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The 10 Best Songs of 2020, Ranked
If one thing’s for certain in this utterly indescribable year, it’s that 2020 has ushered in a flood of emotions that haven’t been easy to put into words — and many of us have all but given up even trying to describe them. Thankfully, plenty of talented musical artists have managed to express those sentiments in ways more beautiful than we ever could’ve anticipated. While 2020 has been a truly terrible year for a lot of reasons, there was at least one area where it didn’t fail us: music. Case in point? These amazing songs from some of 2020’s top recording artists.
Here, we’ve curated a collection of the most powerful songs of the year, each of which highlights and harnesses its artist’s ability to express unique messages — and to vibe so fully with our emotions that we no longer need to put those feelings into words. Whether you’re looking for a song to liven your spirits or give a voice to the undercurrent of angst that’s been flowing through us all in 2020, one (or several) of these titles is sure to speak to you.
10. Caribou – “Never Come Back”
This year, Canadian composer Dan Snaith, a.k.a. Caribou, released “ Never Come Back ,” an addictively catchy dance song that appears on his 2020 album, Suddenly. Known for crafting experimental loops and house/dance-style sounds, Caribou has traditionally been one of those artists whose music is delightfully hard to pin down.
In a statement released with the single, Caribou revealed that “Never Come Back” was the first song on his new album to come together. “As soon as I landed on the main synthesizer chords and the repeated refrain, the rest came together very quickly and naturally,” he said . “I felt like it was my job to get out of the way and not overcomplicate or overthink it. Sometimes the best pleasures are the simple ones.” And during a year when simple pleasures have been all many of us had for support as we navigated so many unprecedented events, the simplicity and optimism of this track are more than welcome (and much appreciated).
9. Moses Sumney – “Me in 20 Years”
The trials of 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic, including the mass lockdowns and shelter-in-place directives it necessitated, forced many people to take an uncomfortably close look at their habits, their relationships, their jobs — and their lives in general. In effect, we were given a taste of what the future could hold when our day-to-day distractions were suddenly no longer relevant and we were fighting to cope while realizing what was truly important.
Perhaps no song sums up the universal angst about what old age — and the unknowns of all that’s to come — might bring like Moses Sumney’s “ Me in 20 Years .” To get the full effect, watch the music video, which has been called “an emotionally devastating and achingly personal look into Moses’ visions of the future.” When you want to release your worries into the ether, this track is like therapy. And there’s no better song on this list to play while you’re crying it all out.
8. Yves Tumor – “Kerosene!” (featuring Diana Gordon)
Diana Gordon joined Miami native Yves Tumor to produce a stirring duet called “ Kerosene! ” on Tumor’s 2020 album Heaven to a Tortured Mind . Yves Tumor has become known as an artist who fearlessly blurs the lines of glam rock, hip-hop, electronica and other genres, a reputation they more than uphold in their latest work — and especially in this Prince-like track.
“Kerosene!” is a perfect reflection of Tumor’s ability to effortlessly create beauty from chaos, a message that couldn’t hold more relevance than it does in 2020. As Nadia Younes of The Skinny put it, “ amongst the chaos there’s a calm to soothe you through it, and it’s a calm we all need right now.” How utterly fitting for what feels like the most anarchic year on record.
7. Car Seat Headrest – “There Must Be More Than Blood”
“There Must Be More Than Blood” is a sprawling epic of a song from Car Seat Headrest’s 2020 album, Making a Door Less Open . Paradoxically tinged with both sadness and hope, the lyrics speak to humanity’s core need for connection, musing that “There must be more than blood that holds us together / There must be more than wind that takes us away.”
And those lyrics tap into some of the deeper questioning many of us have had time to engage in this year. Sometimes it feels like there must be a reason why we’re all going through this — like there’s something brighter just around the corner that we’ve earned through enduring 2020. And “There Must Be More Than Blood” imparts the tiniest bit of hope that that just may be the case. You can take in the nearly eight-minute song in its studio version or in the acoustic version released by frontman Will Toledo — both are stirring and spectacular.
6. Rosalía – “Juro Que”
Spanish sensation Rosalía returned to her flamenco roots this year with the release of “ Juro Que ,” which translates to “I Swear That” in English. Throughout the aggressive, guitar-fueled song, the lyrics describe the singer mourning being separated from the love of her life — a man who’s been in prison — and her promise to do whatever it takes to get him freed.
Perhaps never could a song like this have been more relevant than during a time when police violence, calls for prison reform and the government-sanctioned abuse of undocumented immigrants are front and center in our collective consciousness. And Rosalía’s pop-infused melody is actually a soulful, poignant reminder that there’s often far more to a story than the traditional “good vs. bad” narrative.
