Sunday, September 06, 2015

Songoftheday 9/6/15 - I've been waiting for so long now I've finally found someone to stand by me...


"(I've Had) The Time Of My Life" - Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
from the album Dirty Dancing (Original Soundtrack) (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 15

Today's SOTD comes from the pairing of two veteran singers for a movie about a summer resort in the 60s, Dirty Dancing. Starring newcomers Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey along with stage veteran Jerry Orbach, the film had a makeshift Romeo/Juliet-style romance with class warfare and generation-gap conflict. It ended up an unexpected success, eventually raking in over 200 million dollars (for a movie that cost under 10 mil). Amongst the oldies commissioned for the soundtrack was the love theme, "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life", written by Franke Previte (of the rock band Franke & The Knockouts) along with John Dinicola and Donald Markowitz. Recruited to record the song was Bill Medley, formerly one-half of the 60s pop duo the Righteous Brothers, and soft-rock chanteuse Jennifer Warnes. Since the Brothers' breakup Bill had a rough go relatively, with his best-performing single "Brown-Eyed Woman" missing the top-40 in 1968 at #43. In the 80s, he switched over to country crossover-style music, scoring a top-20 country hit in 1984 with "I Still Do". Meanwhile Jennifer, who hit the pop top-10 with "Right Time Of The Night" in 1976, went all the way to the top of the Hot 100 in 1982 with another movie duet, "Up Where We Belong" with Joe Cocker. This new song, which came at the climax of the film, with the big hit to match the success of the movie...


"Time of My Life" went to #1 on the American pop chart in November of 1987, while spending a month atop Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart. Internationally, the record topped the charts in Australia, the Netherlands, and Belgium, and top-10 in the UK, Canada, Spain, and Germany. The song swept award shows, nabbing a Grammy, Oscar, and a Golden Globe.

The record would be the final solo Hot 100 hit for both Jennifer and Bill, though he would return to the top-20 again as part of the Righteous Brothers courtesy of another Swayze movie, Ghost, with "Righteous Melody". Warnes would have a few more AC hits from her 1992 album The Hunter, with the Marvin Gaye-sampling "Rock You Gently" reaching #13 on that list.

I honestly can't imagine such a pairing having this type of success with this type of song (or any type of song) in today's ageist and scandal-hungry music scene. It's quite sad, actually. Mind you, Bill then is my age now. Oofdah.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Here's the pair live on Top Of The Pops...


...and here's Bill on the Dirty Dancing tour in 1988...


British tabloid darlings Katie Price and Peter Andre pegged their way through a cover of the song in 2006...


Barry Manilow also included the track in his 80s tribute set in 2008...


But it took the show Glee to bring the song back to the charts big, reaching #38 in 2011...


In 2010, the Black Eyed Peas interpolated the song in their single "The Time (Dirty Bit)", and went to #4 in the States and #1 in the UK and a list of other countries...


And finally, here's Previte's original recording of the song, tacked on to the re-release of his band's 1981 debut album...


Up tomorrow: German/Australian new wavers celebrate Labor Day and such.

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