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13 Songs (and Many More) for Your Chilling Halloween Playlist

Many probably think it’s impossible to have a Halloween playlist longer than most people’s Christmas music playlists. However, a holiday revolving around mystery, childish traditions, mischief, and sinister desires has been the inspiration for more than a few musicians. Below is a collection of top picks ranging from party bangers to calming witchy vibes to eccentric showtunes.

For when You’re on Aux at the Party

1. “ Ghostbusters ” — Walk the Moon (2016)

Many versions of “Ghostbusters” exist, but Walk the Moon’s — originally written for the 2016 movie — is a crisp and lively improvement on the original. Don’t write this song off as simply campy; it remains true to Ray Parker Jr.’s ’80s pop vibe that’s perfect for dancing.

2. “ Heads Will Roll ” — Yeah Yeah Yeahs (2009)

If you’re hoping to “dance ’til you’re dead” this Halloween, this track belongs at the top of your playlist. With a strong electronic guitar warp to open the song, it immediately energizes listeners and sustains an upbeat rock pop quality throughout to keep you going.

3. “ Thriller ” — Michael Jackson (1982)

This one needs no introduction. With werewolf howls, zombies, and ominous yet energizing ’80s techno beats, Jackson creates a chilling story to get you into the Halloween spirit. And with the right crowd, it can even inspire a flash mob if enough people know the original dance as well.

The Classics

4. “ Monster Mash ” — Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers (1962)

This is a genre-defining “Halloween song.” Bobby Pickett, originally from Somerville, Mass., is bound to elicit some childhood nostalgia as he sings from Dr. Frankenstein’s perspective with a campy accent about all the classic monsters, from ghouls to Dracula, doing the popular “Monster Mash” dance. The playfulness of monsters dancing brings out the fun of Halloween for all ages.

5. “ It Must Be Halloween ” — Andrew Gold (1996)

Andrew Gold’s album “Halloween Howls: Fun & Scary Music” includes most of the classic hits in the Halloween song canon, some as covers and many that he composed himself. “It Must Be Halloween” is one of his originals and bound to make you remember every one of your campy childhood Halloween costumes.

Fueling your Inner Witch

6. “ Black Magic Woman ” — VCTRYS (2019)

VCTRYS’s cover of the song originally written and sung by Peter Green for his band Fleetwood Mac literally and figuratively brings a woman’s voice to the accusatory song. The words describe a temptress using black magic to attract the singer. Originally a ’60s rock tune, this version is much creepier with its distorted guitar and heavier percussion.

7. “ Season of the Witch ” — Lana Del Rey (2019)

Lana Del Rey has an amazingly distinct voice and her breathy, dark tone alone is enough to sway women towards witchcraft. In another example of a woman covering a classic that men previously sang, she creates a chilling anthem to play while lighting your candles.

8. “ I Put a Spell on You ” — Nina Simone (1965)

Do women only sing covers? No, but hearing them take ownership over songs about magic and strong women is pretty empowering. Simone’s deep voice and the jazzy composition create the eerie tone in her superior version of “I Put a Spell on You” which was originally released by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.

Eerie Folk Rock

9. “ Black Magic Woman ” — Santana (1970)

Still not the original, but this is the version that really rose to fame when Santana covered it in 1970. Santana went for a much more low key sound than Fleetwood Mac’s original, and their emphasis on the opening guitar solo and constant yet more subtle percussion fit better creating a more mellow Halloween vibe.

10. “ In the Room Where You Sleep ” — Dead Man’s Bones (2009)

Before he was singing about simping over Barbie, Ryan Gosling was a part of rock duo Dead Man’s Bones, creating haunting songs about monsters and ghosts. Their only album was released in 2009 and incorporates Gosling’s distorted voice to make the music sound even more ominous.

11. “ Full Moon ” — The Black Ghosts (2008)

You may recognize this song from the opening scenes of “Twilight,” playing over scenes of Bella leaving Arizona for Forks, Washington. The acoustic guitar strumming, echoed vocals, and lyrics idealizing the full moon as a homecoming are perfect for Bella’s journey to a town full of supernatural beings.

