15 things you might not know about the Ghostbusters theme song

Four men stand shoulder to shoulder in matching grey coveralls. They all hold devices that have electrical impulses blasting out from them.

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For 32 years, almost everyone has learned the answer to the age-old question: "Who you gonna call?" The iconic theme song for the 1984 film Ghostbusters was written and performed by Detroit artist Ray Parker Jr., and has undoubtedly become his biggest hit. The menacing, upbeat number took on a life of its own after the release of the movie, and lines from the track, including "I ain't afraid of no ghosts," have found a permanent place in pop culture history — including references in American Dad and Anchorman 2 .

A new Ghostbusters film, starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon, will hit theatres tomorrow and while that film boasts its own new version of the theme song , we wanted to take a look back at the original. Here are 15 facts about Ray Parker Jr.'s original Ghostbusters theme.

1. The song was a number 1 hit

Two months after the release of the film, "Ghostbusters" reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on Aug. 11, 1984. It stayed at the top of the chart for three weeks.

2. Lindsey Buckingham almost wrote the theme

Rumour has it that the Fleetwood Mac singer and guitarist was approached to write the theme, but he passed on it. Buckingham didn't want to be pegged as a soundtrack artist as he had already written a song for National Lampoon's Vacation the year before.

3. Parker Jr. was 'sort of retired' when he was approached to write this song

Before Ghostbusters , Parker Jr. made a name for himself with a number of hits including " The Other Woman " and " I Still Can't Get Over Loving You " but he had, according to his interview with HLN (below), "sort of retired because my parents had gotten sick." But, he later went to Los Angeles to work with New Edition on the band's song "Mr. Telephone Man" and it was there that Parker Jr. was approached by a friend at Columbia Pictures to write for the Ghostbusters soundtrack.

4. Clive Davis didn't want Parker Jr. to write the theme song

Davis, the founder of Arista Records, was not crazy about the idea of having his artist write the theme song for a film about ghosts. In an interview with Screen Crush , Parker Jr. revealed: "All of my songs are romance songs, so in Clive's defense, we had built an entire career …of me singing to girls. So, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, Clive gets a phone call and I'm singing about a ghost. So, he just thought that was a little strange."

5. There were a lot of theme songs submitted

Before Parker Jr. signed on to write the theme song, Columbia Pictures went through roughly 60 songs that were submitted, and they didn't like any of them.

6. It was supposed to be a short clip, not a full song

When Parker Jr. originally signed on to write music for the film, he was told the theme would only be "20 to 25 seconds long," to soundtrack a scene in the library. When he was told to turn the snippet into a full song, he used a tape machine to splice together a four-minute track.

7. Parker Jr. had a very short deadline

He only had approximately two-and-a-half days to write this song but luckily for him, " Everything just went perfectly. "

8. A TV commercial inspired Parker Jr. to write the theme

According to reports, Parker Jr. had trouble writing the Ghostbusters theme until he saw a commercial on TV that inspired him to write an advertisement jingle, which explains the slogan-like refrain, "Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!"

9. The music video included 12 famous cameos

In addition to the Ghostbusters stars Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson and Harold Ramis, the music video for "Ghostbusters" featured cameos of actors shouting "Ghostbusters!" inside a neon frame. These guests were Carly Simon, John Candy, George Wendt, Jeffrey Tambor, Melissa Gilbert, Al Franken, Peter Falk, Teri Garr, Danny DeVito, Chevy Chase, Irene Cara and Ollie E. Brown. None of the actors were paid to appear in the video, instead they were all favours asked by director Ivan Reitman. In fact, the crew made an impromptu visit to the set of John Candy's film Brewster's Millions to get his shot.

10. Parker Jr. almost became an Oscar winner

"Ghostbusters" was nominated for best original song at the 1985 Academy Awards, but lost to Stevie Wonder's "I Just Called to Say I Love You," a song from the 1984 romantic comedy The Woman in Red .

11. Huey Lewis sued Parker Jr. over this song

Lewis was another artist who turned down the opportunity to work on the Ghostbusters theme, but when Parker Jr.'s song came out, Lewis sued for the track's similarities to his song "I Want a New Drug," which was released earlier that same year. The lawsuit was settled out of court but in 2001, Lewis revealed in an interview with VH1's Behind the Music that Columbia Pictures paid Lewis a settlement. Parker Jr. quickly sued Lewis for breaking his confidentiality agreement from that case.

12. It's been covered by a number of artists

Along with thousands of renditions that can be found on YouTube today, artists such as Conor Oberst , Kasabian and Hoobastank (remember Hoobastank?) have covered the Ghostbusters theme.

13. Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig have also put their own spin on the theme

As a joke, McCarthy and Wiig, two stars of the new Ghostbusters , came up with a folk version of the theme song as a way to enrage sexist online trolls who criticized the film's casting of female leads. McCarthy and Wiig were called on by director Paul Feig to perform it on The Graham Norton Show .

14. No, Parker Jr. is not sick of this song

When asked if he was tired of getting approached by people shouting, "Who you gonna call?" Parker Jr. responded , "It's like, am I tired of holding the best lotto ticket of the best thing to ever happen? No." He added, in an interview with HLN , "In my kids' schools, it makes me famous to the young kids."

15. Parker Jr. thinks the new Ghostbusters theme is 'interesting'

In an interview with Inside Edition, Parker Jr. finally revealed his thoughts on the new Ghostbusters theme song performed by Fall Out Boy and Missy Elliott: "Interesting. I'm not going to say it's good or bad," he said, diplomatically. "I'm just going to say well maybe I'm an old guy now and I like it the old way." He added that the film didn't call him to work on the soundtrack, but that he wished he had been contacted to work with the newer artists.

