I Ve Had The Time Of My Life

The ‘Dirty Dancing’ Soundtrack: diez Things friend Didn’t Know

Learn exactly how the musical companion to un movie no one believed in became uno multi-platinum Number One smash


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Bill Medley, ns surviving fifty percent of the Righteous Brothers, quiet recalls that moment he saw the nuevo York workplaces of RCA records in 1988. Medley to be escorted into ns spacious room with a wall fully lined con platinum album plaques. “My God,” Medley says. “It was Number One all over the world. Y they offered me all of those awards. I gave few of them out as Christmas presents.”

The album was los soundtrack come Dirty Dancing, released ns previous August. Multi-platinum blockbuster albums, a rarity in today’s música business, were regularmente occurrences in the Eighties: Thriller, Appetite for Destruction, violet Rain, Faith, Born in the U.S.A. Yet none to be quite like Dirty Dancing. Los soundtrack to uno low-budget movie starring largely unknown leading actors (Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey), ns album should have actually been the final thing any teenager would have actually wanted to buy in 1987: that was ns hodgepodge that early-Sixties oldies, Latin instrumentals and new material by veteran plot (Medley, Eric Carmen, los Doobie Brothers’ Tom Johnson) who hadn’t had Top cuarenta hits in years.


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Yet Dirty Dancing, both ns movie and the album, went on to become pop-culture juggernauts. The película would gross an ext than $200 million. Y in stats that are unimaginable these days, the album would sell 11 million copies y cling to the Number One point out on los Billboard album chart for over four months. “It was uno freight train,” recalls music encargado Michael Lloyd, that by then had racked increase hits with Belinda Carlisle, ns Osmonds, Shaun Cassidy y others. “It was ‘Are you kidding me?’ It to be unstoppable.” really to that phrase, ns album begat a sequel soundtrack, uno tour, another película (2004’s Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights), a 20th-anniversary deluxe-edition soundtrack, and a recent, mostly forgettable TV-musical remake.

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The hits from the album – Medley and Jennifer Warnes’ “(I’ve Had) los Time of my Life,” Carmen’s “Hungry Eyes,” Swayze’s “She’s Like the Wind” y the Contours’ 1962 “Do you Love Me,” given ns second wind by los soundtrack – will certainly be familiar to anyone who listened to pop radio in the Eighties. However here are diez things you may not have actually known about one that the last of the blockbuster albums.

1. There almost wasn’t ns soundtrack album.Although it’s difficult to imagine a hora when Swayze wasn’t ns marquee name, such was ns case once Lloyd y album executive, management producer palanqueta Ienner began los process of rounding up artists for los soundtrack. “The movie to be being do by un new company that cuales one had actually heard of and the stars weren’t large stars, so i couldn’t gain anybody to song on it,” states Lloyd. Lloyd states he approached Donna Summer y Lionel Richie for “(I’ve Had) the Time of mine Life”; lock passed, as did Daryl Hall y Kim Carnes. “I went through all this people, and they stated no,” Lloyd says. “I didn’t blame castle – it was tough to imagine that this would have been other special.” come flesh el fin the album, Ienner rotate to ns likes of canadian singer-guitarist Alfie Zappacosta, that wrote and cut “Overload” for $2,000. “Back then you had all the michael McDonalds y Kenny Logginses doing every those song on soundtracks,” claims Zappacosta. “This one had ns minimal budget.”

2. Medley said cuales – and later readjusted his mind.When Ienner reached fuera to him, Medley states he was initially skeptical. Based on the title, the thought los movie sounded favor “a negative porno.” “Then me gustaría said, ‘Who’s in it?’ and he said Patrick Swayze y Jennifer Grey,” states Medley, “and me gustaría said, ‘Who’s that?"” con his mam expecting uno baby any day, y the record session collection for nuevo York, the naranja County–based Medley choose out. Warnes to be almost ns no-go together well: delaware hearing ns demo of los song, her friend said, “I hope they’re paying you un lot the money for this.” Warnes had un few doubts many thanks to ns credits: “It was ns first tiempo I’d accepted uno song composed by three people. That was usually a red flag.”


After more significant acts choose out, Ienner y Lloyd kept returning to Medley: “Jimmy would call every couple of days: ‘Has she had the baby?’ He to be saying, ‘You’re the voice of ns Sixties!’ the was more than likely blowing smoke up my ass.” however when the session was relocated to L.A. – and when Medley learned he to be singing con Warnes – he readjusted his mind. (Medley’s infant – now los adult McKenna Medley – now sings the song with her dad as part of current las vegas residency with a nuevo version of the Righteous hermanos with Bucky Heard.)

3. Medley y Warnes were an alleged to represent adult execution of Johnny y Baby, Swayze y Grey’s respective characters.Recalls Medley, “I’m kind of claimed to be Swayze on ns record, y Jennifer’s voice type of to the right Jennifer Grey’s character. Palanqueta really knew what he was doing.” to connect with those personalities as much as possible, Medley and Warnes recorded the song together while footage representar the movie to be played in the studio. “We sang to every other y to the movie,” Warnes says. “When he raised her up in the air, identificación knew it had actually to it is in joyful, y that’s why there’s a verdadero spirit and joy in the vocals. That’s no fake. Us were having a good time.”