Freaky Theater

12. “ Science Fiction/Double Feature ” — Richard O’Brien (1975)

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is a great watch on Halloween — whether it’s the 1975 Tim Curry movie or a live version you can find near you. Focusing on Frankenfurter, his monster, and the repressed sexual desires of the seemingly traditional Brad and Janet, this musical has fun, upbeat songs following a truly bizarre story.

13. “ Masquerade ” - Cast of “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”, Jaz Sinclair, Kiernan Shipka, Gavin Leatherwood, Lucy Davis, Miranda Otto, Ross Lynch, Tati Gabrielle

It might seem strange to recommend a cover by the “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” cast rather than the original written for “The Phantom of the Opera,” but the show’s reimagining is much more to the point. This version cuts out the prelude involving a lot of talking and instrumentals and jumps right to the chorus at the masquerade ball, playing into the mystery and masking that embodies Halloween.

. For 20+ more great picks, scroll through our Spotify playlist!

—Staff writer Margo A. Silliman can be reached at [email protected]

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  • Entertainment

Pop legend unrecognisable 39 years after hit Hollywood movie song, Oscars performance and reality TV shock

  • Oliver Grady
  • Published : 10:58 ET, Oct 21 2023
  • Updated : 11:06 ET, Oct 21 2023
  • Published : Invalid Date,

HE shot to fame after he wrote and performed the theme song to the 1980s movie, Ghostbusters.

Who You Gonna Call? singer Ray Parker Jr looks very different today than he did when the iconic song launched him onto the Oscars stage back in 1985.

Ray Parker Jr in 2022 performing on US talk show, The Talk

The track topped the US charts for three weeks at the time, and was also performed at the legendary Radio City music hall to close out the 1985 MTV Video Music Awards.

Ray first found fame before Ghostbusters, however, in his band Raydio back in the 70s.

Whey they split in the early 80s, he released five albums between 1981 and 1991.

These spawned several top ten hits including  “Jack and Jill”, “You Can’t Change That”, and “A Woman Needs Love (Just Like You Do).

He has also written songs for the likes of Chaka Khan, the Supremes, Tina Turner, The Carpenters and The Temptations.

Since then, however, Ray has been largely absent from the music scene as a solo star apart from another album in 2006.

In 2014, he was honoured with a star on the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Fans in the States were also thrilled when Ray made an unexpected return to the spotlight last year when he appeared on The Masked Singer USA .

Most read in Music

Matthew Perry’s pickleball partner spotted warning signs hours before his death

Matthew Perry’s pickleball partner spotted warning signs hours before his death

Matthew Perry looked tired and disheveled just months before tragic death

Matthew Perry looked tired and disheveled just months before tragic death

Matthew Perry's eerie last post shows star in pool 'where he drowned'

Matthew Perry's eerie last post shows star in pool 'where he drowned'

Matthew Perry looked downcast while out having dinner days before death

Matthew Perry looked downcast while out having dinner days before death

Ray was unmasked as Sir Bug A Boo, and performed the Ghostbusters theme on the hit series.

Eagle-eyed UK fans might also remember he appeared in a 2009 advert for directory enquiries service 118 118, where he performed a re-worked version of his hit Ghostbusters theme.

Earlier this year, he summed up in the secret to his successful songwriting.

In an interview with Pop Matters, he said: "All of my songs, including 'Ghostbusters' and 'Jack and Jill', are simple songs. Three chords, four chords. Verse, chorus, clever lyric, and that’s it."

He appeared on The Masked Singer USA last year

  • Ghostbusters

ghostbusters songs in the movie

  • Main content

11 best and scary Halloween songs, including Michael Jackson and '80s hits

  • When you think of Halloween, you probably think of pumpkins, ghosts, and trick-or-treating.
  • You'll also likely think of these iconic Halloween songs.
  • Below are 11 of the most popular and scary Halloween tracks.

"Thriller" by Michael Jackson (1983)

ghostbusters songs in the movie

The most iconic Halloween song of all time, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" was released as the seventh single from Jackson's 1982 album of the same name.

In the song's equally iconic music video, a zombified Jackson performs a dance routine with a horde of his fellow undead.