Ghostbusters Wiki

Ghostbusters (song)

  • View history
  • 2 Official Recordings
  • 3 Official Releases
  • 5 Musicians
  • 8.1 Pop Culture
  • 8.2 Huey Lewis Controversy
  • 9 External links
  • 10 References
  • 11.1 Videos
  • 11.2 Overall
  • 11.3 Music Video
  • 11.4 "Girls Are More Fun" Music Video Screens
  • 11.5 Unreleased Updated Music Video
  • 11.6 IDW Comics

History [ ]

After test screenings in early 1984, Ivan Reitman wanted a song about 20 seconds in length at the beginning of the movie when Peter and Ray enter the New York City Public Library . [1] Reitman simply wanted a song that said "Ghostbusters" in it. Columbia Pictures spent a lot of money to have different musicians, including Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac and Kenny Loggins, write songs to be considered as the main song for the Ghostbusters movie, but could not find one that they liked. Reitman didn't like any songs he got back either. [2] [3] Peter Aykroyd, Dan Aykroyd 's younger brother, connected Ivan Reitman with Glenn Hughes and Pat Thrall. Bill Murray didn't like their attempt. Murray wanted NRBQ. Hughes and Thrall tried again. [4] [5] None the demos submitted in 1983 from Pat Thrall and Glen Hughes were used for the movie. [6] They did use the Pat Thrall and Glenn Hughes song for the film's ShoWest exhibitor reel. [7] [8] R&B artist Ray Parker, Jr. happened to be dating a woman who was working for Gary LeMel, an old music industry friend. Parker knew LeMel because he used to play guitar on Barry White's records. Gary LeMel, had suggested that he try his hand at writing a song for the film. It was described as a Ghostbusters theme song opening number for a 20 second segment at the end of the first library scene. [9] [10] In place of a music supervisor on the movie, the head of the music department at Columbia Pictures introduced Ray Parker Jr. to Reitman and co-producer Joe Medjuck . Producer Clive Davis who ran Arista at the time didn't want Parker singing a song about ghosts. Parker's forte was songs about romancing women. Davis took a lot of convincing.

The catch was that the song was needed in two to three days since the film due to be released soon. [11] [12] The movie producers wanted a song people could sing along with - without "too much meaning". The hardest task for Parker was coming up with a rhyme for "Ghostbusters". [13] He was half-asleep one night and saw an exterminator commercial on TV. He realized he could frame the song as a commercial and have the chorus scream "Ghostbusters" instead of having to do something conventional like rhyming it. [14] [15] The next day, he finished recording and submitted a cassette tape with just under one and half minutes of the song to Reitman. A short time later, Reitman called Parker at 3:30 or 4:30 in the morning praising the song. Reitman pushed for the 20 second intro song to be made into a single backed by a music video.

Official Recordings [ ]

These are official recordings of the song by Ray Parker Jr. that have been released to the public by Arista and Sony. Runtimes listed are the official runtimes as listed on the record singles, images of most can be found in the Gallery section below. Some sources list a runtime that is a second or two different, so runtimes are listed as a guide and not meant to be 100% exact.

It should also be noted that a few of the 7"/45-rpm records list a 3:45 "regular" version and a 4:07 "Instrumental" version, but that may be an error. No other versions of the "regular" and "instrumental" versions are so short. Maybe the two songs were sped-up for jukebox play. Until it can be proved if that's the case, or not, they are not being listed below but will be noted in this paragraph.

  • Album Version/7" Version/Short Version (4:04) - available on the Soundtrack album and just about every released single.
  • Instrumental Version (4:48) - available on the Soundtrack album and the 30th anniversary record single.
  • Extended Version/12" Single Remix (6:08) - available on several record singles, Ray Parker Jr.'s "Chartbusters" album, and the 2006 reissue of the soundtrack album.
  • Searchin' For The Spirit Remix (5:19) - available on the Searchin' For The Spirit/Dub Instrumental Version record single. [16]
  • Dub Version (5:35) - available on the 30th Anniversary record single.
  • Dub Instrumental Version (5:30) - available on the Searchin' For The Spirit/Dub Instrumental Version record single. [17]
  • 2009 Re-Recording (3:42) - available on the Atari Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime website for a limited time in 2011. [18] Do note that the original Atari MP3 has ID3 data that gives a "2007" date, which either means that this version was recorded two years before it debuted to the public, or the 2007 date could simply be a mistake. [19] )

Official Releases [ ]

Music video [ ].

The Times Square scene for the music video was shot in the last week of May 1984. [20] Like many movie soundtrack videos, it uses both a recreation of the concept of the movie and actual clips from the movie. However, its an interesting music video as many actors (many of which didn't appear in the Ghostbusters film) show up singing the song in little bit cameos. The lead is singer Ray Parker Jr. and lead actress is Cindy Harrell .

The music video was recorded at A&M Studios in Hollywood without a proper director. Ivan Reitman sort of just took over directing it. The set of the haunted house was still being constructed up to when filming started. An old shooting technique of painting on glass then shooting through the house created the drawn look. After the painter started, Reitman set up the camera and the video was shot. Parker was a little concerned about looking silly as a singing ghost but Reitman ran with the concept and recruited celebrity cameos. Some cameos were favors that were called in. Teri Garr just filmed "Tootsie" with Bill Murray . Reitman, Medjuck and a small crew went to where "Brewster's Millions" was shooting, made their way past security, and had John Candy shoot his cameo between takes. While filming "No Small Affair" at Burbank Studios, George Wendt filmed his cameo for free during a lunch break. He later got in trouble with the Screen Actors Guild for that arrangement but was merely told not to do so again.

For the ending of the music video, the crew blocked off Times Square at the same time the press junket for the movie took place in New York. The scene was not planned and essentially shot for a day with no permit. On a Friday afternoon at 1 pm, Parker filmed with Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd , Harold Ramis , and Ernie Hudson in character as his backup singers. Murray did an impromptu breakdancing routine. Parker improvised and helped spin Murray around. Since the actors in the music video weren't paid for their appearance, the video could not appear in home video releases for the film.

Cast from Film This doesn't include actors that appear in clips from the film.

