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(I've Had) The Time of My Life

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"(I've Had) The Time of My Life" is a 1987 song composed by Franke Previte, John DeNicola, and Donald Markowitz.[2] It was recorded by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes, and used as the theme song for the 1987 film Dirty Dancing.[2] The song has won a number of awards, including the Academy Award for Best Original Song, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, and the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.


Singer-songwriter Previte was the lead singer of the band Franke and the Knockouts. He had success with the song "Sweetheart" in 1981, but by 1986 was without a recording contract. In late 1986 or early 1987, producer and head of Millennium Records, Jimmy Ienner, asked Previte about writing some music for "a little movie called Dirty Dancing". Previte initially turned the request down because he was still trying to get a record deal,[3] but Ienner was persistent, and got Previte to write several songs for the film, including "Hungry Eyes", later recorded by singer Eric Carmen, which also became a top 10 hit.

Previte wrote the lyrics, and the music was written by John DeNicola and Don Markowitz. After getting further approval, Previte created a demo of the song, performing on it himself, along with singer Rachele Cappelli. The demo showcased how the harmonies were to be used, employing a "cold open", or a slow build-up of the song to its finale. This demo wasn't used in the final cut of the film − the more polished version with Warnes and Medley was. However, because the Warnes/Medley track was not ready by the time the finale was filmed (it was shot first, due to the tight budget), Previte and Capelli's much lighter and more youthful version was used as a backing track, so that the actors, Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, and the dancers, could have something to dance to (Swayze had later remarked it was his favorite version, even including all the subsequent remakes). The demo version finally appeared on the 1998 CD reissue of Previte's 1981 album Franke and the Knockouts, but is only listed as "Bonus Track".

The song was initially intended for Donna Summer and Joe Esposito, but Summer turned it down because she didn't like the title of the film.[4] Bill Medley was approached by Jimmy Ienner repeatedly over two months to do the recording, but he also turned it down because his daughter McKenna was due to be born, and he had promised his wife he would be there.[5] After the birth of his daughter, Medley was approached again, because Jennifer Warnes had indicated she would record the song if she could do the duet with Medley.[6] Medley then agreed to record the track. To give emotional depth to the song, Warnes had a video playback machine and footage of the final scene brought in to synchronize her singing with the movie's ending scene, particularly "the lift".[7]

The song was originally released on July 10, 1987; it was intended to be released alongside the film, but the film's producer Vestron Pictures had moved the American release date to August without notifying RCA Records. Ienner quickly edited the song from the original 6:46 to 4:50 for radio airplay.[7] With the release of the film, it became a worldwide hit, and is one of the most frequently played songs on radio.

A song by Lionel Richie was initially planned to be used as the finale of Dirty Dancing,[5] but choreographer Kenny Ortega and his assistant Miranda Garrison (who also played Vivian in the film) selected "The Time of My Life" instead.

Music video

A music video was produced for this song in October 1987. The video features several couples dancing like in the movie, and it also featured clips from it.


  • Bill Medley - vocals
  • Jennifer Warnes - lead vocal and additional backing vocals
  • Gary Herbig - saxophone solo[8]
  • Marcy Levy - backing vocals
  • Produced by Michael Lloyd
  • Arranged by Gene Page; additional arrangements by Michael Lloyd and John D'Andrea
  • Recording (at The Village Recorder) and Mix by Carmine Rubino; First engineer: Dan Nebenzal (Second engineer: Jeff DeMorris)
  • Remixed by Carmine Rubino, Dan Nebenzal, Jimmy Ienner and Michael Lloyd
  • Published by Knockout Music Inc., Jemava Music Corp., Donald Jay Music and R U Cyrius Music.

Chart performance

In the United States, the single topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart in November 1987 for one week and also reached number one on the Adult Contemporary for four weeks.[9] In the United Kingdom the song had two chart outings: in November 1987, after the film's initial release, the song peaked at No. 6;[2] in January 1991, after the film was shown on mainstream television, the song reached No. 8.[10]


In 2004 AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey placed it #86 among the top tunes in American cinema.

