Musical Appreciation

Musical Appreciation: Ray Parker Jr. “Ghostbusters”


Welcome to Musical Appreciation. 1984’s Ghostbusters is one of my favorite movies with a great cast, great humor, memorable lines and scenes, and special effects that hold up pretty well through time. This film was a perfect example of the right ingredients coming together at the same time to create gold. Why am I bringing this up? Because the Ghostbusters reboot is out in theaters and it has caused a rift in everyone. So far, it’s doing well with critics (with a 73% on Rotten Tomatoes), but audiences were mixed. There were people who dismissed this female-led Ghostbusters from the start, saying the film is a “disgrace to the original” and it was “ruining their childhood,” (BTW, anyone who says that needs to grow up) and it just turned into a war of genders. On one side, you have the crying MRA man-children pissing their pants because the new Ghostbusters have vaginas instead of dicks and the critics didn’t tear this film apart like they wanted them to. On the other side, you have pseudo-feminists who labels any criticism towards the movie, whether it’s legitimate or not, as sexist. These two extremes are the minority. A vocal minority, but a minority nonetheless. As for me? I couldn’t care if I wanted to. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of a Ghostbusters team that consists of women, but nothing about the film itself grabbed me, especially since the trailers were garbage. It all looks like a rehash of the original 1984 film and it doesn’t seem to offer anything new. So I’m going to do the same thing as James Rolfe and not go see it. Maybe I’ll catch it out of curiosity when it’s on HBO or something. Anyways, today’s Musical Appreciation is the theme song to the original and it’s one of the best movie theme songs from the 80s. This is Ghostbusters.

Before we talk about the song itself, a little history. The producers of the film wanted a theme song and they asked Ray Parker Jr. to come up with one, but he couldn’t come up with one. Apparently, he got inspired by a TV commercial and wrote the song like it was a commercial jingle, which explains why the song is so damn memorable and catchy, but in a good way instead of the “get it out of my head before it rots my brain” way. And thus, we have Ray Parker’s crowning moment of achievement.

How do I even talk about this song? I know; I can start with the best part of the song, which is, of course, the production and instrumentation. It manages to create a dark yet fun atmosphere, especially with the synths, and the transitions between the two moods are very fluid. Fits perfectly to a horror-comedy. There’s also some amazing guitar work from Ray Parker Jr. that brings an edge to the song and it blends well with the synths and drums, which all has an 80s sound, but like the movie, it has aged well through the years. As for lyrics? Well, I did mention that the song was written like a jingle, so the writing tells you the basic premise of the Ghostbusters. If there’s something strange in your neighborhood or if there’s something weird and it don’t look good, who else are you gonna call but Ghostbusters? Ray Parker Jr. has to be the only guy who can pull this song off, his swagger just rubs off on the song and he makes ghostbusting even cooler. Anytime he asks who you gonna call, you have no choice but to yell “GHOSTBUSTERS!!”

Along with Eye Of The Tiger, You’re The Best Around, Don’t You (Forget About Me), etc., Ghostbusters is one of those songs that defined the soundtracks to 80s films. Anytime you hear or see something Ghostbusters-related, this theme song starts playing in your head, it’s that inescapable. It will live on after humanity inevitably wipes themselves out from the face of the Earth. Maybe Fall Out Boy and Missy Elliott will do the theme justice when they remake it for the reboot. *3 minutes later* Ohh… that hurts. Oh, well.

So that was Musical Appreciation. Next time, we’ll talk about Ill Mind Of Hopsin 5.



Ghostbusters-Ray Parker Jr.

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