Oscar-Winning Songwriter John DeNicola Re-Recorded His ‘Dirty Dancing’ Hits for ‘The Why Because’ Album (Listen)

Categories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

You know the songs of John DeNicola — even if you didn’t already know you did.

DeNicola is a co-writer for two of the most well-known songs from the 1980s, both singles on the soundtrack to the iconic film Dirty Dancing: He was part of the creative team (which also included Franke Previte) behind both “Hungry Eyes” and “(I’ve Had) the Time of My Life,” the latter of which earned him both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.

Back in October, DeNicola released a new album titled The Why Because. DeNicola’s debut solo, the collection features re-recorded versions of both of the Dirty Dancing anthems.

The music video for “Hungry Eyes,” released in July, captures the mood of the COVID-19 era, frontline workers and others wearing masks in a show of unity and mutual respect during these frustrating times:

Billboard noted that the new take on “Hungry Eyes” debuted at No. 29 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

“We wanted to show how we all can convey feelings and emotions through our eyes while keeping ourselves and others safe,” said DeNicola of the video. “We asked friends, family, musicians and front line workers to send a video of themselves with their face mask on. We are all hungry for connection and hopefully this is expressed through the video as our eyes can say so much.”

Here’s his re-working of “(I’ve Had) the Time of My Life”:

The Why Because combined the musical focus of DeNicola and a noteworthy group of musicians, including (per a news release) his singer-songwriter daughter Arwen Lewis, Mickey Madden (Maroon 5), Glen Burtnick (Styx), bluesman Zonder Kennedy and Brian Delaney (drummer with everyone from the New York Dolls to the Wu Tang Clan). Cassidy Ladden (Broadway Musical & major film actress, singer/songwriter) adds her vocal skills to John’s album.

I enjoyed recording and producing this record more than anything I’ve ever done,” said John DeNicola in a statement. “It started as a whim but as it took shape it became clear that I do have a perspective that’s different from others who’ve done my songs. I was lucky enough to enlist some incredibly talented friends yet also play most of the instruments—which was a ton of fun, locking myself in my studio with guitars, keyboards, drums, sitar, marimba. Most of all it was great to ‘find my voice’ as an artist after years of getting into other artists’ heads.”

Stream the album below, via Spotify:


Related Posts