Dirty Dancing albums and songs sales

Up until now, we have analyzed not only the Grease and High School Musical soundtracks in separate articles, but also other huge classic soundtrack-albums like Saturday Night Fever or The Bodyguard in the CSPC’s articles for both the Bee Gees and Whitney Houston, respectively. Results were pretty much fantastic in most cases, showing how big these music films can be.

105/300 - Dirty dancing

We have also noticed how dominant some classic songs can be from soundtracks in the all time lists.

Today, it is time to welcome another one of these long lasting appealing soundtracks or, more precisely in this case, a franchise: Dirty Dancing. This romantic drama dance film was originally released in 1987, achieved instant global success starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, and trascended its time to become an iconic moment in the history of cinema.

From that point of view the original soundtrack of the film was unsurprisingly a commercial smash with a bunch of classic songs, most notably (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life, and plenty of charts and sales achievements.

A follow up title saw the light of day one year later, More Dirty Dancing, to cash in on the popularity of the first film. And, of course, we also had Dirty Dancing 2 in 2004, albeit with a significantly smaller appeal.

With such a massive status it will be an interesting exercise to fully dig into this massive success and find out how it compares to some of the other aforementioned soundtracks.

ChartMasters’ method: the CSPC

As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept (CSPC) in order to relevantly gauge the act’s results. It will not only bring you sales information for all albums, physical and download singles, as well as audio and video streaming. In fact, it will really determine the act’s popularity.

If you are not yet familiar with the CSPC method, below is a nice and short video of explaining the concept. I recommend watching it before reading on and to the sales figures. You’ll get the idea in just two minutes.

And if you want to know the full method as well as formulas, you can read the full introduction article.

Now let’s get into the artist’s detailed sales figures!

Dirty Dancing original album sales

Dirty Dancing (1987)

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "dirty dancing cover"
  • America
    • US – 13,800,000
    • Canada – 1,550,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – N/A
    • Japan – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 790,000
    • New Zealand – 100,000
  • Europe – 11,640,000
    • UK – 2,925,000
    • France – 1,680,000
    • Germany – 2,600,000
    • Italy – 500,000
    • Spain – 525,000
    • Sweden – 220,000
    • Netherland – 475,000
    • Switzerland – 325,000
    • Austria – 200,000
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 29,970,000

More Dirty Dancing (1988)

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "more dirty dancing cover"
  • America
    • US – 4,800,000
    • Canada – 525,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – N/A
    • Japan – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 125,000
    • New Zealand – 15,000
  • Europe – 2,880,000
    • UK – 780,000
    • France – 200,000
    • Germany – 825,000
    • Italy – 100,000
    • Spain – 175,000
    • Sweden – 25,000
    • Netherland – 110,000
    • Switzerland – 70,000
    • Austria – 75,000
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 8,780,000

Dirty Dancing 2 (2004)

  • America
    • US – 225,000
    • Canada – 25,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – N/A
    • Japan – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 240,000
    • UK – N/A
    • France – N/A
    • Germany – 150,000
    • Italy – N/A
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – N/A
    • Netherland – N/A
    • Switzerland – 20,000
    • Austria – 15,000
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 525,000

Original Album Sales – Comments

1987 Dirty Dancing – 29,970,000
1988 More Dirty Dancing – 8,780,000
2004 Dirty Dancing 2 – 525,000

Everything considered, the level of sales achieved by the original soundtrack released in 1987 is absolutely fantastic, with almost 30 million copies sold in pure album sales which – at the same time – predictably making it one of the very best selling albums of that year, along with reaching diamond status in the USA, Canada and the equivalent of that in Europe where it accumulates sales of over 11 million units.

More modest, but highly respectable, is the cumulative tally registered by More Dirty Dancing considering that it wasn’t backed up by a second movie and relied only on the original one. With sales not that far below 9 million copies this is further proof of this franchise’s appeal.

Dirty Dancing 2 on the other hand is a different story. This was a sort of prequel to the 1987 blockbuster film reusing the basic plot of the original but centered in Havana at the time of the Cuban Revolution. A mixed number of artists participated in its soundtrack, arguably with a far more limited appeal as proven by its final sales which are barely above the 500,000 mark. A shadow of figures the first film managed.

All told, we have 39 million pure albums sales, the most obvious sales avenue for an epic seller from 1987. But as usual with our CSPC approach, definitely not the only one, so let’s see what else the Dirty Dancing franchise fueled in other formats.

Physical Singles Sales

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 3 ratio between one album and one physical single.

All of the physical singles takes us back to the first and most successful soundtrack of the three available. Four singles were released in physical form, with a clear winner emerging from this pack and an obvious one, (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life, with sales at 2,3 million. She’s Like The Wind provided this whole project with another million selling single.

This deserves some explanation. By the end of the 80s physical singles were no longer at their peak suffering from a dramatic decline in Latin America, Africa and much of Europe, including formerly big markets like Italy. Sales in the traditionally big market were comparatively better but they also had a major drop, which explains why Dirty Dancing didn’t have the same type of massive sales that Grease or Saturday Night Fever achieved during the last part of the 70s, when it wasn’t uncommon for massive singles to sell hundreds of thousands even in non-traditional markets.

Considering the above, it was quite an achievement to achieve two million sellers in such a negative context for physical singles. Hungry Eyes and Yes added a combined 880,000, resulting in a cumulative 4.2 million physical singles overall and, therefore, 1,275,000 equivalent album sales.

Dirty Dancing (1987) – 1,275,000 equivalent albums

(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life – 2,300,000
She’s Like the Wind – 1,070,000
Hungry Eyes – 710,000
Yes – 170,000

More Dirty Dancing (1988) – 0 equivalent albums

No single released

Dirty Dancing 2 (2004) – 0 equivalent albums

No single released

Orphan – 0 equivalent albums

No single released

Digital Singles Sales

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 1,5 ratio between one album and one digital single.

With digital downloads we have a reasonable perspective of its appeal in the long run and, without any surprise, (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life ends up as the most remarkable case, perhaps the only song from the soundtrack with truly strong sales in digital form. With over 2.3 million sold through this avenue, its sales are similar to those of the physical single back in the 80s, partially boosted by the Black Eyes Peas sampling the song in 2010.

The rest doesn’t look particularly strong although both She’s Like The Wind and Hungry Eyes have more than decent catalogue sales in this format with over 600,000 units each.

Dirty Dancing (1987) – 563,000 equivalent albums

(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life – 2,370,000
She’s Like the Wind – 600,000
Hungry Eyes – 680,000
Remaining tracks – 100,000

More Dirty Dancing (1988) – 4,000 equivalent albums

All tracks – 25,000

Dirty Dancing 2 (2004) – 11,000 equivalent albums

All tracks – 75,000

Orphan – 0 equivalent albums

All tracks – 0

Streaming Sales

Streaming is made up of two families – audio and video. Our CSPC methodology now includes both to better reflect the real popularity of each track. The main source of data for each avenue is respectively Spotify and YouTube. As detailed in the Fixing Log article, Spotify represents 132 million of the 212 million users of streaming platforms, while YouTube is pretty much the only video platform generating some revenue for the industry. Below is the equivalence set on the aforementioned article:

Audio Stream – 1500 plays equal 1 album unit
Video Stream – 11,750 views equal 1 album unit

Equivalent Albums Sales (EAS) = 212/132 * Spotify streams / 1500 + YouTube views / 11750

Of all the new songs, (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life appears, yet again, as the most successful and enduring song with over 90 million streams via Spotify, meaning that it won’t take long before it reaches the 100 million milestone. She’s Like The Wind and Hungry Eyes, at 38 and 57 million streams respectively on Spotify, are both in good shape and comparatively better than in the digital download avenue.

Songs highlighted in yellow are old songs released originally before the Dirty Dancing project and are therefore excluded from the soundtrack’s CSPC.

Overall, the new songs’ equivalent albums sold are almost 280,000 for the Dirty Dancing soundtrack from 1987. Whereas More Dirty Dancing gets a mere 2,770 equivalent sales once the songs in yellow are removed -counting these last songs, total equivalent albums sales add up to 144,000- and Dirty Dancing 2 gets 9,000 such sales. While Orphan tracks produced no significant results.

Full Length related record Sales

It sounds fairly logical to add together weighted sales of one era – studio album, physical singles, downloads, streams – to get the full picture of an album’s popularity. For older releases though, they also generate sales of various live, music videos and compilation albums.

All those packaging-only records do not create value, they exploit the value originating from the parent studio album of each of its tracks instead. Inevitably, when such compilations are issued, this downgrades catalog sales of the original LP. Thus, to perfectly gauge the worth of these releases, we need to re-assign sales proportionally to its contribution of all the compilations which feature its songs. The following table explains this method.

