(I've Had) The Time of My Life

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"(I've Had) The Time of My Life"
Single by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
from the album Dirty Dancing
B-side "Love Is Strange"
by Mickey & Sylvia
Released September 1987
Format 7" single, 12" maxi,
cassette, CD single
Recorded 1987
Genre Soft rock, Adult contemporary[1]
Length 4:47 [LP & Single Version]
6:46 [Extended]
Label RCA Records
Writer(s) John DeNicola,
Donald Markowitz,[2]
Franke Previte
Producer(s) Michael Lloyd
Music video
(I've Had) The Time Of My Life on YouTube
Alternative cover
7" - U.S.

"(I've Had) The Time of My Life" is a 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 an Academy Award for "Best Original Song", a Golden Globe Award for "Best Original Song" from Golden Globe, and a 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 and had success with the song "Sweetheart" in 1981, but by 1986 was without a recording contract to any label. Around late 1986-early 1987, producer and head of Millennium Records Jimmy Ienner asked Previte about writing some music for "a little movie called Dirty Dancing", but initially turned him down because he was still trying to get a record deal.[3] But Ienner was persistent and got him to write several songs for the film (which also included "Hungry Eyes", which was later recorded by singer Eric Carmen and also became a top 10 hit).

The music was written by John DeNicola and Don Markowitz, and Previte wrote the lyrics. After getting further approval, he created a demo for it and sang on it himself with singer Rachele Cappelli, showcasing how the harmonies were to be used, employing a "cold open", or a slow buildup of the song to its finale. This demo was never used as the final cut in the film, but the final polished version with Warnes and Medley was used. However, since the final version was not ready by the filming of the finale (which was actually filmed first, due to the tight budget), Previte and Capelli's much lighter and 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 of all of the subsequent remakes since). The demo version finally appeared on the 1998 CD reissue of his 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 it was turned down.[citation needed] Bill Medley was approached repeatedly by Jimmy Ienner for two months to do the recording, but he also turned it down because his daughter McKenna was due to be born and he promised his wife he would be there.[4] After his daughter was born, Medley was approached again, as Jennifer Warnes had indicated she would record the song if she could do the duet with Medley.[5] Medley then agreed to do the recording, and with the release of the film has become one of the most played songs on the radio and became a worldwide hit.

A song by Lionel Richie was initially planned to be the finale song for Dirty Dancing,[4] 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[edit]

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.

Chart performance[edit]

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.[6] 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.[7]


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

Cover versions and samples[edit]

Track listings[edit]

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)
  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)

Charts and sales[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/song/ive-had-the-time-of-my-life-mt0002916286
  2. ^ a b c d e 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. 
  4. ^ a b "(I've Had) The Time of My Life by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes". Song Facts. 
  5. ^ Bill Medley (April 24, 2014). The Time of My Life: A Righteous Brother's Memoir. Da Capo Press. pp. 138–139. ISBN 978-0306823169. 
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 167. 
  7. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 359. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  8. ^ "John DeNicola Bio". 
  9. ^ Best of Mundart and Duets, track listings and charts Lescharts.com (Retrieved July 25, 2008)
  10. ^ Sam Milby and Toni Gonzaga--I've had the time of my life Cover http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRABcfKRnLQ&feature=related
  11. ^ "Retrieved 7 January 2014". Kalahari.com. 2011-09-20. Retrieved 2014-03-20. 
  12. ^ iTunes - Music - Kerry Ellis by Kerry Ellis
  13. ^ a b c d e f "(I've Had) The Time of My Life", in various singles charts Lescharts.com (Retrieved April 7, 2008)
  14. ^ "Canadian Singles Chart from Nanda Lwin; Top 40 Hits: The Essential Chart Guide (2000)"
  15. ^ "De Nederlandse Top 40, week 3, 1988". Archived from the original on 20 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-16. 
  16. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche". musicline.de. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  17. ^ a b Irish Single Chart Irishcharts.ie (Retrieved April 7, 2008)
  18. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  19. ^ "(I've Had) The Time of My Life", UK Singles Chart Chartstats.com. Retrieved April 7, 2008.
  20. ^ a b Billboard charts. Allmusic.com. Retrieved September 8, 2008.
  21. ^ "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" (1990 issue), UK Singles Chart. Chartstats.com. Retrieved April 7, 2008.
  22. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 100. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  23. ^ 1988 Australian Singles Chart. aria.com. Retrieved July 25, 2008.
  24. ^ 1988 Austrian Singles Chart Austriancharts.at. Retrieved July 25, 2008.
  25. ^ "1988 Belgian Flanders Singles Chart" (in Dutch). ultratop.be. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  26. ^ "Single top 100 over 1988" (PDF) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  27. ^ [1]. cria.ca. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
  28. ^ Canada certifications. cria.ca. Retrieved July 25, 2008.
  29. ^ Dutch certifications. nvpi.nl. Retrieved December 9, 2008.
  30. ^ U.S. certifications. riaa.com. Retrieved July 25, 2008.