” Ghostbusters ” is by Ray Parker Jr, the American guitarist, singer, songwriter and record producer. Born in Detroit, the largest city in the US State of Michigan, he started playing the clarinet at the age of six.
In the late 1960s, Ray Parker Jr joined Bohannon’s house band, performing regularly at one of Detroit’s most popular nightclubs, the 20 Grand. There he was spotted by the Spinners, who invited him to join them on tour. At sixteen, Ray Parker Jr recorded and co-wrote his first songs with Motown legend Marvin Gaye.
In the late 1970s to early 80s, he co-founded R&B group Raydio along with Vincent Bonham, Jerry Knight and Arnell Carmichael. They released four studio albums, all of which were certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America ( RIAA ). After split up in 1981, Ray Parker Jr went on to have a successful songwriting and solo recording career.
” Ghostbusters ” was released in May 1984 under the Arista record label. It was written, performed and produced by Ray Parker Jr. The song is the theme to the American supernatural comedy of the same name, which cost $30 million to make and grossed over $295 million worldwide. The 1984 film was written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, who also starred in the movie along with Bill Murray.
Lindsey Buckingham, who was the lead guitarist and vocalist of British-American rock band, Fleetwood Mac, claimed to have been initially asked to write the theme song, an offer which he declined. Huey Lewis and the News were also asked to write and record the theme tune, they also declined due to a prior contractual obligation which meant they didn’t have the time. Ray Parker Jr was then approached by the producers of the film, who gave him a couple of days to complete the task.
When ” Ghostbusters ” was released, Huey Lewis brought a lawsuit against Columbia Pictures and Ray Parker Jr for plagiarism. Their suit stated that the ” Ghostbusters ” song was too similar to their Billboard Hot 100 number six hit ” I Want a New Drug “. The lawsuit was settled out of court.
The accompanying music video was directed by Slovak-Canadian director Ivan Reitman, who also directed the film. His other works include Meatballs, Stripes, Twins, Kindergarten Cop, Dave and Junior. The video features actress Cindy Harrell playing a young woman who is haunted by a ghost, played by Ray Parker Jr. It also shows footage taken from the film with cameos from a variety of celebrities of the 80s including Irene Cara, John Candy, Danny DeVito, Carly Simon and Peter Falk.
” Ghostbusters ” became a commercial success for Ray Parker Jr. In the United States, the single topped the Billboard Hot 100 on the 11th of August 1984, spending three weeks at Number One. It spent twenty-one weeks on the chart there. Other Billboard Chart positions were one on the Hot Black Singles, six on the Hot Dance Club Play and nine on the Hot Adult Contemporary Chart.
In the United Kingdom, the song entered the UK Singles Chart on the 25th of August 1984 and peaked at number two. It spent eleven weeks in the Top Ten and forty-two weeks in the Top 100. In November 2018, the single re-charted at number ninety-seven.
Outside of the US and UK, ” Ghostbusters ” topped the charts in Belgium ( Flanders ), Canada, France, South Africa and Spain. It reached number two in Australia, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden.
BillBoard Hot 100 Highest Chart Position: 1
UK Highest Chart Position: 2
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