  • Bill Murray
  • Dan Aykroyd
  • Harold Ramis
  • Ernie Hudson

Cameo non-film

  • Chevy Chase
  • Melissa Gilbert
  • Ollie E. Brown [21]
  • Carly Simon
  • Danny DeVito
  • George Wendt
  • Jeffrey Tambor

Musicians [ ]

  • Ray Parker, Jr. - vocals, guitar
  • Louis Johnson – bass
  • Greg Phillinganes – keyboards, synthesizer
  • Carlos Vega – drums
  • Everyone who appeared on the movie soundtrack previously tried to submit the theme song. [22]
  • A snippet of the song plays in Ghostbusters in Chapter 01: Start when the logo and title appear, in the montage in Chapter 14: Welcome Aboard , and after Winston Zeddemore declared, "I love this town!" in Chapter 28: Crossing Streams .
  • According to Ivan Reitman, there was plans to do a second commercial as an elaborate MTV music video with the Ghostbusters singing the "Ghostbusters" song (that could actually be played on MTV) but the song wasn't just right until too late in post-production. [23]
  • The famous "shuffle" performed by the guys at the end of the music video was referenced in the end credits of " The Real Ghostbusters ", and again in " Ghostbusters II " for the party Ray and Winston performed at.
  • Danny DeVito, who had a cameo in the music video, was later directed by Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman in Twins and Junior.
  • The music video is seen and heard on a television at the beginning of Ray Parker, Jr.'s "Girls Are More Fun" music video. Ray tries to convince a woman, played by Irene Cara, that he's really Ray Parker Jr. She sarcastically rebuffs him by saying, "Yeah, and I'm Irene Cara,", and then walks away. At this point, Ray sees the "Ghostbusters" music video on a television and comments, "Hey! That's me!". Irene Cara also made a cameo appearance in the "Ghostbusters" music video. [24]
  • A snippet of the song plays in Ghostbusters II in Chapter 01: Start after Dana Barrett retrieves Oscar from the baby carriage then in the next scene, Ray and Winston dance to and sing the "Ghostbusters" song as a cassette recording plays. They only sing the lyrics "If there's something strange in your neighborhood, who ya gonna call?!" and "And it don't look good."
  • A snippet of "Ghostbusters!" from the song plays in Ghostbusters II in Chapter 28: World is Safe Again when the new painting is revealed.
  • A snippet of "Ghostbusters" plays at the end of Ghostbusters: Afterlife in Chapter 16 prior to the end credits at the 1:52:38 mark.
  • At one point in Ghostbusters: Afterlife, there was going to be a 1960s cover of the Ghostbusters song that was done for the movie by the Menahan Street Band. The children find a 45 single that turns out to be a 1960s song that Ray Parker, Jr. does a cover of that became known as the "Ghostbusters" song. [25]
  • There was a delay in getting Ray Parker, Jr.'s approval to use the "Ghostbusters" song on Extreme Ghostbusters . The crew finally got the okay 30 hours before the first mix was due. [26]
  • It took three years to get the rights to use the song on Ghostbusters: The Video Game . Parker was specific about how much he wanted based on how the song would be used. [27] [28]
  • It cost $80,000 for the song to be used on Ghostbusters: The Video Game. [29]
  • On page 26 of Ghostbusters Volume 2 Issue #20 , the group shot is a nod to a scene in Ray Parker, Jr.'s "Ghostbusters" music video
  • The song appears as a playable song in Just Dance 2014 .
  • The front and back cover of the Ghostbusters: Get Real trade paperback references the Ghostbusters' dance move.
  • Starting with Ghostbusters International #1 , on page 27, the homage to the music video from Volume 2 Issue #20 is reused on the page with the crew's social media links.
  • In panel 2 is Danny DeVito as seen in the "Ghostbusters" music video
  • In panel 8 is Peter Falk as seen in the "Ghostbusters" music video
  • Ghost Jumpers theme song in Chapter 4 of the Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) is a play on the "Ghostbusters" song.
  • On page 7 of Ghostbusters 101 #1 , in panel 4, on the right, is the green disc of the "Ghostbusters" song 30th anniversary edition.
  • Cover B of Transformers/Ghostbusters Issue #5 is a nod to the Times Square song's music video.
  • On page 19 of Ghostbusters Year One Issue #3 , in panel 5, the Ghostbusters dance like how they do in the music video for Ray Parker Jr.'s "Ghostbusters" song.
  • In Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed , "Ghostbusters" plays in the opening title sequence.
  • As of October 19, 2023, the famous Ghostbusters dance from the "Ghostbusters" music video was added to the emotives wheel in Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed.

Pop Culture [ ]

The song was number one on Billboard's Hot 100.

Parker's "Ghostbusters" and Michael Jackson's "Thriller" were one of the first music videos starring a black music artist to appear on MTV.

The song is responsible for adding the catchphrases "Who you gonna call?" and "I ain't afraid of no ghost" into the pop culture lexicon.

The song has been repeatedly referenced in assorted forms of media.

  • The Huey Lewis Controversy (see below) was directly referenced in a portion of the Webcomic The Adventures of Dr. McNinja , where the titular character is humming the song when suddenly a nearby person screams "I WANT A NEEEW DRUG", and then says that he thought Dr. McNinja "was humming Huey Luis".

Huey Lewis Controversy [ ]

Huey Lewis filed a lawsuit claiming the song sounded too much like Huey Lewis and the News' "I Want a New Drug." Others found the score's synthesizer notes (that were held for several seconds) akin to the chord struck in Gary Numan's "Cars". The lawsuit was settled out of court and the outcome was kept private.