"Werewolves of London" by Warren Zevon (1978)

ghostbusters songs in the movie

The idea for Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London" is said to have originated from Phil Everly of The Everly Brothers, who, after watching the 1935 movie "Werewolf of London," suggested to Zevon that he adapt the title for a song and dance craze.

"I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand / Walking down the streets of Soho in the rain," sings Zevon in the song's hilarious opening line.

"Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett (1962)

ghostbusters songs in the movie

Bobby "Boris" Pickett's novelty single "Monster Mash"  went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on October 20, 1962, and stayed there for two weeks.

"Somebody's Watching Me" by Rockwell (1984)

ghostbusters songs in the movie

Featuring guest vocals from both Michael Jackson and his brother Jermaine Jackson, Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me" topped the charts in Belgium, France, and Spain, and reached No. 2 in the United States.

Rockwell, real name Kennedy William Gordy, is the son of Motown founder Berry Gordy.

"Enter Sandman" by Metallica (1991)

ghostbusters songs in the movie

The lyrics to Metallica's "Enter Sandman" are already dark enough.

"Hush little baby don't say a word, and never mind that noise you heard / It's just the beasts under your bed, in your closet, in your head," sings lead singer James Hetfield.

When you find out the song was originally intended to be about a baby dying in its crib, it becomes even more disturbing. 

"I Put a Spell on You" by Screamin' Jay Hawkins (1956)

ghostbusters songs in the movie

A song about lamenting the loss of an ex-girlfriend, Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell on You" was banned from radio because of its voodoo overtones and "cannibalistic sounds."

In response to backlash, Hawkins famously began performing the song dressed as a witch doctor and wielding a skull on a stick.

"Psycho Killer" by Talking Heads (1977)

ghostbusters songs in the movie

The lyrics to  Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer" provide an insight into the mind of a serial killer who is struggling to control his dark desires.

"Better run, run, run, run, run, run, run away," sings frontman David Byrne.

"Ghost Town" by The Specials (1981)

ghostbusters songs in the movie

Recorded in the midst of an economic recession in the United Kingdom, The Specials' "Ghost Town" tackles themes of unemployment, urban decay, and violence.

In the song's music video, the group drives through derelict areas of London in the early hours of the morning.

"Ghost Town" spent three weeks at No. 1 in the UK.

"Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker Jr. (1984)

ghostbusters songs in the movie

Recorded as the theme tune to the 1984 movie of the same name, Ray Parker Jr.'s "Ghostbusters" spent three weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

Shortly after the film's release, Parker Jr. was sued by Huey Lewis for plagiarism. Lewis alleged that Parker Jr. had copied the melody for "Ghostbusters" from a song by Huey Lewis and the News called "I Want a New Drug."

The case was settled out of court in 1985 for an undisclosed sum .

"Zombie" by The Cranberries (1994)

ghostbusters songs in the movie

"Zombie" is a protest song written by The Cranberries' lead singer Dolores O'Riordan in response to the death of two children in an IRA bombing in the English town of Warrington.

O'Riordan told Vox magazine in 1994 that she was "devastated" by the attack and was upset that those who carried it out claimed to have done so in the name of Ireland.

"The IRA are not me. I'm not the IRA," she said. "When it says in the song, 'It's not me, it's not my family,' that's what I'm saying. It's not Ireland, it's some idiots living in the past."

"Dragula" by Rob Zombie (1998)

ghostbusters songs in the movie

Rob Zombie is the undisputed king of Halloween.

Not only has he directed a handful of modern horror movie classics like 2003's "House of 1000 Corpses" and the 2007 remake of "Halloween," but he also boasts an impressive discography filled with horror-themed hits.

"Dragula," a song based on the drag racing car of the same name from the sitcom "The Munsters," is the pick of the bunch.

ghostbusters songs in the movie

Screen Rant

Ghostbusters: the strange true story behind the iconic theme song.

Ray Parker Jr.'s infectious and unforgettable theme for the 1984 film Ghostbusters is an iconic piece of movie history that almost wasn't.

Ray Parker Jr.'s infectious and unforgettable theme for the 1984 film  Ghostbusters is an iconic piece of movie history that almost wasn't. Of course, the fun song that gifted viewers the phrase " Who ya gonna call? " (as well as a star-studded music video) became just as big of a hit as the  Ghostbusters film itself, but that was far from a sure thing in the months leading up to the film's release. From the other songs considered to the amount of time Ray Parker Jr. was given to complete his task, the story behind the Ghostbusters theme is as captivating as the song itself.

