|Single by Ray Parker Jr.|
|from the album Ghostbusters: Original Soundtrack Album|
|Released||June 8, 1984|
|Songwriter(s)||Ray Parker Jr.|
|Producer(s)||Ray Parker Jr.|
|Ray Parker Jr. singles chronology|
|Ghostbusters soundtrack singles chronology|
"Ghostbusters" is a song written by Ray Parker Jr. as the theme to the film of the same name, and included on the film's soundtrack. Debuting at number 68 on June 16, 1984, the song peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on August 11, 1984, staying there for three weeks, and at number two on the UK Singles Chart on September 16, 1984, staying there for three weeks. The song re-entered the UK Top 75 on November 2, 2008, at No. 49.
The song was nominated at the 57th Academy Awards for Best Original Song, but lost to Stevie Wonder's "I Just Called to Say I Love You". A lawsuit, regarding Parker's plagiarism of Huey Lewis and the News's song "I Want a New Drug", resulted in Lewis receiving a settlement.
Parker was approached by the film's producers to create a theme song for the film, though he only had a few days to do so and the film's title seemed impossible to include in any lyrics. However, when watching television late at night, Parker saw a cheap commercial for a local service that reminded him that the film had a similar commercial featured for the fictional business. This inspired him to write the song as a pseudo-advertising jingle that the business could have commissioned as a promotion.
Lindsey Buckingham, on his interview disc Words & Music [A Retrospective], stated that he was approached to write the Ghostbusters theme, based on his successful contribution to Harold Ramis's National Lampoon's Vacation, "Holiday Road". He turned down the opportunity, as he did not want to be known as a soundtrack artist.
The theme is estimated to have added $20 million to the film's box office gross.
The music video for the song was directed by Ivan Reitman, the same director as the Ghostbusters film, and produced by Jeffrey Abelson. It features a young woman, played by actress Cindy Harrell, who is haunted by a ghost portrayed by Parker, roaming a nearly all-black house interior (with vibrant neon designs outlining the sparse architectural and industrial features) until the woman finally calls the service.
Directed by Reitman, the "Ghostbusters" music video was number one on MTV, and features cameos by celebrities Chevy Chase, Irene Cara, John Candy, Melissa Gilbert, Ollie E. Brown, Jeffrey Tambor, George Wendt, Al Franken, Danny DeVito, Carly Simon, Peter Falk, and Teri Garr. None of the actors were paid for participating, but did so as a favor to Reitman.
The video concludes with Parker and the stars of the film, in full Ghostbuster costume, dancing down the streets of New York City. The crew closed down Times Square to film the scene, although a sizable crowd can still be seen in the background. The Ghostbusters also perform the same dance in the closing credits to the Real Ghostbusters cartoon series, as well as in a trailer for the 2009 Ghostbusters video game.
Shortly after the film's release, Huey Lewis sued Ray Parker Jr. for plagiarism, alleging he had copied the melody (primarily the bassline) from Lewis' 1983 song "I Want a New Drug". The case was settled out of court in 1985 for an undisclosed sum and a confidentiality agreement that prohibited discussing the case. According to Parker there were several lawsuits at the time, because "when you sell that many records, I think everybody wants to say that they wrote the song." Parker later sued Lewis for breaching the confidentiality agreement in a 2001 episode of VH1's Behind the Music, by reasserting Parker, Jr. stole the song. Regarding his case against Lewis, Parker said, "I got a lot of money out of that."
In a 2004 article for Premiere magazine, the filmmakers admitted to using the song "I Want a New Drug" as temporary background music in many scenes. They also noted that they had offered to hire Huey Lewis and the News to write the main theme but the band had declined. The filmmakers then gave film footage - with Lewis' song in the background - to Parker to aid him in writing the theme song.
- Ray Parker Jr. – vocals, guitar
- Louis Johnson – bass
- Greg Phillinganes – keyboards, synthesizer
- Carlos Vega – drums
7-inch Arista / ARI 8391 (US), ARIST 580 (UK)
- Side one
- "Ghostbusters" – 3:46
- Side two
- "Ghostbusters" (Instrumental) – 4:07
Charts and certifications
Ray Parker, Jr.'s "Ghostbusters" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on August 11, 1984, two months after the film's release, and remained there for three weeks. It spent a total of 21 weeks on the charts.
|Single by Run-D.M.C.|
|from the album Ghostbusters II|
|Released||July 12, 1989|
6:00 (12" mix)
|Songwriter(s)||Ray Parker Jr., Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels, Jason Mizell|
|Producer(s)||Jam Master Jay, Davy D|
|Run-D.M.C. singles chronology|
For the soundtrack of the film's 1989 sequel, Ghostbusters II, Run-D.M.C. recorded a hip hop version of "Ghostbusters", featuring new lyrics. It was released on 7-inch vinyl and cassette as a standard single, as well as on 12-inch vinyl and CD as a double A-side maxi single with the track "Pause" from Run-D.M.C.'s fifth studio album, Back from Hell.
The song's music video begins with Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts climbing out of a limousine in front of a large crowd. They are accompanied by Run-D.M.C. and Jam Master Jay dressed in the standard beige Ghostbusters' uniform, who then perform the song on stage to a packed audience for the remainder of the video, intercut with clips from the film. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson also make cameos as security personnel.
- 7" single / cassette
- "Ghostbusters" – 4:07
- "Ghostbusters (Ghost Power Instrumental)" – 4:07
- 12" single
- "Ghostbusters" – 6:00
- "Ghostbusters (Dub Buster)" – 4:10
- "Pause" – 6:00
- "Pause (Dub Version)" – 3:32
- "Pause (Radio Version)" – 3:46
- CD single
- "Ghostbusters" – 6:00
- "Pause" – 6:00
- "Pause (Dub Version)" – 3:32
- "Pause (Radio Version)" – 3:46
The Rasmus version
Mickael Turtle version
|Single by Mickael Turtle|
|Songwriter(s)||Ray Parker Jr.|
|Mickael Turtle singles chronology|
- "Ghostbusters" (radio edit) – 2:26
- "Ghostbusters" (extended club original mix) – 5:07
- "Ghostbusters" (who's that remix long voix) – 6:15
- "Ghostbusters" (extended club instrumental mix) – 5:07
- "Ghostbusters" (Who's that remix long dub) – 6:12
- Mickael The Turtle – Teaser Video
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)||21|
|Germany (Official German Charts)||56|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||23|
|End of year chart (2005)||Position|
* Sales figures based on certification alone.
Fall Out Boy and Missy Elliott version
|"Ghostbusters (I'm Not Afraid)"|
|Single by Fall Out Boy featuring Missy Elliott|
|from the album Ghostbusters: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Released||June 23, 2016|
|Producer(s)||Fall Out Boy|
|Fall Out Boy singles chronology|
|Missy Elliott singles chronology|
"Ghostbusters (I'm Not Afraid)", a version of the song by American rock band Fall Out Boy, featuring hip hop recording artist Missy Elliott, was released on June 23, 2016, from the soundtrack of the 2016 reboot Ghostbusters. The cover received negative reviews from critics, who criticized its musical structure.
Walk the Moon version
Another cover version of the song appears on the soundtrack album to the Ghostbusters reboot film. Unlike the very different song first released by Fall Out Boy and Missy Elliott, Walk the Moon's version is much closer to the original song.
American musician and comedian Neil Cicierega uses the song in Bustin, released on his 2017 album Mouth Moods. It takes Parker Jr.'s vocals and edits them to feature many innuendos, most notably by repeating the titular line "Bustin makes me feel good" to use it as slang for masturbation.
In 2018, Automobile Dacia released a television advertisement for one of its models, the Duster, accompanied by the song, in an instrumental version, but with people in various costumes singing "Go, Duster!" when in the standard song the chorus says "Ghostbusters!".
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