External links [ ]

  • Music video on YouTube

References [ ]

  • ↑ "Who Ya Gonna Call? The Inside Story Of The 'Ghostbusters' Music Video" Screen Crush 6/6/2014
  • ↑ Slash Film "Ray Parker Jr. on the Legacy of 'Ghostbusters', Passing on 'Spaceballs' and His Wild Oscars Performance (Interview)" 9/18/2020 Ray Parker, Jr. says: "The only one I've talked to would be Lindsey Buckingham [of Fleetwood Mac]. I think they had called him to do something. I spoke to him on one of these Zoom calls not too long ago. And I think there was Kenny Loggins and a whole bunch of people they tried. For some reason, no one could come up with a song for that film. What’s interesting is Gary LeMel, who was the vice president of Columbia Pictures at the time, he was 100% sure that I could do it. He knew something that I didn't know."
  • ↑ Greene, James, Jr., (2022). A Convenient Parallel Dimension: How Ghostbusters Slimed Us Forever , p. 51. Lyons Press, Essex, CT USA, ISBN 9781493048243 . Line reads: "Established names were also turning them down. Fleetwood Mac veteran Lindsey Buckingham, author of the bouncy anthem "Holiday Road" for National Lampoon's Vacation, passed on Ghostbusters, citing the desire to avoid soundtrack work as "a repetitive part of my identity." Filming for Ghostbusters wrapped in January 1984, and the months rolled along. As April turned to May, they were still without a suitable piece of music."
  • ↑ Greene, James, Jr., (2022). A Convenient Parallel Dimension: How Ghostbusters Slimed Us Forever , p. 50. Lyons Press, Essex, CT USA, ISBN 9781493048243 . Line reads: "Dan Aykroyd's younger brother Peter was recording an album in Los Angeles around this time and connected Reitman with two of the musicians he was working with, Glenn Hughes and Pat Thrall (who comprised the hard rock duo Hughes/Thrall)."
  • ↑ Greene, James, Jr., (2022). A Convenient Parallel Dimension: How Ghostbusters Slimed Us Forever , p. 50. Lyons Press, Essex, CT USA, ISBN 9781493048243 . Pat Thrall says: "Anyway, Bill Murray didn't like our song. You just think of Bill Murray as a jokester all the time. He was totally the opposite of that at this lunch. He was all business. His whole thing about the theme was he wanted it to be credible, not gimmicky. I think his favorite band was NRBQ. I think he wanted them to do the theme. So we were like, 'Man, we submitted ours, whatever.' Also, the only thing Bill Murray ate through this whole lunch was uni and sake. He was downing sake like crazy, and he had more filming to do. And he was just emphatic about the NRBQ thing."
  • ↑ Soundcloud Pat Thrall "Thrall Ghostbusters Demo 1983" 6/13/2021
  • ↑ LexTheRobot YouTube "My Ghostbusters Pet Peeves #116: Cool Heads Under Fire" 1/29/2020
  • ↑ LexTheRobot YouTube "My Ghostbusters Pet Peeves #116.5: Hughes/Thrall Confirmed!" 2/4/2020
  • ↑ Ray Parker, Jr. (2019). Cleanin' Up The Town: Remembering Ghostbusters (2019) (Blu-Ray ts. 1:01:52-1:02:02). Bueno Productions. Ray Parker, Jr. says: "Part of it came about because I was dating this girl who worked for Gary LeMel. And I knew Gary LeMel from the Barry White days because I did all the Barry White records. I played the guitar."
  • ↑ Ray Parker, Jr. (2019). Cleanin' Up The Town: Remembering Ghostbusters (2019) (Blu-Ray ts. 1:02:03-1:02:14). Bueno Productions. Ray Parker, Jr. says: "Then I got a call from Gary because there was just going to be one segment at the library scene. I think it was 20--20 seconds. Long and they just needed a theme song opening number with the words "Ghostbusters" in it."
  • ↑ MixOnline: Ray Parker Jr. Interview, Sept. 2006
  • ↑ Ray Parker, Jr. (2019). Cleanin' Up The Town: Remembering Ghostbusters (2019) (Blu-Ray ts. 1:02:26-1:02:34). Bueno Productions. Ray Parker, Jr. says: "I think I recorded a minute, 15--20 seconds in 2 and a half days, three days which is all I had."
  • ↑ From Spook Central (Fan Site) : Pop-Up Video version of the music video
  • ↑ Ray Parker, Jr. (2019). Cleanin' Up The Town: Remembering Ghostbusters (2019) (Blu-Ray ts. 1:02:54-1:03:24). Bueno Productions. Ray Parker, Jr. says: "I remember the hardest part was putting the words in song. I remember the part of the Ghostbusters movie where they had this solicitation with a phone number. And the night before I turned in the song, I was half asleep and on the TV comes this in-set commercial of the exterminator guys who are gonna get rid of the insects for you. And if you just close your eyes like this and you're real sleepy, the insect guys look to me like Ghostbusters guys."
  • ↑ Ray Parker, Jr. (2019). Cleanin' Up The Town: Remembering Ghostbusters (2019) (Blu-Ray ts. 1:03:29-1:03:33). Bueno Productions. Ray Parker, Jr. says: "It's a commercial. Who ya gonna call? And the people scream Ghostbusters."
  • ↑ Bay Area Ghostbusters
  • ↑ Ghostbusters News
  • ↑ Spook Central
  • ↑ Greene, James, Jr., (2022). A Convenient Parallel Dimension: How Ghostbusters Slimed Us Forever , p. 53. Lyons Press, Essex, CT USA, ISBN 9781493048243 . Line reads: "The Times Square dance was filmed in the last week of May, three weeks before the movie's release."
  • ↑ From Proton Charging (Fan Site) : Ollie & Jerry: Breakin'... There's No Stopping Us (Back)
  • ↑ Greene, James, Jr., (2022). A Convenient Parallel Dimension: How Ghostbusters Slimed Us Forever , p. 50. Lyons Press, Essex, CT USA, ISBN 9781493048243 . Billy Alessi says: "Everybody who wound up on that soundtrack was fighting for that theme song."
  • ↑ Shay, Don (November 1985). Making Ghostbusters , p. 47 annotation. New York Zoetrope, New York NY USA, ISBN 0918432685 . Ivan Reitman says: "At one point, we planned to do a second commercial for the film -- one that we could work into the montage after they've become famous. I was going to do it as an elaborate MTV music video, with the guys singing the 'Ghostbusters' song -- which we later could have actually played on MTV. Unfortunately, we didn't get the song we liked until late in postproduction, and by that time it was too late to go back and do it."
  • ↑ Ray Parker, Jr.'s "Girls Are More Fun" music video on YouTube
  • ↑ The Oakland Press 2/24/2021 Line reads: "Menahan's members remain busy playing for and producing other artists, but Brenneck -- who's also scored the upcoming documentary "Blood Brothers" -- says the group did some work together during early 2020 in New York, before the pandemic hit, and is also recording a new version of the "Ghostbusters" theme song for "Ghostbusters: Afterlife," due out in June...They have a scene where the kids of the original Ghostbusters find their dads' old (stuff) and a 45 (single) that's, like a 60s version of the 80s 'Ghostbusters' -- as if Ray Parker Jr.'s was a cover of a 60s song. It's a really cool idea, so we cut a 60s-sounding version of 'Ghostbusters' while we were in New York, and it's pretty cool."
  • ↑ Greene, James, Jr., (2022). A Convenient Parallel Dimension: How Ghostbusters Slimed Us Forever , p. 157. Lyons Press, Essex, CT USA, ISBN 9781493048243 . Audu Paden says: "It got down to the wire. We had maybe thirty hours before the first mix was due before we finally got his okay."
  • ↑ Spook Central "Ghostbusters Fan Fest - Ghostbusters: The Video Game Panel" 38:02-38:05 10/4/19 Panelist says: "Getting the rights to that song took all three years."
  • ↑ Spook Central "Ghostbusters Fan Fest - Ghostbusters: The Video Game Panel" 38:20-38:32 10/4/19 Panelist says: "But like he -- he was like really, "What's it going to be used for? If it's in a commercial, I want this much." He wouldn't just grant us the license. We -- everybody had to work hard to get that to work."
  • ↑ Playboy "The Untold Story of the Ghostbusters Video Game that was Almost a Masterpiece" 7/13/16

