(I've Had) The Time of My Life

"(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", 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. 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 they turned it down. 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.[4] 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.[5] Medley then agreed to record the track. 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,[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

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

Peak positions

Chart (1987–1988) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[15] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[16] 3
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[17] 1
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[18] 1
Germany (Official German Charts)[19] 5
Ireland (IRMA)[20] 5
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[21] 1
Spain (AFYVE)[22] 5
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[23] 12
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[24] 5
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[25] 6
US Billboard Hot 100[26] 1
US Billboard Adult Contemporary[26] 1
Chart (1990) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[27] 8
Chart (1991) Peak
Ireland (IRMA)[20] 17
Chart (1992) Peak
France (SNEP)[28] 5
Chart (1993) Peak
France (SNEP)[28] 48
Chart (2016) Peak
Poland (Polish Airplay Top 100)[29] 55

Year-end charts

Chart (1988) Position
Australian Singles Chart[30] 1
Austrian Singles Chart[31] 28
Belgian (Flanders) Singles Chart[32] 1
Dutch Top 40[33] 1


Country Certification Date Sales certified
Australia[34] Gold 1987 50,000
Canada[35] Gold January 12, 1988 50,000
Netherlands[36] Platinum 1988 60,000
U.S.[37] Gold February 24, 1989 500,000

See also


  1. http://www.allmusic.com/song/ive-had-the-time-of-my-life-mt0002916286
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 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. 1 2 "(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 https://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. Spata, Christopher (October 10, 2016). "Watch Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Sing 'Time of My Life' During the Presidential Debate". Complex. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  14. Ernst, Douglas (October 11, 2016). "Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton '(I've Had) The Time of My Life' debate video goes viral". The Washington Times. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  15. "Australian-charts.com – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes – (I've Had) The Time of My Life". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  16. "Austriancharts.at – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes – (I've Had) The Time of My Life" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  17. "Ultratop.be – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes – (I've Had) The Time of My Life" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  18. Canadian Top Singles peak
  19. "Offiziellecharts.de – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes – (I've Had) The Time of My Life". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  20. 1 2 Irish Single Chart Irishcharts.ie (Retrieved April 7, 2008)
  21. "Nederlandse Top 40 – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  22. Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  23. "Swedishcharts.com – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes – (I've Had) The Time of My Life". Singles Top 100.
  24. "Swisscharts.com – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes – (I've Had) The Time of My Life". Swiss Singles Chart.
  25. "(I've Had) The Time of My Life", UK Singles Chart Chartstats.com. Retrieved April 7, 2008.
  26. 1 2 Billboard charts. Allmusic.com. Retrieved September 8, 2008.
  27. "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" (1990 issue), UK Singles Chart. Chartstats.com. Retrieved April 7, 2008.
  28. 1 2 "Lescharts.com – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes – (I've Had) The Time of My Life" (in French). Les classement single.
  29. "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 100. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  30. 1988 Australian Singles Chart. aria.com. Retrieved July 25, 2008.
  31. 1988 Austrian Singles Chart Austriancharts.at. Retrieved July 25, 2008.
  32. "1988 Belgian Flanders Singles Chart" (in Dutch). ultratop.be. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  33. "Single top 100 over 1988" (PDF) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  34. . cria.ca. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
  35. Canada certifications. cria.ca. Retrieved July 25, 2008.
  36. Dutch certifications. nvpi.nl. Retrieved December 9, 2008.
  37. U.S. certifications. riaa.com. Retrieved July 25, 2008.

Song mistake/confusion

The last dance (Time of your life) is a song that comes out in 1987, yet everyone knows the words and no one seems to notice that it's a completely different genre of music (80s Pop) from that of the 1960s. It's still a great piece, just a different decade.

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