Formats and track listings

  • 7" single
  1. "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" (4:47)
  2. "Love Is Strange" by Mickey & Sylvia (2:52)
  • 12" maxi and CD single
  1. "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" (4:47)
  2. "In the Still of the Night" by The Five Satins (2:59)
  3. "Love Is Strange" by Mickey & Sylvia (2:53)
  4. "Overload" by Zappacosta (3:39)
  • Cassette
  1. "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" (4:47)
  2. "In the Still of the Night" by The Five Satins (2:59)
  3. "Love Is Strange" by Mickey & Sylvia (2:53)
  4. "Overload" by Zappacosta (3:39)



Sales certifications for (I've Had) The Time of My Life
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[40] Gold 35,000^
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[41] Gold 30,000double-dagger
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[42] Gold 45,000double-dagger
Italy (FIMI)[43] Gold 25,000*
Netherlands (NVPI)[44] Platinum 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[45] Platinum 20,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[46] Platinum 600,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[47] Gold 500,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Other versions

See also


  1. ^ "Annie Lennox, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, and Jennifer Warnes all deliver singer showcases". Christian Science Monitor. October 19, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 136. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  3. ^ Robert Dye (October 10, 2014). "The Times In His Life: A Q&A With Franke Previte". American Songwriter. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
  4. ^ "Lost Soundtrack Classics: "You're the Best"". 12 February 2007. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "(I've Had) The Time of My Life by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes". Song Facts.
  6. ^ Bill Medley (April 24, 2014). The Time of My Life: A Righteous Brother's Memoir. Da Capo Press. pp. 138–139. ISBN 978-0306823169.
  7. ^ a b Kring-Schreifels, Jake (20 August 2020). "How "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" Saved 'Dirty Dancing'". The Ringer. Retrieved 30 July 2021.
  8. ^ Gary Herbig Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 167.
  10. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 359. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  11. ^ "John DeNicola Bio". Archived from the original on 2016-01-14.
  12. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  13. ^ "Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes – (I've Had) The Time of My Life" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  14. ^ "Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes – (I've Had) The Time of My Life" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  15. ^ Canada, Library and Archives (17 July 2013). "Image : RPM Weekly". Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  16. ^ a b Irish Single Chart (Retrieved April 7, 2008)
  17. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  18. ^ "Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes – (I've Had) The Time of My Life" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  19. ^ "Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes – (I've Had) The Time of My Life". Top 40 Singles.
  20. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  21. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  22. ^ "Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes – (I've Had) The Time of My Life". Singles Top 100.
  23. ^ "Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes – (I've Had) The Time of My Life". Swiss Singles Chart.
  24. ^ "Bill Medley: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  25. ^ "Bill Medley Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  26. ^ "Bill Medley Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  27. ^ " – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes – (I've Had) The Time of My Life". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  28. ^ "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" (1990 issue), UK Singles Chart. Retrieved April 7, 2008.
  29. ^ a b "Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes – (I've Had) The Time of My Life" (in French). Les classement single.
  30. ^ "SloTop50: Slovenian official singles weekly chart" (in Slovenian). SloTop50. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  31. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 100. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  32. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1987/Top 100 Songs of 1987".
  33. ^ 1988 Australian Singles Chart. Retrieved July 25, 2008.
  34. ^ 1988 Austrian Singles Chart Retrieved July 25, 2008.
  35. ^ "1988 Belgian Flanders Singles Chart" (in Dutch). Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  36. ^ "Barry's Hits of All Decades Pop rock n roll Music Chart Hits".
  37. ^ "Single top 100 over 1988" (PDF) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  38. ^ "The Official New Zealand Music Chart".
  39. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1988". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  40. ^ "ARIA Top 100 Singles for 1998". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  41. ^ "Brazilian single   certifications – Bill Medley & – (I've Had) The Time Of My Life" (in Portuguese). Pro-Música Brasil. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  42. ^ "Danish single   certifications". IFPI Danmark. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  43. ^ "Italian single   certifications – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes – (I've had) The time of my life" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 22 September 2020. Select "Tutti gli anni" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "(I've had) The time of my life" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli" under "Sezione".
  44. ^ "Dutch single   certifications – J. Warnes & B. Medley – I've Had The Time Of My Life" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 22 September 2020. Enter I've Had The Time Of My Life in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  45. ^ Scapolo, Dean (2007). The Complete New Zealand Music Charts: 1966–2006. Maurienne House. ISBN 978-1-877443-00-8.
  46. ^ "British single   certifications – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warners – (I've Had) The Time Of My Life". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  47. ^ "American single   certifications – BILL MEDLEY & JENNIFER WARNES – (I'VE HAD) THE TIME OF MY LIFE". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  48. ^ "Glee Cast".
This page was last edited on 16 September 2021, at 17:35
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