How to understand this table? If you check for example the Total Dirty Dancing line, those figures mean it sold 250,000 units worldwide. The second statistics column means all versions of all the songs included on this package add for 434,000 equivalent album sales from streams of all types in the case of the original Dirty Dancing soundtrack included inside this box set.

The second part on the right of the table shows how many equivalent streams are coming from each original album, plus the share it represents on the overall package. In this case, streaming figures tell us songs from the Dirty Dancing album released in 1987 are obviously responsible for  100% of this disc contained in the Total Dirty Dancing box set track list attractiveness. This means it generated all of the 250,000 sales generated by this box set.

Above everything we notice how the whole Dirty Dancing franchise benefited mostly from multiple box sets containing its multiple individual albums which are naturally added to each one separately, as has been the case in previous analyses.

In particular, three box sets have focused on both Dirty Dancing and More Dirty Dancing repackaged together: these were the cases of Total Dirty Dancing in 1990, Ultimate Dirty Dancing in 2003 and finally the Dirty Dancing 20th Anniversary in 2007, with sales of 250,000, 1,760,000 and 300,000 respectively, that is a comprehensive total of 2,310,000 copies added to both albums.

Full Length related records Sales – Summary

Here is the most underestimated indicator of an album’s success – the amount of compilation sales of all kinds it generated. Due to the dependency of sales of the original studio albums on these releases, they are a key piece of the jigsaw.

BONUS: Total Album (all types) Sales per Country

  • America
    • US – 19,075,000
    • Canada – 2,130,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – N/A
    • Japan – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 1,050,000
    • New Zealand – 135,000
  • Europe – 16,450,000
    • UK – 4,705,000
    • France – 2,090,000
    • Germany – 3,725,000
    • Italy – 630,000
    • Spain – 750,000
    • Sweden – 250,000
    • Netherland – 600,000
    • Switzerland – 430,000
    • Austria – 305,000
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 41,540,000

Please note that some of the countries totals may be slightly incomplete when the figure is N/A for minor releases. Countries with too much missing information to be precise enough are listed as N/A.


So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each album by Dirty Dancing achieved? Well, at this point we hardly need to add up all of the figures defined in this article!

In the following table, all categories display figures that way, e.g. in equivalent album sales. For example, singles from Dirty Dancing released in digital format sold the equivalent of 563,000 albums – 3,750,000 downloads with a 10 to 1,5 weighting.

As a reminder:

  • Studio Album: sales of the original album
  • Other Releases: sales of compilations generated thanks to the album
  • Physical Singles: sales of physical singles from the album (ratio 3/10)
  • Download Singles: sales of digital singles from the album (ratio 1,5/10)
  • Streaming: equivalent album sales of all the album tracks (ratio 1/1500 for Audio stream and 1/11750 for Video stream)

And there we have it all together in order to find out the final results. Thanks to strong results coming mostly from multiple box sets and physical singles, the Dirty Dancing soundtrack from 1987 improves its tally to reach almost 35 million equivalent album sales, almost 5 million more than its pure albums sales. While it has several classic songs, it is really (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life as the song song driving most of its ongoing popularity. A huge hit by all accounts.

More Dirty Dancing, in the same way, finishes our analysis with over 11 million equivalent album sales where it jumped from its almost 8.8 million pure album sales. As previously stated, this is quite a strong total when one thinks this follow up LP cashed in on the very same movie, in this case – as also noted in previous pages – relying much less on new and original songs and more on oldies.

Without much surprise, Dirty Dancing 2 generated virtually nothing outside its original sales with final CSPC’s sales just short of 550,000 overall.

At the end of the day the obvious winner of this franchise is the first Dirty Dancing soundtrack, which ranks amongst the biggest ever in the music industry, but well behind such classic titles as Saturday Night Fever, at 67 million; The Bodyguard, at 53,7 million; and Grease, at 52,2 million.

Taken as a whole project, the Dirty Dancing franchise generated equivalent album sales of over 46,6 million. A phenomenal success.

The following section lists its most successful songs.

As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!

Sources: IFPI, Spotify, YouTube, Chartmasters.org.

Biggest tracks – Dirty Dancing

The list of most successful songs is compiled in album equivalent sales generated by each of them. It includes the song’s own physical singles sales with a 0,3 weighting, its download and streaming sales, and with appropriate weighting too, plus its share among sales of all albums on which it is featured.

  1. 1987 – (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life [Dirty Dancing]11,270,000
  2. 1987 – Hungry Eyes [Dirty Dancing]6,400,000
  3. 1987 – She’s Like the Wind [Dirty Dancing]4,460,000

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