If you were alive in the 1980s, The Dirty Dancing soundtrack was packed with great songs the whole way through, such that you could listen to all of the songs and not have to “skip” some.
So, I’m excited to share with you that Legacy Recordings has released “Dirty Dancing: The Deluxe Anniversary Edition,” which contains the original 12-song album from 1987, along with new bonus features, including the package’s dedication to the movie’s star, the late Patrick Swayze (1952-2009). The image-driven CD booklet contains six ready-to-frame art cards showing iconic images from the movie, plus a newly-designed bumper sticker. Fans also voted on the CD cover image from four images proposed by Legacy, and overwhelmingly chose to retain the original “Lift” image.
“From the birth, 25 years ago,” writes executive producer Jimmy Ienner, “to the never-ending success of the movie and the soundtracks, I’m very proud of all my great producers and the extremely talented artists that contributed so much to the very satisfying rollercoaster ride called Dirty Dancing. I’m also very indebted to anyone involved in any way on the music and the film sides of this wonderful journey. Lastly, but no less important, to the devoted fans around the world for the unbelievable continued support. Keep carrying the watermelons and enjoying the lifts.”
The accompanying booklet includes behind-the-scenes liner notes written by the song producers, starting with Jimmy Ienner. The stellar producers themselves then offer their own thoughts, including:
• Eric Carmen, singer and producer of “Hungry Eyes”;
• Leon Medica, producer of “Where Are You Tonight?” (sung by Tom Johnston);
• Alfie Zappacosta, singer and producer of “Overload”; and
• Michael Lloyd, producer of “She’s Like the Wind” (written and sung by Patrick Swayze), “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” sung by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes, and “Yes” sung by Merry Clayton;
(Note: Eric Carmen and Zappacosta served double duty as both producers and performers of their respective tracks.)
2012 marks the 25th anniversary of Dirty Dancing, named one of the Top 10 Date Movies of all time by an E! Entertainment Television poll, with worldwide box office sales of more than $214 million since its opening in 1987. Worldwide CD sales of the best-selling original RCA soundtrack album are in excess of 42 million copies, 11-times RIAA platinum in the U.S. alone.
The Dirty Dancing soundtrack album soared on the wings of the original chart hits “Hungry Eyes” (Billboard Hot 100 #4); “She’s Like the Wind” (Hot 100 #3); and the Grammy®, Oscar, and Golden Globe Award-winning “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” (Hot 100 #1). Those three songs were among the six original new songs produced for the soundtrack album, which spent an astounding 96 weeks on the Billboard 200 albums chart spanning 1987-’88-’89, including 18 weeks at #1. The other four original tracks are:
• “Yes” performed by Merry Clayton (produced by Michael Lloyd);
• “Overload” performed, co-written and produced by Zappacosta; and
• “Where Are You Tonight?” performed by Tom Johnston.
The Dirty Dancing soundtrack album also included five well-chosen pop classics that were featured in the movie. Those five hits, all dating from the 1950s and ’60s, are:
• “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes (Hot 100 #2, 1963);
• “Stay” by Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs (Hot 100 #1, 1960);
• “Hey Baby” by Bruce Channel (Hot 100 #1, 1962);
• “Love Is Strange / Mickey & Sylvia (Hot 100 #11, 1957); and
• “In The Still Of The Night” by the Five Satins (Hot 100 #24, 1956).
The final track was recorded by former RCA group the Blow Monkeys from England, their cover of Lesley Gore’s 1964 hit, “You Don’t Own Me.”
A cornerstone of ’80s pop culture, Dirty Dancing reflected back on the early-’60s culture of summer vacation life at a resort in New York’s Catskill Mountains (although it was filmed on location in Virginia and North Carolina). With its heavenly mix of generation gap melodrama, well-programmed rock, R&B, Latin and pre-disco music, coming-of-age sexuality among its teens, and of course plenty of laughs and “dirty dancing,” the movie has stood the test of time over the last quarter-century.
Just in case you don’t know, Dirty Dancing starred 27-year old Jennifer Grey (in only her sixth movie role, her follow-up to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in 1986) as young, naive “Baby” Houseman; 25-year old Patrick Swayze (only four years into his movie career, in between Red Dawn, which co-starred Grey, and Steel Dawn) as the sultry dance instructor Johnny Castle; and veteran character actor Jerry Orbach (four years before he began his 13-year stint on “Law & Order”) as Baby’s father, Dr. Jake Houseman.