Gallery [ ]

35th Anniversary Edition Vinyl Unboxing

Overall [ ]

7

"Girls Are More Fun" Music Video Screens [ ]

Ray Parker Jr Girls Are More Fun01

Unreleased Updated Music Video [ ]

(Credit: Ray Parker, Jr.)

IDW Comics [ ]

Non-Canon Cameo in Ghostbusters Volume 2 Issue #20

  • Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

The iconic comedy’s reboot gets an eclectic, star-studded soundtrack. Ray Parker, Jr.’s titular classic is here, but some of 2016’s biggest names have also assembled to either reimagine it (Fall Out Boy with Missy Elliott, Pentatonix) or pay tribute like only they can (ZAYN, Wolf Alice, Mark Ronson with Passion Pit and A$AP Ferg).

July 15, 2016 14 Songs, 46 minutes ℗ This compilation (P) 2016 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

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Ghostbusters [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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Ghostbusters’ original and unreleased theme song gets full-length reimagining complete with music video

  • October 1, 2022

ghostbusters theme tune original

As we’ve documented , before Ray Parker Jr. wrote the chart-topping 1984 hit “Ghostbusters,” several other artists and musical acts were vying to be the anthem of the Bill Murray-led comedy.

In fact, last summer, a demo track from the musical project Hughes/Thrall, comprised of former Deep Purple bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes and guitarist Pat Thrall, along with Peter Aykroyd, found its way online , being released on Soundcloud.

The song, which Thrall uploaded, had the musician mentioning that this was the actual demo they had pitched for the film, writing:

This is the demo Hughes/Thrall and Peter Aykroyd pitched for the movie. It was declined. There has a been a version posted on YouTube claiming to be the HT demo but it wasn’t. Here for the first time it is finally posted. The guy that mixed it had been awake for a week on cocaine. It is one of the worst mixes ever

While certainly a fun track, eventually repurposed in the 1980s film adaptation of Dragnet , this wasn’t THE unreleased Ghostbusters song fans had been searching decades for. In the film’s teaser trailer, an unknown tune can be heard that makes us imagine what the franchise could’ve been like had we never been asked, “Who you gonna call?”

While there are even more would-be theme songs that we have previously written about , today, we’re going to fixate on the music heard within that teaser trailer, as the Ghostbusters franchise group, Ghostbusters of the Ozarks , have given the track a slight reimagining, releasing a free to download cover , complete with a music video.

While not the rendition heard in that teaser trailer, this is entirely fan-made; the passion project by Ghostbusters of the Ozarks member Jason Hall will hopefully serve as a nice holdover for those still clinging onto some hope that the actual demo will someday be released.

If you’d like to download the fan reimagining for yourself, you can do so here .

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Chaospin

Ranking All The Songs from the Ghostbusters Soundtrack

Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters is a 1984 American supernatural comedy film directed and produced by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. The film stars Bill Murray, Aykroyd, Ramis, Rick Moranis, Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts, and Ernie Hudson. It follows the Ghostbusters, a team of parapsychologists who start a ghost-catching business in New York City. The soundtrack album for the film was released on June 8, 1984, by Arista Records. The album featured songs performed by Ray Parker Jr., Air Supply, and even The BusBoys.

10. Ghostbusters (instrumental version) by Ray Parker Jr. (1984)

This is the original instrumental version of the iconic Ghostbusters theme song. It was released as a single and peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart for three weeks in 1984. Over the years, the song has been used in numerous films and television shows and has been covered by many artists, including Fall Out Boy, Missy Elliott, and Weird Al Yankovic.

9. Dana’s Theme by Elmer Bernstein (1984)

“Dana’s Theme” is a track from the Ghostbusters soundtrack composed by Elmer Bernstein. The song plays during the scenes where Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) is introduced in the film. The song is a haunting and beautiful piece that perfectly sets the tone for Dana’s character. It’s one of the most underrated tracks on the soundtrack and is worth listening to.

8. Main Title Theme (Ghostbusters) by Elmer Bernstein (1984)

The main title theme for Ghostbusters is one of the most iconic and well-known pieces of music from the 1980s . It was composed by Elmer Bernstein and also performed by her. The song was a huge hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1984, and It has since been used in numerous films, television shows, and video games.