Given the success and quality of the original  Ghostbusters , it's a remarkable fact that the movie's production was both troubled and rushed. Extensive rewrites to the original  Ghostbusters script , budget concerns from the studio, and a concise production window are just a few of the hurdles   that creators Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ivan Reitman faced while making their film.   As music is generally one of the last elements to be added to a movie, the hectic and hurried nature of  Ghostbusters' development made finding the perfect theme song even more of a challenge.

Related:  Afterlife Hints The Original Ghostbusters Split Up (Why?)

Just as many aspects of  Ghostbusters came down to quick decisions and snap judgments, Ray Parker Jr.'s involvement in the film was far from a sure thing. As Aykroyd and co. were scrambling to finish the film and name the ghost in the Ghostbusters logo , Columbia Pictures was rumored to have reached out to Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac fame, thanks to the success he had found writing "Holiday Road" for  National Lampoon's Vacation  the previous year. The film studio also received over sixty song submissions from other artists, none of which were deemed usable (via CBC ). Parker Jr. was only tapped to write the song after he had already booked a flight to Los Angeles for a completely different project - not to mention that he was, at the time, largely focusing his efforts away from music in order to take care of his ailing parents. He ended up extending his Los Angeles stay by a few days, which, incidentally, was all the time he would get.

Given that the  Ghostbusters theme would come to be used for several future   projects (presumably including the never-made original  Ghostbusters 3 ),  it's remarkable that Ray Parker Jr. only had a few days to create it. When Parker Jr. got involved, the movie was already in the mixing process, meaning that music would be the next addition to the project. Though Parker Jr., a longtime session guitarist, wrote the music quickly, he has admitted to struggling with the theme song's lyrics. In the "Ghostbusters" episode of Netflix's  The Movies That Made Us,  Parker Jr. stated that he couldn't find a good way to sing the word "Ghostbusters," the inclusion of which was a must for the studio. Thankfully, when Parker Jr. was shown a cut of the film, he was struck by the in-movie Ghostbusters advertisement (which returns in  Ghostbusters: Afterlife 's Force Awakens- esque trailer) . This reminded Parker Jr. of commercials for home services like plumbing and extermination, which led him to the phrase " Who ya gonna call? "

Parker Jr. was ultimately able to write and record his  Ghostbusters theme in two and a half days. Upon completion, he hurriedly sent a cassette tape to Ivan Reitman, who immediately incorporated it into the film. Though Parker Jr. was originally asked to write less than a minute of music for the film's opening library scene, the track was extended to a radio-friendly four minutes. Ray Parker Jr.'s efforts were rewarded with a level of success he had never seen. The Ghostbusters theme quickly became a chart-topping smash and was even nominated for Best Original Song at the 57th Academy Awards. Though it's likely that a theme-less  Ghostbusters  still would have led to sequels and maybe even the return of Gozer in  Ghostbusters: Afterlife , Ray Parker Jr.'s musical contribution surely helped the film become the undeniable classic it is today.

More:  Ghostbusters: Afterlife Theory - Egon's Ghost Is In The Trailer

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Original soundtrack.


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The Best Family Friendly Movies to Stream This Halloween, From ‘Coraline’ to ‘Hocus Pocus’

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Halloween is the time for horror movies : for spine-tingling fright fests filled with blood, gore, and screams. At least, that’s the case for those of us who are child-free and have a pal or two for a late night horror binge or two over the course of October.

But for parents, Halloween is a time for the kiddos, for trick-or-treating and family costume parties and some family bonding movie nights. But what should you watch on the movie night when your kids are little? It can be difficult to find a movie appropriate for the season that doesn’t contain any scares that would make it unwatchable for a child; just because the movies are named “Halloween” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s what you should be watching on Halloween.

