‘Dirty Dancing’ reduced, reused, recycled

By Katie Finlon

What do Pitbull and Patrick Swayze have in common?

I’ll give you a hint: It’s a movie.

About a month ago, I was listening to the new Pitbull song, “Back in Time.” While jamming to that and driving, I recognized this hook: “Baby, oh baby, my sweet baby, you’re the one.”

Why did it sound familiar? It bothered me for a good three miles — where have I heard that line before?

Then it came screaming back to me: Jennifer Grey lip-syncing “Love is Strange” to Swayze in Dirty Dancing.

After this realization, I said to myself, “What is with recording artists incorporating things from Dirty Dancing?” Think about it: The Black Eyed Peas used the chorus from “Time of my Life,” the final dance song, in their song “The Time.”

I’ll be fair — it’s not just Dirty Dancing that seems to be revisited by the music industry. Remember when Inception came out in theaters, and almost everything under the sun seemed to reference it, including top 20 radio hits?

Off the top of my head, I can think of “Get On The Floor” by J Lo and “Just Can’t Get Enough” by the Black Eyed Peas.

Also, while we’re at it — why, Rihanna? Why would you use the chord progression from Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” in one of your songs?

It is a little unnerving that music on the radio is just based on previous ideas. Even when Vanilla Ice released his “Ice Ice Baby” single, he faced legal charges for using the main theme of Queen and David Bowie’s “Under Pressure.”

Regardless, I’m just impressed by how much various pop culture artforms can so heavily influence one another.

Whether it’s one song paving the way for another or a highly-regarded 1980s movie inspiring modern pop stars, it’s amazing how influential and timeless art can be.