5. SG Lewis, Robyn & Channel Tres – “Impact”
Whether you’re a fan of Europop or hip-hop, you’ll discover lots to love in “ Impact ,” a track that finds Swedish singer-songwriter Robyn joining forces with Compton-based rapper-producer Channel Tres and British singer-songwriter SG Lewis to produce a new genre-bending hit. The effortless mixture of Robyn’s euphoric vocals and Channel Tres’ deep, bassline-riding rhythms blend together to create the stuff that dancefloor hits are made of.
Although it feels almost like a 1990s-friendly club hit — think an early Kylie Minogue bop with tons more soul — it’s also got plenty of uniquely 2020 touches, namely the trio’s obvious chemistry and sneakily salacious lyrics. In a time when we could all use a little pick-me-up, this is the perfect song to put some serious strut back in anyone’s step.
4. Run the Jewels – “JU$T (feat. Pharrell Williams & Zach de la Rocha)”
An election year is already tough to deal with when it’s not happening concurrently with a pandemic. But this year — on top of a global health crisis — the United States seemed to become more politicized than ever before. And nothing sums up the disgust many of us experienced over the state of politics than “ JU$T ,” a collaborative hip-hop triumph straight from Killer Mike and EL-P, the masterminds behind Run the Jewels.
This fiery track sees the duo joining forces with Pharrell Williams and Rage Against the Machine’s Zach de la Rocha to create a politically charged masterpiece that leaves nothing off the table. From the state of the economy and political leadership to voting, slavery, education and critiques of capitalism, the song takes a fearless look at the state of America and the world at large. While remaining surprisingly dance-worthy, “JU$T” is also an anthem for frustrated citizens across the country. And it’s the perfect beat to blast while you’re drawing protest signs.
3. Bad Bunny – “Yo Perreo Sola”
Bad Bunny, whose real name is Benito Martínez, shattered stereotypes earlier this year with the release of “ Yo Perreo Sola ,” which translates to “I Twerk Alone.” Bad Bunny — who has always been an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and for women’s rights — created the song to tell the story about a young woman who “wants to have a good night dancing by herself…without having to deal with harassment.”
But even more than serving as an anthem for independence, the song is also about empowerment and the importance of safe spaces. The neon sign visible in the music video’s background, which reads “Not One Less,” is a reference to a Latin-American movement to fight gender inequality and abuse against the trans community. The video’s creative director, Stillz, remarked that Bad Bunny “wanted to impact and take a message to the reggaeton community that usually is not as open to speak about the LGBTQ community.” That definitely deserves a heartfelt standing ovation.
Plus, is there any other 2020 song that could be more appropriate in this time of social distancing than a track dedicated to dancing by ourselves — and fully enjoying it? If there is, it’s not as fire as this one.
2. Fiona Apple – “Under the Table”
Fiona Apple’s “ Under the Table ” is a shoutout to people everywhere who are tired of biting their tongues for the sake of societal expectations — and with lyrics like “I would beg to disagree, but begging disagrees with me,” that couldn’t be clearer. The singer revealed that the song was inspired by an expensive dinner she attended where someone said something she found offensive.
“So I called the guy out. And may have messed the dinner up a little bit. But I was right,” the singer explained . With a hook that shamelessly repeats the lyrics “I won’t shut up,” the song echoes the sentiments of a time when more and more people are speaking up to let their voices be heard — an especially fitting refrain during a year when demands for social and racial justice swelled to historic peaks and “shutting up” could’ve been a threat to survival.
1. Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion – “WAP”
Like Christina Aguilera and Nicki Minaj’s empowering and orally fixated bop “Woohoo” from 2010, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “ WAP ,” a delightfully shameless celebration of sexuality, rocked the internet (and our speakers) 10 years later. While the official lyrics required a little toning down for the music video’s YouTube release, they’re still far from shy and offer a fearless perspective that’s, in the words of Mikael Wood at the Los Angeles Times , a “savage…sex-positive triumph.” And triumphant is exactly what we need to feel in the wake of everything that’s happened this year.
The accompanying girl power-infused video features cameos by a number of amazing singers, including Rosalía, Normani, Mulatto, Sukihana and Rubi Rose. You might want to follow the lead of Halle Berry, who confessed on Twitter that she blasts the tune from the safety of her car to avoid having it reach her kids’ unexpecting ears. But, let’s face it: You’d totally be forgiven if you didn’t. We’ve dealt with enough this year, and it’s finally time to sit back and enjoy the music.
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Ghostbusters by Ray Parker, Jr.
- (Ghostbusters) If there's something strange In your neighborhood Who you gonna call? (Ghostbusters) If there's something weird And it don't look good Who you gonna call? (Ghostbusters) I ain't afraid of no ghost I ain't afraid of no ghost If you're seeing things Running through your head Who can you call? (Ghostbusters) An invisible man Sleepin' in your bed Oh, who you gonna call? (Ghostbusters) I ain't afraid of no ghost I ain't afraid of no ghost Who you gonna call? (Ghostbusters) If you're all alone Pick up the phone And call (Ghostbusters) I ain't afraid of no ghost Ooh, I hear it likes the girls Hm, I ain't afraid of no ghost (Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah) Who you gonna call? (Ghostbusters) Mmm, if you've had a dose of a Freaky ghost, baby You better call (Ghostbusters) ow Lemme tell ya something Bustin' makes me feel good I ain't afraid of no ghost I ain't afraid of no ghost Don't get caught alone oh, no (Ghostbusters) When it comes through your door Unless you just want some more I think you better call (Ghostbusters) Ow, Who you gonna call? (Ghostbusters) Who you gonna call? (Ghostbusters) Uh, think you better call (Ghostbusters) Ha ha, who you gonna call? (Ghostbusters) I can't hear you Who you gonna call? (Ghostbusters) Louder (Ghostbusters) Who you gonna call? (Ghostbusters) Who can you call? (Ghostbusters) Who you gonna call? (Ghostbusters) Uh, it likes the girls too (Ghostbusters) Writer/s: Ray Parker Jr. Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind
- More songs from Ray Parker, Jr.
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- Ghostbusters Songfacts
- Howard L. from Middletown Twp, Pa I thought the kids in the video were members of a (gospel/hip-hop?) band, Newcleus. The wiki article didn't confirm that. Still a minor mystery, if it matters to them after all this time.
- Siahara Shyne Carter from United States The Orginal Version is the Best! but I also like the Fall out boys version I'm not Afraid I'm not Afraid suddenly Big foot came haha.
- Jennifur Sun from Ramona How was the opening done? Is it a synth or a guitar?
- Barry from Sauquoit, Ny On June 7th 1984, the Columbia Pictures movie "Ghostbusters" had its world premier in Westwood, California; and the next day it opened in theaters across the U.S.A. Three days later on June 10th the title song by Ray Parker, Jr. entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #68; and on August 5th it peaked at #1 (for 3 weeks) and spent 17 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 10 of those 17 weeks it was on the Top 10)... The song also reached #1 in Canada, Belgium, Spain, France, and South Africa.
- Esskayess from Dallas, Tx Overrated song for an overrated movie.
- Frank from Los Angeles, Ca Ray Parker Jr.'s "girlfriend and her friends" that shout the chorus of Ghostbusters might be a young lady named Chapman and her friends. (See my other post)
- Frank from Los Angeles, Ca When I was 13 during the second half of 1984 - after Ghostbusters had been released 5-6 months previously, Ray Parker Jr. was dating one of the older daughters in a family called Chapman that went to the same school/church, Our Lady of Lourdes in Tujunga, CA, as my sister and myself. I saw him in the church around 5 times and was so excited! He was the first celebrity I had ever seen in a "non-contrived" environment.
- Charlie from Tulsa, Ok Am I the only one that thinks Ray Parker really ripped off Soul Finger by the Bar-Kays instead of Huey Lewis?
- Paul from Detroit, Mi Okay.. it sounds similar to I Want a New Drug, but that's about it. How many songs sound similar? I think Huey Lewis got lucky winning his suit. I'm glad Ray Parker got him back in the end. Huey was probably pissed because Ray had a smash hit with the song.
- Kelsey from Rustburg, Va HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! THIS SONG IS SO BAD BUT SO ADDICTIVE!! My bro was obssessed with GhostBusters when he was a little kid (he's 26 now) He had the posters, the action figures, the ghost catching toys and everything! He used to get in so much trouble cuz he had one of those little pack things that fires a cage or something and him and his friend Chris would fire it in the house and say they "caught a ghost" LOL!!
- Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, Mi This was a classic when I was a elementary schooler.
- Rebekah :) from Knoxville, Tn #1 song the day I was born... August 14, 1984. yay!
- Anne from Dodge City, Ks I will never forget my first trip to New York in the summer of 1984 (I was five). We were stuck in traffic and we could hear cars all around with this song blaring on the radio and their windows down. Being caught up in the excitement people in a lot of the cars started yelling ghostbusters. It wasn't long before tons of people were yelling ghostbusters every time Ray asked "Who you gonna call?"
- Ryan from Marion, Ia Does indeed sound very much like "I Want a New Drug"...
- Keith from San Anselmo, Ca "Bustin' makes me feel real good!" What a lyric.
- Windy from Otway, Oh if the Lost Souls off of Doom 3 come callin',who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS!
- Billy from Otway, Oh Ghostbusters Was My Favorite Movie Ever.Slimer Rocked.Too Bad He Slimed Bill Murray And Was Caught By The Trio. (This Was Before Winston Was A Member)
- Craig from Madison, Wi When I was a child I was amazed to hear that this song was written and recorded in an afternoon. Hearing it again recently, I'm not all that surprised.
- Jonathan from Saratoga Sorings, Ny The same year singer songwriter Larry Melvin wrote and recorded his single "Larry Loose", he wrote and recorded "Larry Busters".
Cotton Eye Joe Rednex
"Cotton Eye Joe" is a folk song dating to the 1800s, but it became a hit when a Swedish act called Rednex did a psychokinetic version in 1994.
Undone - The Sweater Song Weezer
Weezer's "Undone - The Sweater Song" was written as a sad song about depression, but listeners heard it as a funny, ironic song.
That's What Friends Are For Dionne & Friends
Elton John didn't win a Grammy until 1986, when he got one for singing on "That's What Friends Are For."
Come On Eileen Dexys Midnight Runners
Dexys Midnight Runners' "Come on Eileen" is based on a real girl called Eileen that the band's Kevin Rowland had a relationship with in his early teenage years.
Landslide Fleetwood Mac
Stevie Nicks wrote "Landslide" before she joined Fleetwood Mac. She was considering going back to school when she and her boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham were asked to join the group.
Songbird Fleetwood Mac
Christine McVie wrote "Songbird" for Fleetwood Mac's Rumours album in just half a hour after she woke up in the middle of the night with the song in her head.
John Waite Songwriter Interviews
"Missing You" was a spontaneous outpouring of emotion triggered by a phone call. John tells that story and explains what MTV meant to his career.
Jason Newsted (ex-Metallica) Songwriter Interviews
The former Metallica bassist talks about his first time writing a song with James Hetfield, and how a hand-me-down iPad has changed his songwriting.
David Clayton-Thomas of Blood, Sweat & Tears Songwriter Interviews
The longtime BS&T frontman tells the "Spinning Wheel" story, including the line he got from Joni Mitchell.
Penny Ford of Snap! Songwriter Interviews
The original voice of Snap! this story is filled with angry drag queens, video impersonators and Chaka Khan.
Mick Jones of Foreigner Songwriter Interviews
Foreigner's songwriter/guitarist tells the stories behind the songs "Juke Box Hero," "I Want To Know What Love Is," and many more.
Hawksley Workman Songwriter Interviews
One of Canada's most popular and eclectic performers, Hawksley tells stories about his oldest songs, his plentiful side projects, and the ways that he keeps his songwriting fresh.
A monthly update on our latest interviews, stories and added songs
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Ghostbusters Theme Song Lyrics
- Theme Song by Animaniacs (Related Recor , An9
- Theme Song by Aquabats , Aq1
- Ghostbusters by Brainpower , Br1
- Theme Song by Bunch Brady , Bu3
- Theme Song by The Arrogant Sons O , Th11
- Ghostbusters by Bowling For Soup , Bo7
- Theme Song by Killah Priest , Ki2
- How Soon Is Now (theme Song) by Love Spit Love , Lo6
- Theme Song by Lunachicks , Lu3
- Ghostbusters by New Found Glory , Ne4
- OPECs Swan Song ?
- How to Memorize a Song the Easy Way
- Every Song Tells A Story � �But Does It Need To Be An Abstract Novel ?
- Song Demos - How To Get Them Heard !
- Accounts Receivable Financing - Work Song
- Song Writing : Is It Hard Or Easy To Write A Song ?
- How To Predict Which Chord Comes Next In A Song
- Song Writing : Why Is Completing Your Songs Important ?
- Song Writing : To Find Yourself In The Music You Compose
- Free Ringtones : Getting Your Music For a Song
- S m i l e R a t e
- Doja Cat - Paint the Town Red
- Tom Odell - Another Love
- Sigrid - Strangers
- Tate McRae - greedy
- Eminem - Mockingbird
- Sigrid - Everybody Knows
- Rammstein - Sonne
- Aqua - Barbie Girl
- Rihanna - Diamonds
- Foster The People - Pumped Up Kicks
- Manu Chao - Me Gustas Tu
- Michael Jackson - They Don't Care About Us
- Wham! - Last Christmas
- Jung Kook feat. Jack Harlow - 3D
- Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
- Eli & Fur - Broken Parts
- Eli & Fur - Carbon
- Eli & Fur - Come Back Around
- Eli & Fur - Free Your Mind
- Eli & Fur - Honest
- Eli & Fur feat. Holly Martin - In Too Deep
- Eli & Fur - Like the Way
- Eli & Fur - Parfume
- Eli & Fur - Something Was Real
- Gucci Mane - Side EFX
- Marvin Gaye - You're Wonderful
- Nervosa - Behind the Wall
- Nervosa - Gates to the Fall
- Nervosa - Nail the Coffin
- Nervosa - Pursued by Judgement
- Nervosa - Sacrifice
- Nervosa feat. Lena Scissorhands - Superstition Failed
- Nervosa - Under Ruins
- Nervosa feat. Gary Holt - When the Truth Is a Lie
- Unantastbar - Südtirol
- Bad Jokers - Wie Ein Eiserner Schild
- Cynic - The Lion's Roar
- Cynic - True Hallucination Speak
- Eli & Fur - I Can't Move
- Eli & Fur - My Shadow
- Eli & Fur - Night Blooming Jasmine
- Eli & Fur - Otherside
- Eli & Fur - Skyway (Rewind Edit)
- Eli & Fur - Temptation
- Eli & Fur - Waiting (Eli & Fur's Found Version)
- Eli & Fur - Where I Find My Mind
- Hämatom - Gott Muss Ein Arschloch Sein
- Jos & Eli, Eli & Fur - Riffs of the Night
- Karsten Walter - Gib Mir Mehr
- Karsten Walter - Perfetto
- Karsten Walter - Verdammt, Ich Weiß
- Karsten Walter & Marina Marx - Lass Die Anderen Reden
- Kate Bush - This Woman's Work
- Manntra - Sin
- Mickie Krause - Schatzi, Schenk Mir Ein Foto
- Nervosa - Jailbreak
- Nervosa - Seed of Death
- Nervosa - Suffocare
- Nervosa - Ungrateful
- Nico De Andrea, Eli & Fur - Start the Fire
- Noel Terhorst - Dein Wahres Gesicht
- Noel Terhorst - Ich Vermiss Dich
- Noel Terhorst - Immer Für Dich
- THE SCOTTS feat. Travis Scott, Kid Cudi - THE SCOTTS
- Sonia Liebing - Hemmungslos
- Sonia Liebing - Nur Weil Du Einsam Bist
- Tate McRae - Chaotic
- Booka Shade & Eli & Fur - To the Sea
- BoyWithUke - Problematic
- Cosmo Sheldrake - The Falcon
- Danny Howard & Eli & Fur - Next to Me
- Dawid Podsiadło & P.T. Adamczyk - Phantom Liberty*
- Eli & Fur, Disciples - The Pressure
- Eli & Fur feat. Camden Cox - Burning
- Eli & Fur - Follow the Dark
- Eli & Fur - Fuse
- Eli & Fur - Talk to Me
- Francis Bebey - The Coffee-Cola Song
- Helado Negro - Lotta Love
- Hozier - Whole Lotta Love
- Meduza, Eli & Fur - Pegasus
- Nervosa - Conflict
- Nervosa - Fear, Violence and Massacre
- Nervosa - Kill or Die
- Nervosa - Selfish Battle
- Varg - Ewige Wacht
- 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 .  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.   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.   None the demos submitted in 1983 from Pat Thrall and Glen Hughes were used for the movie.  They did use the Pat Thrall and Glenn Hughes song for the film's ShoWest exhibitor reel.   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.   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.   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".  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.   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. 
- 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. 
- 2009 Re-Recording (3:42) - available on the Atari Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime website for a limited time in 2011.  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.  )
Official Releases [ ]
Music video [ ].
The Times Square scene for the music video was shot in the last week of May 1984.  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
- Chevy Chase
- Melissa Gilbert
- Ollie E. Brown 
- 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. 
- 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. 
- 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. 
- 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. 
- 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. 
- 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.  
- It cost $80,000 for the song to be used on Ghostbusters: The Video Game. 
- 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.
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 [ ]
Overall [ ]
"Girls Are More Fun" Music Video Screens [ ]
Unreleased Updated Music Video [ ]
IDW Comics [ ]
- 3 Ecto Cooler