The soundtrack to the original “Ghostbusters” movie, released 1984, featured the film’s theme song “Ghostbusters,” written and performed by Ray Parker, Jr., which inspired the popular use of the catchphrases “Who you gonna call?!” and “I ain’t afraid of no ghost,” over the last 30 years. The song was a huge hit, staying at number one for three weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and for two weeks on the Black Singles chart. Parker also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song.
It’s arguable that the theme song alone has added to the film’s profits since its release 3 decades ago.
The music video produced for the song became a number-one video on MTV.
It was inevitable that an updated version of the popular theme song would be produced to go along with the upcoming all-woman reboot of the movie franchise. It’s by rock group Fall Out Boy, featuring Missy Elliott.
Although Ray Parker Jr. certainly wishes he would’ve been asked to work on the new version.
“I wish they had called me to maybe work with some of the younger guys and help them get a direction,” the musician who wrote and performed the 1984 film’s Oscar-nominated theme told “Inside Edition” 2 days ago.
And while he doesn’t say that he despises the new version, he certainly doesn’t seem to love it either. When asked what he thinks of the Fall Out Boy/Missy Elliott update, Parker Jr. called it “interesting,” adding, “I’m not gonna say whether it’s good or bad… I’m just gonna say, well, maybe I’m an old guy now and I like it the old way.”
I have to agree with him on that, after listening to the new version, which I don’t care for; it grates on my nerves. Not that the original theme song should’ve been used (although, quite frankly, that wouldn’t have been such a bad idea at all; why mess with something that’s become so ingrained in popular culture?); but maybe Parker could’ve been involved, as he would’ve liked, to help create something much closer to the original, but with a few tweaks here and there that make it stand on its own.
Fans seem to be split on the new theme song, based on my unscientific Twitter survey. You can listen to it below if you haven’t already heard it.
But Parker did give some love to the polarizing new Paul Feig-directed all-woman “Ghostbusters” movie, stating: “I think it’s a natural progression… Look at all the excitement it has generated this year.”
The new film, starring Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Kristen Wiig, opens this Friday, July 15.
Below, first watch the Ray Parker Jr. interview with “Inside Edition;” and then listen to the new “Ghostbusters” theme song, followed by Ray Parker Jr.’ original version.
And here’s the original Ray Parker Jr. theme song: