelle, Barbra Streisand, Glenn Frey, Laura Branigan, Billy Idol, Jennifer Rush, Alexis, Cheap Trick, Sparks, Bob Seger, Chris Thompson, and Bonnie Tyler .
He has won two Grammy Awards: the first in 1986 for Best Album of original score written for a motion picture or television special, as a co-writer of the "Beverly Hills Cop" soundtrack; and the second in 1987 for Best Pop Instrumental Performance with guitarist Steve Stevens for "Top Gun Anthem" from the soundtrack.
The highly recognizable "Axel F" theme was recorded using three instruments: a Roland Jupiter-8, a Roland JX-3P and a Yamaha DX7 and also a LinnDrum drum machine. It has been covered by numerous artists and in May 2005 a re-recording of the classic reached number one in the UK singles chart after being remixed with the Crazy Frog ringtone.
"After Tango & Cash I made a decision to go back and raise my children in Germany, where I was born", Faltermeyer said in a 2006 interview for the "Tango & Cash" soundtrack CD. From his Red Deer Studios Estate in Munich, Germany, he has continued producing hit records and soundtracks mainly for the German market.
In 2002, he went to Vienna and wrote a musical with Rainhard Fendrich, Wake Up, which played for nearly two years in Vienna's famous Raimund Theater. The following soundtrack CD employed Copy Control technology and features an orchestral ouverture as well as 16 songs.
"But now I think it's time to come back where I started from." Faltermeyer has become re-associated with his Los Angeles agency, Creative Artists Agency, and is looking forward to getting involved again in Hollywood filmscoring. Earlier in 2006, Faltermeyer crafted the in-game soundtrack music for the computer game, Two Worlds.
He's living now in Baldham nearby Munich.