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4. Los desperation for new cosas resulted in ns inclusion the Swayze’s “She’s Like los Wind.”As ns album was nearing completion, states Lloyd, “We were searching for songs y Patrick said, ‘I have un song we could do,’ and we said, ‘Bring it on,"” states Lloyd. “It worked fuera de perfectly, as if it were created for the movie.” to be he skeptical of an emitir wanting to sing among his own tunes? “If identificación could provide people uno tip,” states Lloyd, “it would certainly be: Don’t be ns superficial juicio of something.”

5. Part of ns musicians on los album knew nothing about ns movie.

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Zappacosta, that hadn’t seen the movie or read uno script once he reduced “Overload,” wasn’t los only one in los dark. Johnston, who was still uno year away desde hooking regreso up with los reunited Doobie Brothers, was asked by uno friend to record uno soundtrack tune at ns remote estudio in Louisiana. “It was uno paper-mill town that simply reeked,” he laughs. “But i said, ‘Why not?"” choose Medley y others, Johnston was shocked when ns soundtrack became ns sensation. “I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding,"” the recalls. “But chicks loved the movie. I got a nuevo BMW el fin of it. Pretty sweet deal.”


6. The songs in ns movie don’t constantly sound ns same as on the album.Thank the movie’s setting, 1963, for that. “We needed different mixes for the film and record,” Ienner recalled in los book Risky Business: piedra in Film. “For example, ns guitars to be dropped way abajo for the film because guitars weren’t uno dominant instrument espalda then – saxophones were. Us took fuera de the synthesized stuff y replaced it with organ in the película versions.”

7. Motown singer mary Wells to be intended to sing “Yes.”Best recognized for “My Guy,” Wells was hired come record the song, however when she arrived at the studio to cut it, she was plagued con a horrible cold and, come Lloyd’s shock, immediately left: “Now I’ve obtained this with cuales one to sing it,” that recalls. One of los backup singers on los soundtrack was los legendary merry Clayton (featured in the 2013 doc20 Feet representar Stardom), that agreed to to fill in. Los similarity in their names came in handy, states Lloyd: “The producers were searching for anyone with uno ‘name,’ and I assumed they wouldn’t notification – one’s Mary and one’s Merry!” ns track stayed.

8. “(I’ve Had) ns Time of my Life” practically bombed.The individual was reserved for release quickly before ns movie – but when the movie to be delayed an extra month, the song to be left el fin to dry y wilted on los charts. “It dropped off the charts,” claims Lloyd. “We to be at un party delaware a screening of ns movie y Jimmy and I to be standing there y they were saying, ‘So what space you going come put el fin as the siguiente single?’ It was like, ‘Oh, mine gosh."”

But once los movie to be released, the song, featured in ns crowd-pleasing run scene con Swayze y Grey, quickly took off. “I had actually just done uno duet with Gladys Knight for Cobra,” claims Medley, “and me gustaría was on the road with the Righteous Brothers and the DJ presenting us one day said, ‘They’re playing hell fuera of your song!’ me gustaría said, ‘What song?’ the said, ‘That track with los girl.’ y I stated ‘Gladys Knight?’ By los time we acquired off ns road about dos weeks later los song was Number One all gastos generales the world.” to this day, Lloyd states he has actually not heard from any of the música pop acts who passed ~ above it: “I’ve bumped into uno couple the them gastos generales the years, and there’s never ns mention the it. I’ve never brought it up.”


9. Warnes felt negative for Medley’s previous partner Bobby Hatfield.

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When “(I’ve Had) ns Time of mine Life” broke out, it had been gastos generales a dozen la edad since Medley y Bobby Hatfield, his original partner in los Righteous Brothers, had had a hit together. “I worried un lot around Bobby’s feelings,” Warnes says. “The tune featured uno guy y a girl, so the couldn’t have been that anyway, yet when it took off, me gustaría thought uno lot around Bobby. He to be unhappy throughout that period and it made that unhappier.” Warnes says Hatfield to be “very generous” with praise once she witnessed him, however the historia was an dissatisfied one to los end: In 2003, shortly before ns Righteous hermano show in Michigan, Hatfield was uncovered dead in his hotel room.

10. During the Dirty Dancing tour in 1988, Medley had to be cautious when singing his Righteous hit, “You’ve shed That Lovin’ Feelin’.”To capitalize on the movie, a Dirty Dancing roadway show, special Medley, Carmen, the Contours y Ronnie Spector, hit the road. At ns shows, Medley experienced for himself ns movie’s wide-ranging fan base, from teenagers to your parents. “Here’s the odd thing about that,” the recalls. “I’m increase there singing ‘Lovin’ Feelin” in my part of ns show and I’m looking fuera there and there room all these 13- or 14-year-old girls singing along because of peak Gun. i called mine manager y said, ‘What los hell do i do? girlfriend can’t jugar to kids if you’re singing uno love song.’ that said, ‘Play to los moms y take ns money y run.’ identificación had never confronted anything favor that before. Type of cool yet kind of unusual.”