Streaming luckily has a mountain of family-friendly options to choose from this Halloween season, with almost every streamer having a large collection of animated films or family-friendly comedies starring ghosts, witches, or other spooky creatures of the night. That said, not every kid-appropriate Halloween film is a home run for adults as well, with plenty of the typical filler dreck flooding the proverbial streaming airwaves. So the challenge is to find something cute and fun enough to avoid giving the youngest children nightmares for weeks, but still smart enough to keep their parents from reaching over to check their phones from boredom.

With Halloween weekend upon us, IndieWire decided to do that work for you. We combed through Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Prime Video, Peacock, Paramount+, and even Apple TV+ to find the best Halloween-adjacent movies that will thrill kids and still delight adults. This Halloween season, their are plenty of great choices, including animated faves “Coraline,” “Monster House,” and “Wallace and Gromit: the Curse of the Were-Rabbit.” If you’re up for something more fleshy, there’s live-action favorites like “Addams Family Values,” “Hocus Pocus,” and the 2002 “Scooby-Doo” film. And if you’re looking for something truly iconic, we threw in one of the most legendary TV specials of all time, starring every TV watcher’s favorite blockhead.

Read on for our list of the top 10 family-friendly Halloween movies currently streaming this October. We promise you they’re a better use of you and your kids’ time than going to see “Five Nights at Freddy’s.”

“Hocus Pocus” (1993)

HOCUS POCUS, Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, 1993,

Streaming on: Disney+ 

Spooky synopsis:  This seasonal Halloween staple stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as a trio of hilarious but evil witches resurrected on Halloween night, with a plan to steal the soul of at least one child in order to remain alive after sunrise.  

Perfect for: Wiccans, man-haters, Broadway babies, “Ghost World” fans who want to see where Thora Birch got her start, “Sex and the City” lovers and haters, Kenny Ortega completionists, and adults who need to explain to their kids what a virgin is. 

“Coraline” (2009)

ghostbusters songs in the movie

Streaming on: Max

Spooky synopsis:  Henry Selick’s shockingly scary adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novella focuses on the titular girl as she discovers an alternate world in a secret door at the back of her house, containing seemingly perfect versions of her parents that hide horrific secrets. 

Perfect for: Kids who want to be traumatized, adults who want to teach their kids to be grateful, Neil Gaiman lovers, “Nightmare Before Christmas” enjoyers, and anyone who foolishly thinks animated movies can’t be scary as hell. 

“Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” (2005)

WALLACE AND GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT, Gromit, 2005, (c)DreamWorks/courtesy of Everett Collection

Streaming on: Netflix 

Spooky synopsis:  The feature-length film debut of the Aardman Animations comedic duo, “Curse of the Were-Rabbit” stars eccentric inventor Wallace and his brave dog Gromit as they race to find a mysterious giant rabbit terrorizing their town. 

Perfect for:  Dog lovers, bunny haters, cheeseheads, British people and anglophiles, Hammer horror fans, and people who thought “An American Werewolf in London” was too scary.

“Monster House” (2006)

MONSTER HOUSE, D.J., 2006, (c)Sony Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection.

Streaming on:  Hulu

Spooky synopsis:  The criminally underrated “Monster House” focuses on three kids who discover that the home of local elderly crank is alive, and race against time to destroy it before it endangers the other children of the neighborhood.    

Perfect for:  Dan Harmon fans who want to look into what he was writing before “Community, anyone looking for a movie animated in the same style of “Polar Express” that’s actually good, and parents who want to branch beyond watching the same five movies with their kids over and over again. 

“Ghostbusters” (1984)

GHOSTBUSTERS, Ernie Hudson, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, 1984"

Streaming on:  Peacock 

Spooky synopsis:  The iconic ’80s comedy stars Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson as Manhattan’s best (and only) quartet of ghost-hunting professionals. 

Perfect for:  “Saturday Night Live” fans, nostalgic ’80s kids, anyone whose memorized that iconic theme song by heart, practical effects lovers, parents willing to let their children watch a slightly more raunchy feature, people who remember that the film is actually a comedy instead of a serious action film, kids who want to see the characters the “Stranger Things” cast dressed up as in Season 2, and marshmallow cravers. 

“Scooby-Doo” (2002)

ghostbusters songs in the movie

Streaming on:  Prime Video 

Spooky synopsis: The live-action “Scooby-Doo” movie stars a cast of ’90s icons (Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard, Linda Cardellini) as the gang, who reunite after a break-up to solve a mystery at a tropical resort.  