7. Magic by Mick Smiley (1984)

Mick Smiley’s “Magic” was released as a single in 1984, but it was not included on the Ghostbusters soundtrack album. The song peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and became a top 40 hit in several other countries. Smiley is best known for his work with Prince, and “Magic” was produced by Prince and engineer David Z. The song is a synth-pop track with a catchy hook and danceable beat. The lyrics are about a man trying to woo a woman with magic. Smiley’s vocals are soulful and smooth, and the song features a memorable guitar solo from Prince.

6. Hot Night by Laura Branigan (1984)

If you’re a fan of the Ghostbusters soundtrack, you’ve probably heard Laura Branigan’s “Hot Night” before. The song was released as a single in 1984 and peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “Hot Night” is a fun, upbeat track that perfectly captures the spirit of the Ghostbusters movie. It is about a group of friends who are out on the town and looking for a good time. The song is sung from the perspective of a woman who is interested in one of the Ghostbusters. She sings about how she hopes to have a hot night with him. Branigan’s vocals are sultry and seductive, and the song features a catchy synth melody. “Hot Night” is one of the most fun and catchy tracks on the Ghostbusters soundtrack. It’s the perfect song to listen to when you’re in the mood for a night out.

5. I Can Wait Forever by Air Supply (1984)

Air Supply is an Australian soft rock duo consisting of singer-songwriter and guitarist Graham Russell and lead vocalist Russell Hitchcock. They had a succession of hits worldwide, including eight Top Ten hits in the United States, in the early 1980s. I Can Wait Forever was released as a single from the Ghostbusters soundtrack in 1984. The song peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US, making it Air Supply’s highest-charting single. Lyrically, the song is a power ballad about waiting for love. The narrator tells their loved ones that they don’t mind waiting forever for them, as long as they eventually come back to them.

4. In the Name of Love by Thompson Twins (1982)

This song was released as a single in 1982 and is about a relationship on the verge of collapse. The lyrics talk about how love can make people do crazy things and how it’s worth fighting for. The Thompson Twins were a British new wave band popular in the 1980s. The song is used in the soundtrack during the scene where the Ghostbusters are driving in the Ecto-1.

3. Savin’ the Day by Alessi Brothers (1984)

The Alessi Brothers’ “Savin’ the Day” is the third track on the Ghostbusters soundtrack. The song was written and produced by brothers Bobby and Richie Alessi, and it reached the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. The song is an uptempo synth-pop track with a catchy hook and positive lyrics about overcoming adversity. The song’s music video featured footage from the Ghostbusters film, and it received heavy rotation on MTV.

2. Cleanin’ Up The Town by The BusBoys (1984)

The title track from the Ghostbusters soundtrack, “Cleanin’ Up The Town,” was performed by The BusBoys and released as a single in 1984. The song peaked at #48 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and has since become one of the most iconic songs associated with the Ghostbusters franchise.

1. Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr. (1984)

This song is so iconic and catchy, and it’s hard to believe that it was only released as a single in 1984. Ray Parker Jr. wrote and recorded the song specifically for the film, and it went on to become one of the most successful singles of all time. It peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and won Parker a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

There’s no doubt that Ghostbusters is one of the most iconic and beloved films. And part of what makes it so unique is the fantastic songs on its soundtrack. From Ray Parker Jr.’s catchy title track to Bill Murray’s hilarious rendition of “I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghost,” the Ghostbusters soundtrack is filled with great tunes. So, if you’re a fan of the film, be sure to check out all the songs on the soundtrack. You won’t be disappointed.

Thomas Newman

No, do not confuse this Thomas Newman with the composer. But I'm still a music lover nonetheless. You'll catch me mostly writing articles about the artists and bands I love. Maybe some theory. Maybe some analysis. Whatever lands in the world of music is something I'm likely interested in. In particular I'm a huge fan of classic rock and the oldies. Zeppelin are among my favorites and Foghat's "Slowride" is one of my favorite tracks.

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Ghostbusters Theme Song Lyrics

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Orange County's Leading Source Of News, Culture And Entertainment

The Ghostbuster Theme Song: A History

ghostbusters theme tune original

Since its original release back in 1984, no Halloween playlist worth its weight in candy would be complete without its inclusion. Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters” is a synth-heavy bit of perfection the world wouldn’t be the same without. Interestingly enough, it almost didn’t exist. The original choice to compose a theme for the film allegedly was Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. Having just created the surprise soundtrack hit “Holiday Road” for National Lampoon’s Vacation , he became very in-demand in the film industry to make another quintessential soundtrack staple. Understandably not wanting to be pigeonholed, he passed.

Parker was given the chance to create an original tune, with the direction it had to be upbeat and contain the word “Ghostbusters,” and a deadline of about 48 hours. Racking his brain for a rhyme, he caught a middle-of-the-night commercial for local exterminators that inspired him to create the song as something of a brief jingle. Once it scored with the film’s creators, it became synonymous with the movie. The song went to the top of the charts, pulling three weeks at number one and was such an irresistible hit that Parker became one of the first black artists in rotation on MTV. It would go on to earn him an Academy Award nomination.

For Ghostbusters 2, an attempt to recreate and update the original’s success was made by Run-DMC. Very much at the midpoint between the phasing-out electro and rising hip-house movements in rap music at the time, it’s a strange curiosity that, for such a legendary group, isn’t typically remembered amongst their finest hours.

The uniqueness of the song’s structure, essentially a call-and-response faux-advertisement kept it alive as something of a punchline for a number of years, including the above SNL sketch where it’s referenced as a possible part of improvisational jazz riffing.

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  • Consequence

Can Anyone Top the Original Ghostbusters Theme?

