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Album: Dirty Dancing SoundtrackReleased: 1987Charted:
Look for a musical interlude about an hour into many movies - especially romantic comedies - which is when audiences start to tire of dialogue. In the movie Dirty Dancing, this song provided the soundtrack to Jennifer Grey's undercover dance lessons with Patrick Swayze. The song was not only a key piece of the movie, but helped the soundtrack sell over 48 million copies worldwide.
Eric Carmen is best known as one of the founding members of The Raspberries and writer of "All By Myself," "Almost Paradise" (Ann Wilson and Mike Reno) and other hits of his own like "Make Me Lose Control." This is one of the few songs Eric recorded that he did not write. He was asked to do it by his old Raspberries producer Jimmy Ienner, who was the musical director for Dirty Dancing.
This song was co-written by John DeNicola and Franke Previte, who also wrote another huge hit from Dirty Dancing
, "(I've Had) The Time of My Life
." Previte was the singer and DeNicola was the bass player in the '80s Pop group Franke & the Knockouts, who had a hit with "Sweetheart." The group recorded for Millennium Records, which was helmed by Jimmy Ienner, who asked Franke for songs when he was producing the Dirty Dancing
soundtrack. Previte told us: "Jimmy had closed his label and 'Hungry Eyes' was a song on my demo reel, because I was trying to get a new recording contract. No one thought the song had a chance. I guess history proves them wrong."
Eric Carmen said of recording this song: "At the point when that happened, I had moved back from Los Angeles to Ohio and decided to concentrate on being a songwriter. I had become disillusioned with the idea of being an artist. I only learned to sing because I had to. I never really liked my voice, and I still don't really. So I decided I'd just be a songwriter. I'd be in Ohio and have a normal life. One day, my former producer, Jimmy Ienner, called and said he was working on the film Dirty Dancing. He had this one song, and he thought I was the guy to sing it. He sent the tape. It sounded like Air Supply with Led Zeppelin's drummer. It was very strange. But through it, you could hear there was actually a pretty good song in there somewhere. The next thing I knew, Dirty Dancing sold 15 million albums, and all of a sudden, I was a performer again."
On September 8, 2010, the original demo of this song will be released as part of the collection Dirty Dancing: The Original Demos, which will raise money for the Patrick Swayze Pancreas Cancer Resarch Foundation at Stanford University.