Year Released: 1987

Notable Songs: “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life”, “Hungry Eyes”, “She’s Like The Wind”, “Yes”

Album MVP: “She’s Like The Wind”

Why I Loved It: Is there a song ever made more closely associated with a movie than “I’ve Had The Time Of My Life” — a  tune linked with Dirty Dancing for all of eternity?

You’ll be hard pressed to recall few moments that better symbolize the marriage between 80’s music and movies than Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey grinding on each other during the flick’s iconic ending dance scenes.

I’m not particularly proud to admit this today (who am I kidding –yeah I am) but I walked around singing ‘She’s Like The Wind” as a 16-year old to myself each time a young dame broke my heart, which sadly was more than once. Maybe that’s why it came in at No. 62 on my Favorite 100 Songs of the 80’s countdown earlier this year. Dirty Dancing pieced together a soundtrack that felt good to hear with each track landing seamlessly with the movie,  but beyond that contained three songs that could’ve easily been hits even if not included on the soundtrack.  

Commercial Success: One of the best-selling albums of 1987? The 80’s in general? Come again, pal.  This soundtrack is one of the best-selling albums of all-time.  The Dirty Dancing Soundtrack has sold more than 11 million copies in the United States alone and nearly 18 million worldwide, reportedly tied for the 13th most ever. It’s no wonder the album spent a staggering 18 weeks at number-one on the Billboard Hot 100. “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes led the way, parking itself at number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 and going on to win both a Grammy and Golden Globe for Best Original Song as well as a Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.  Patrick Swayze’s “She’s Like the Wind” peaked at number-three on the Billboard Hot 100 and finished 40th on the 1988 year-end Billboard Hot 100. “Hungry Eyes” by Eric Carmen got up to four on the Billboard Hot 100 and finished ’88 ranked 25th on the year-end chart. Of course, this album had several non-original songs on that were hits long before, including “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes and “In The Still of the Night” by the Five Satins.

Fun Facts: Val Kilmer was originally offered the lead part but turned it down, opening the door for Patrick Swayze.  Dumb move, Val.  It’s also been reported that Billy Zane was considered for the role but got passed on because he wasn’t a good dancer.  Swayze was cast as a 24-year old in the movie although he was actually 34 and likewise for Jennifer Gray, who played a 16-year old despite being 26.

One last Swayze fun fact: “She’s Like The Wind” was originally written for a 1984 film called Grandview, U.S.A., but when it wasn’t used the song ended up on Dirty Dancing. 


 100.  Van Halen – OU812 

99. Stevie Wonder – In Squared Circle

98. Taylor Dayne – Can’t Fight Fate

97. Kool & The Gang – Emergency 

96. Stevie B – In My Eyes 

95. Keith Sweat – Make It Last Forever 

94. Michael Bolton – Soul Provider 

93. Go Go’s – Beauty & The Beast 

92. LL Cool J – Bigger And Deffer (Bad) 

91. Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry 

90. Def Leppard – Hysteria

89. New Edition – Heartbreak

88. Don Henley – Building A Perfect Beast

87. Beverly Hills Cop – Movie Soundtrack

86. Culture Club – Kissing To Be Clever 

85. Rolling Stones – Tattoo You

84. Asia – Asia 

83. Tiffany – Tiffany 

82. Lionel Richie – Dancing on the Ceiling

81. Barbara Streisand – Guilty 

80. Phil Collins – …But Seriously 

79. Air Supply – The One That You Love

78. J. Geils Band – Freeze Frame

77. Duran Duran – Rio 

76. Billy Ocean – Suddenly 

75. Run DMC – Raising Hell

74. Pat Benatar – Crimes of Passion

73. John Cougar – American Fool

72. Huey Lewis and The News – Picture This

71. Top Gun – Movie Soundtrack

70. Steve Winwood – Back In The High Life

69. Air Supply – Lost In Love

68. LL Cool J – Radio

67. Journey – Frontiers 

66. Styxx – Paradise Theater

65. Madonna – Like A Prayer

64. Eric B & Rakim – Paid In Full 

63. Tears for Fears – Songs From The Big Chair

62. Tina Turner – Private Dancer 

61. Steve Nicks – Bella Donna

60. U2 – The Joshua Tree

59. Bon Jovi – New Jersey 

58. Huey Lewis and the News – Fore!

57. Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation 1814

56. Prince – 1999

55. ZZ Top – Eliminator 

54. Survivor – Vital Signs

53. New Edition – New Edition