Everyone from Conor Oberst to Run-D.M.C. have tried to do justice to Ray Parker Jr.'s classic

ghostbusters theme tune original

Feature Image by Cap Blackard

Cover Girl is a bi-monthly music column comparing cover songs to the original version. As musicians throw around genres, tempos, styles, and intent, associate editor Nina Corcoran breaks down what makes them stand out. This week’s inaugural column looks at Ray Parker Jr.’s iconic theme song “Ghostbusters” and the countless imitations it has inspired over the years.

If you’ve been to a concert on Halloween, chances are you’ve seen a band cover the Ghostbusters theme. They likely did it in costume. They likely omitted certain lines in favor of the crowd shouting back at them. They likely cackled at various points, both with delight and slight embarrassment, suddenly aware of the straightforward riffs and long pauses that seemed normal until hearing it live. From its awkward synth solos to its forced shouts, the Ghostbusters theme song is packed with campy goodness that warms the heart. It’s the type of cheerful sing-along that you can’t help but contribute to, even if the predictable chord progressions and elongated stretches play differently in a live setting. It is, whether you like it or not, a classic.

There’s a reason the Ghostbusters  theme has lasted over three decades. It’s still relevant and, perhaps more surprisingly, it’s still familiar to (most) young people thanks to its simplicity. Say a guy had never seen the 1984 film before or heard its iconic theme. Half a minute into the song, he would get the gist. Who are you going to call? Ghostbusters. Duh. How could you not when there’s stereotypical ‘80s synths and the deep vocals of Ray Parker Jr. beckoning you? There’s a reason the theme stayed in the No. 1 spot of the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks in 1984 and then hopped across the pond to snag even more radio spotlight. It’s a call-and-response favorite that’s as easy to learn as it is to sing along to, providing simple pleasures in a simple structure. Most importantly, it’s partnered with a ridiculous, trivial, and totally indulgent film that emphasizes its childish perks. As pop music has proven time and time again, especially in light of the recent poptimist era, simplicity wins when it makes you feel good.

Much of “Ghostbusters” floats effortlessly in 2016 because the original film itself is still held in high regard. Rewatching the movie can point out some of its flaws, be it the cheap jokes or flat lines, but those don’t really count as  true  faults. Was Ghostbusters ever trying to be a serious film? The fact that the enormous Stay Puft Marshmallow Man frees Dana and Louis should suggest that, no, this is not a serious film. When a giant confectionery puff momentarily takes the role of the protagonist, it tells us that this is not the America we know, as much as we may dream it would be. It’s an idea run wild that, without its theme song, might feel like an over-exaggerated joke.

So how, exactly, did that theme song come to be? The producers approached Parker hoping he could scramble together a hit in a few days’ time. Though it seemed impossible, he was able to make it work, mainly because he accepted the fact that there was no time to write elaborate lyrics. A cheap commercial reminded him of the film’s own ties to fictional businesses and corporations, leading Parker to emphasize the theme’s advertisement-like tones. The resulting hit is one that we can all sing along to, the way we would a McDonald’s or Old Navy jingle.

And yet, despite Parker’s attention to commercial rhythms, he still faced accusations for ripping off others. Huey Lewis brought Parker to court, insisting that the Ghostbusters theme directly plagiarized his own hit  “I Want a New Drug” . A quick listen confirms that the riff Lewis wrote, one very similar to what Parker used in his theme, is far too brief to give the case any real merit. But Lewis had every right to raise an eyebrow; the film approached him earlier on to ask if he would write the theme song, but since he was too busy working on music for Back to the Future , he had to decline.

Parker’s attention to detail, or rather his decision to avoid complicated flourishes, ensured that his tune would stand the test of time. In the 30-plus years since “Ghostbusters” debuted, it’s been covered countless times. So often, in fact, that it’s not possible to pick a “best” cover because those that do it justice are songs that barely, if at all, alter the original version.

There’s Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes with Ben Kweller at his side, decked out in tacky Ghostbusters gear . There’s Mistah Fab’s infamous sample  and the famous Run-D.M.C. follow-up for the film’s sequel , a can’t miss. There’s the charming bare-bones folk of the Two Man Gentleman Band against the intense metal of Leo Moracchioli. Then comes the ska-punk version of Attaboy Skip (which often gets falsely attributed to Spunge). Of course, we can’t forget Hoobastank’s decent attempt , a video which sees them donning costumes and facial expressions that inspire cringing at best. When there’s so many covers, and so many that fail, it’s hard to pick a quality one. The ones that stand out are those that refrain from altering much, switching up the style or words here and there but maintaining the original’s goofy spirit.

That said, it’s easy to rule out covers that don’t impress. For one, almost every track on this year’s  Ghostbusters remake fails to reinvent, instead opting to totally ruin what was handed to them. (It goes without saying that the commercialized version Fall Out Boy wrote  disgraces the theme.) This is a shame, because the film remake itself is actually pretty dang funny . Having lackluster variations of the theme pokes and prods in ways that suggest the film itself is a letdown, which, let us reiterate, it’s not.

Maybe it’s not a surprise that modern-day acts have a hard time recreating a song as brilliantly campy as “Ghostbusters” without losing the original spirit or altering it beyond recognition. Choosing a winner is difficult in part because there are so many covers, almost all of which defer from altering the original version. Instead of pointing to a new version, this column, perhaps for the only time in its existence, hopes to revert to the original. We stand here today to salute a song so great in its concept that the only covers that come close — notably the Two Man Gentleman Band’s and Run-D.M.C.’s — win merely by adding their own flavors to a standard that’s already pretty much perfect.

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IMAGES

  1. Original Ghostbusters theme tune

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  2. Ghostbusters (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack): Amazon.de: Musik-CDs

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  3. Original Ghostbusters Theme Song

    ghostbusters theme tune original

  4. Ghostbusters

    ghostbusters theme tune original

  5. Ghostbusters theme song

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  6. Ghostbusters Theme Song

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VIDEO

  1. Ghostbusters Theme Song

  2. Ghostbusters (Drums, Bass & Guitar cover) [HD]

  3. Ghostbusters Theme Song

  4. Ghostbusters Trilogy Tribute

  5. GHOSTBUSTERS THEME SONG VOCAL COVER 2018 (OFFICIAL) 1080p FULL

  6. Ghostbusters Theme Song

COMMENTS

  1. Ghostbusters

    Ghostbusters Provided to YouTube by AristaGhostbusters · Ray Parker Jr.Ghostbusters (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)℗ 1984 Arista Records LLCReleased on: 1984-06-08Au...

