(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
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. In 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

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

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

  • In 2003, the top 11 contestants of the first season of Canadian Idol performed it as a group number during the season finale.
  • The song was covered in 2004 by Carmen & Piero and their version features on Best of Mundart and Duets.[9]
  • Taylor Hicks and Katharine McPhee performed a version as their final duet during the fifth-season finale of American Idol in 2006.
  • The song was covered in 2006 by British glamour model Katie Price and her then-husband, pop singer Peter Andre. The track is included on their 2006 album of duets A Whole New World.
  • In 2007, the song was performed by British girl group Girls Aloud on their concert The Greatest Hits Tour (Girls Aloud)
  • The 2007 compilation Over The Rainbow featured a cover of the song by Jermaine Jackson and R&B/dance music singer Jocelyn Brown.
  • Barry Manilow covered the song on his 2008 album of cover songs, The Greatest Songs of the Eighties.
  • The song appeared on the Fox series Glee in the second season episode "Special Education". It was sung by Quinn (Dianna Agron) & Sam (Chord Overstreet) as the opening ballad at Sectionals. It is also featured on the soundtrack Glee: The Music, Volume 4.
  • Sam Milby and Toni Gonzaga covered this song on their 2009 album Love Duets.[10]
  • In 2009, Namibian singer Nianell and South African singer Dozi included a version on their duet covers album "It Takes Two".[11]
  • In 2010, The Black Eyed Peas sampled the chorus in their song, "The Time (Dirty Bit)" (from the album The Beginning), with the line "Yes, I swear it's the truth" changed to, "And I swear this is true".
  • The song's original recording is a regular staple at live shows of the Norwegian electro rock band, Datarock, and is frequently performed as a sing-along by band and audience.
  • In 2011, Kris Lawrence and Kyla record their version for the show Time of My Life as the show's theme song.
  • The song has also been used as a commercial jingle for Sandals Resorts.
  • German jazz-metal band Panzerballett covered this song in their 2012 album Tank Goodness.
  • This song was covered by the Strictly Come Dancing band and singers, led by David Arch, in 2012, as the backing for gymnast Louis Smith and professional dancer Flavia Cacace's salsa in week 3 and the first part of the final.
  • In the Major Crimes episode There's No Place Like Home, a suspect's alibi was that he was doing the song karaoke. The Major Crimes squad watched his performance for a minute but quickly shut it off when the suspect started dancing. At the end of the episode, the credits were played over a scene of the man singing and dancing to the song with a partner rather than the regular black screen.
  • In 2014, the song was recorded by Kerry Ellis and Joe McElderry for Ellis' self-titled album.[12]
  • In 2015, on the 21th season of U.S reality/competition show Dancing with the stars wildlife expert Bindi Irwin and her dance partner Derek Hough danced the rumba to it on week 6 and got the highest score of the night.
  • In 2016, Jodie Sweetin and Macy Gray covered the song in the third episode of Fuller House Funner House while Candace Cameron Bure and Andrea Barber danced to "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" in the same episode.

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)
  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

See also


  1. http://www.allmusic.com/song/ive-had-the-time-of-my-life-mt0002916286
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 136. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Robert Dye (October 10, 2014). "The Times In His Life: A Q&A With Franke Previte". American Songwriter.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "(I've Had) The Time of My Life by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes". Song Facts.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 167.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 359. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "John DeNicola Bio".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. iTunes - Music - Kerry Ellis by Kerry Ellis
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 "(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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. 17.0 17.1 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "(I've Had) The Time of My Life", UK Singles Chart Chartstats.com. Retrieved April 7, 2008.
  20. 20.0 20.1 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. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "Single top 100 over 1988" (PDF) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 22 September 2010. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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.