Perfect for: Meddling kids, whodunit fans, lesbian Velma truthers, nostalgic “Buffy” stans, nostalgic “She’s All That” fans, people who think “Zombie Island” was the best animated “Scooby” film, Scrappy-Doo haters, everyone who thinks Matthew Lillard was the perfect Shaggy, James Gun heads, and CBD-friendly households. 

“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” (1966)


Streaming on:  Apple TV+ 

Spooky synopsis:  The third released and second-most iconic “Peanuts” TV special sees Charlie Brown and the gang celebrate Christmas, while philosophical Linus waits in the local pumpkin patch for the mystical Great Pumpkin to deliver presents to kids. 

Perfect for:  Blockheads, beagles, blankie enthusiasts, aspiring cartoonists, Vince Guaraldi fans, flop football players, and Great Pumpkin true believers. 

“Addams Family Values” (1993)

ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES, from left: Joan Cusack, Christopher Lloyd, 1993. ph: Melinda Sue Gordon / © Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Streaming on:  Paramount+ 

Spooky synopsis:  The far superior sequel to the first ’90s “Addams Family” movie, “Addams Family Values” brings the ringer cast of the original (Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, and Christina Ricci) back for a new adventure. Joining the cast is a deliciously over-the-top Joan Cusack, as pastel-pink gold digger Debbie looking to scheme her way into the family’s fortune.  

Perfect for:  Gay parents, gay kids, gay audience members of every generation, anti-colonization activists, goth girls, and people who like to look camp right in the eye. 

“Halloweentown” (1998)

HALLOWEENTOWN, (from left): Emily Roeske, Debbie Reynolds, Kimberly J. Brown, Joey Zimmerman, 1998. © Disney Channel  / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Streaming on: Disney+

Spooky synopsis:  One of the most iconic Disney Channel Original Movies, “Halloweentown” stars Kimberly J. Brown as Marnie: a 13 year-old girl who discovers that she and her cool grandmother Aggie (Debbie Reynolds) are witches. Journeying to the magic world of Halloweentown where ghouls and monsters live apart from humanity, Marnie becomes the last line of defense against the evil mayor Kalabar (Robin Thomas).  

Perfect for:  “Singing in the Rain” aficionados, nostalgic millennials, Disney Channel Original movie enthusiasts, trick-or-treaters, and anyone who can’t handle even moderate scares in their Halloween content. 

“Kiki Delivery Service” (1989)

ghostbusters songs in the movie

Streaming on:  Max

Spooky synopsis:  Hayao Miyazaki’s fifth feature film focuses on a 13-year-old witch in training who moves to the big city in an effort to make new friends and find herself.  

Perfect for:  Anime fans, witch girls, people whose only Ghibli experience is “Spirited Away,” bakers, food porn lovers, “Simpsons” fans who recognize Phil Hartman as the black cat, and anyone struggling with the difficulties of growing up. 

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20 Biggest Halloween Songs of All Time on the Hot 100

Undying classics from the Killboard Rot 100.

By Joe Lynch

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Disco Ball  With Pumpkins Face In Nightclub With Fog And Light Effect

Halloween songs might not be as celebrated — or profitable — as Christmas music (though that’s changing a bit), but there’s no denying the grave reality that people go batty for spooky songs as Oct. 31 approaches.

Simply put, folks who want to avoid spooky songs around All Hollows’ Eve don’t have a ghost of a chance. And while we all have our favorites, there are some seasonally appropriate songs that loom larger in Billboard Hot 100 history than others.

We decided to round up the 20 Biggest Halloween Songs based on their Hot 100 chart achievements (see below for a detailed explanation). No bones about it — the results might leave some people howling mad. Frightening as it may be to fans of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson’s iconic “Thriller” doesn’t actually make the top 20 of this list. (“Thriller” peaked at No. 4 in 1984 and spent 22 weeks on the chart.) Although it’s inarguably become a perennial staple – one as essential to the season as those holding Frankenstein’s monster together — it doesn’t quite make the list.

So what did? No need for us to be cryptic – read on and find out.