  2. Ghostbusters Original Theme Song [Best Quality On YouTube]

    Ghostbusters Original Theme SongRay Parker Jr. 1984LyricsGhostbusters!If there's something strange in your neighborhoodWho you gonna call?Ghostbusters!If the...

  3. Elmer Bernstein

    "Ghostbusters Theme" from Ghostbusters (Original Motion Picture Score).Music by Elmer Bernstein.Listen to the full soundtrack here: https://soundtracks.lnk.t...

  4. Ghostbusters (song)

    " Ghostbusters " is a song written by American musician Ray Parker Jr. as the theme to the 1984 film Ghostbusters, and included on its soundtrack.

  5. 15 things you might not know about the Ghostbusters theme song

    The iconic theme song for the 1984 film Ghostbusters was written and performed by Detroit artist Ray Parker Jr., and has undoubtedly become his biggest hit.

  6. Ghostbusters (song)

    Ghostbusters, sometimes referred to as the "Ghostbusters theme song", is a song written and performed by Ray Parker, Jr.. It has been used in just about every incarnation of the Ghostbusters franchise, from the first movie and onward. After test screenings in early 1984, Ivan Reitman wanted a song about 20 seconds in length at the beginning of the movie when Peter and Ray enter the New York ...

  7. Ghostbusters (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (1984)

    10 songs • 27 minutes Ghostbusters: Original Soundtrack Album is the soundtrack album for the 1984 film of the same name, released by Arista Records on June 8, 1984. The soundtrack includes the...

  8. Ghostbusters (1984 soundtrack)

    Bernstein's main theme for the Ghostbusters was later replaced by Ray Parker Jr.'s "Ghostbusters". [4] [5] Bernstein personally disliked the use of these songs, particularly "Magic", but said, "it's very hard to argue with something like ["Ghostbusters"], when it is up in the top ten on the charts". [5]

  9. Ghostbusters • Theme Song • Ray Parker Jr.

    New recommendations. 0:00 / 0:00. Soundtrack from the 1984 Ivan Reitman Film "Ghostbusters," with Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis, Annie Potts, William ...

  10. Ghostbusters (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

    Ghostbusters (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) Various Artists SOUNDTRACK · 2016 Preview. The iconic comedy's reboot gets an eclectic, star-studded soundtrack. Ray Parker, Jr.'s titular classic is here, but some of 2016's biggest names have also assembled to either reimagine it (Fall Out Boy with Missy Elliott, Pentatonix) or pay ...

  11. Original GhostBusters Theme Song

    0:00 / 4:04 Video unavailable This video contains content from SME, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds Original GhostBusters Theme Song PrestigeGhost 259K subscribers...

  12. Ghostbusters [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

    Discover Ghostbusters [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] by Original Soundtrack released in 1984. Find album reviews, track lists, credits, awards and more at AllMusic.

  13. Ghostbusters' original and unreleased theme song gets full-length

    As we've documented, before Ray Parker Jr. wrote the chart-topping 1984 hit "Ghostbusters," several other artists and musical acts were vying to be the anthem of the Bill Murray-led comedy.. In fact, last summer, a demo track from the musical project Hughes/Thrall, comprised of former Deep Purple bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes and guitarist Pat Thrall, along with Peter Aykroyd, found its ...

  14. Various

    Ghostbusters Soundtrack (1984) 1 - Ghostbusters (Ray Parker Jr.) 4:06. Magic. 4:20. Ghostbusters 1984 - Complete motion picture score - Elmer Bernstein. 0:00. Explore the tracklist, credits, statistics, and more for Ghostbusters (Original Soundtrack) by Various. Compare versions and buy on Discogs.

  15. Ghostbusters • Theme Song • Ray Parker Jr.

    0:00 / 4:10 Ghostbusters • Theme Song • Ray Parker Jr. HD Film Tributes 2.16M subscribers Subscribe Subscribed 13K 1.4M views 1 year ago Help Support This Channel? This channel makes...

  16. Ranking All The Songs from the Ghostbusters Soundtrack

    This is the original instrumental version of the iconic Ghostbusters theme song. It was released as a single and peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart for three weeks in 1984. Over the years, the song has been used in numerous films and television shows and has been covered by many artists, including Fall Out Boy, Missy Elliott ...

  17. Ghostbusters Lyrics

    I ain't afraid a no ghost. Who ya gonna call (ghostbusters) If you're all alone pick up the phone. An call (ghostbusters) I ain't afraid a no ghost. I hear it likes the girls. I ain't afraid a no ghost. Who you gonna call (ghostbusters) Mm... if you've had a dose.

  18. The Ghostbuster Theme Song: A History

    Ray Parker Jr.'s "Ghostbusters" is a synth-heavy bit of perfection the world wouldn't be the same without. Interestingly enough, it almost didn't exist. The original choice to compose a ...

  19. Ghostbusters theme song HD

    About Press Copyright Contact us Creators Advertise Developers Terms Privacy Policy & Safety How YouTube works Test new features NFL Sunday Ticket Press Copyright ...

  20. Can Anyone Top the Original Ghostbusters Theme?

    Maybe it's not a surprise that modern-day acts have a hard time recreating a song as brilliantly campy as "Ghostbusters" without losing the original spirit or altering it beyond recognition. Choosing a winner is difficult in part because there are so many covers, almost all of which defer from altering the original version. Instead of ...

  21. Ray Parker Jr.

    756K Share 85M views 10 years ago #Ghostbusters #RayParkerJr #OfficialVideo Official video for "Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker Jr. Listen to Ray Parker Jr.: https://RayParkerJr.lnk.to/listenYD...