Dirty Dancing (Soundtrack) – Deluxe Anniversary Edition – RCA Legacy

by | Dec 3, 2012 | Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews

Dirty Dancing (Soundtrack) – Deluxe Anniversary Edition – RCA Legacy 88725435282, 46:27 CD ****:  
Before Jennifer Grey was in Dancing with the Stars she appeared in a film that became the romantic hit of 1987 called “Dirty Dancing.”  You either know this film because you were forced to watch it by a star-struck Patrick Swayze fan or happened upon it or found there was something about this coming-of-age love story that resonated.  When I excitedly took it out of the box with other music and movie reviews my friends groaned.  Ahhh, they don’t know what they are missing.
Like The Big Chill the soundtrack is heavy on the classics (which doesn’t hurt), but also includes some newer material and even a hit song performed by the star of the film, Swayze (that went to #1 by the way).  Being that this is an “Anniversary Edition” you are probably wondering what the compelling extras are that will force you to buy this set.  First of all, the disc is contained in a very sturdy, large cardboard collectible box.  [Looking like a DVD…Ed.] Second, the box is dedicated to the memory of Patrick Swayze who succumbed to pancreatic cancer in 2009 at the age of 57.  Marketing or honest dedication?  You decide.  Alas, my cynicism is showing.  Who didn’t like Ghost?  There are six postcards depicting images of the film (mostly with Swayze and Grey) and a Dirty Dancing sticker—a 10-year old’s dream come true.  Lastly, there is about an 18-page booklet with pictures and facts about the music from the film—much of it recounting those involved and how they came to work on the project.
My guess is the reader has heard a majority of these tracks before.  After all, the album spent 18 weeks at #1, sold 42 million copies and is one of the best-selling albums of all time.  Whew…Who would have thought?  Well, there is good reason:  Although some of the songs are a bit dated; i.e. “Overload” and “Yes” there are genuine classics like The Zodiacs’ “Stay,” The Ronettes “Be My Baby,” Bruce Channel’s “Hey Baby,” Mickey & Sylvia’s “Love Is Strange” and “In The Still of the Night” by The Five Satins.  The material specifically for the film like “Hungry Eyes” and “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” were large hit songs.  Most importantly, the album not only stands alone as a solid record, when it is combined with the film it works extremely well.  “She’s Like the Wind” existed before the film, but it is as if it were written for Grey’s character.  If you were stranded on the moon and missed this one it is time to pick it up.
TrackList: (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life (Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes); Be My Baby (The Ronettes); She’s Like The Wind (Patrick Swayze); Hungry Eyes (Eric Carmen); Stay (Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs); Yes (Merry Clayton); You Don’t Own Me (The Blow Monkeys); Hey Baby (Bruce Channel); Overload (Zappacosta); Love Is Strange (Mickey & Sylvia); Where Are You Tonight (Tom Johnston); In The Still of the Night (The Five Satins).
—Brian Bloom

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