Billboard’s Biggest Halloween Songs ranking is based on weekly performance on the Hot 100 (through the Oct. 14, 2023-dated charts), and includes Halloween-themed hits or songs with a seasonal word in its title (“spooky,” “devil,” “monster,” “witch,” etc.) Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at lower spots earning the least. Due to changes in chart methodology over the years, eras are weighted differently to account for chart turnover rates during various periods.

Additional research by Xander Zellner.

Roy Orbison, “Running Scared”

Hot 100 Peak : No. 1

Peak date : 6/5/1961

The vibe: Haunted, histrionic

A favorite of: Easily spooked marathoners

Listen here .

The Charlie Daniels Band, "The Devil Went Down to Georgia”

Hot 100 Peak: No. 3

Peak date: 9/15/79

The vibe: Rollicking, unstoppable  

A favorite of: Cowboys from hell

Listen here.

Santana, “Black Magic Woman”

Hot 100 Peak : No. 4

Peak Date: 1/9/71

The Vibe : Witchy, libidinous   

A Favorite of : Catherine Monvoisin

Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Bad Moon Rising”

Hot 100 Peak: No. 2

Peak Date : 6/28/69

The Vibe: Rootsy, easy-going   

A Favorite of: Wolf men, wolf women and wolf they/thems

Cliff Richard, "Devil Woman” 

Hot 100 Peak: No 6

Peak Date: 9/25/76

The Vibe: Rockin’, swingin’  

A Favorite of: Helen DEADy

Kodak Black, “Super Gremlin”

Peak Date: 3/19/22

The Vibe: Creepy, taunting

A Favorite of: Gizmo

Classics IV, “Spooky”

Peak Date: 2/10/68

The Vibe: Sultry, groovy

A Favorite of: Casper the Horny Ghost

Imagine Dragons, “Demons”

Hot 100 Peak: No. 6

Peak Date: 12/7/13

The Vibe: Fist-pumping, fist-bumping

A Favorite of: Frat Boy Beelzebub

INXS, “Devil Inside”

Hot 100 Peak: No 2

Peak Date: 4/16/88

The Vibe: Seductive, playful

A Favorite of : Indoor demons

Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, “Devil With a Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly”

Hot 100 Peak: No. 4

Peak Date: 11/26/66

The Vibe: Raucous, devil-may-care

A Favorite of: Sartorial Satan

Janet Jackson, “Black Cat”

Hot 100 Peak: No 1

Peak Date: 10/27/90

The Vibe : Hard-rocking, ferocious

A Favorite of : Edgar Allan Poe; Salem from Sabrina, the Teenage Witch

T.I. feat. Justin Timberlake, “Dead and Gone”

Peak Date : 2/28/09

The Vibe: World-weary, pessimistic   

A Favorite of: The Invisible Man

Cher, “Dark Lady”

Hot 100 Peak: No. 1

Peak Date : 3/23/74

The Vibe: Eerie, sly

A Favorite of: Home-wrecking fortune tellers

Rockwell, “Somebody’s Watching Me”

Hot 100 Peak: No. 2

Peak Date: 3/24/84

The Vibe: Paranoid, spooky

A Favorite of : Nepo babies

Bobby Brown, “On Our Own (From ‘Ghostbusters II’)”

Peak Date: 8/5/89

The Vibe: Boisterous, fresh  

A Favorite of: Vigo the Carpathian

Eminem feat. Rihanna, “The Monster”

Peak Date: 12/21/13

The Vibe: Harrowing, haunted

A Favorite of: Sulley and Mike

The Edgar Winter Group, “Frankenstein”

Peak Date: 5/26/73

The Vibe: Head-banging, swaggery  

A Favorite of: Frankensteins young and old

Post Malone feat. Ty Dolla $ign, “Psycho”

Peak Date: 6/16/18

The Vibe: Vibey. Just vibey, man…

A Favorite of: Norman Bates

Ray Parker Jr., “Ghostbusters”

Peak Date: 8/11/84

The Vibe: Party-starting, campy

A Favorite of: The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man  

Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers, “Monster Mash”

Peak Date: 10/20/1962

The Vibe: Goofy, endearing

A Favorite of: Monsters of easy virtue

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  • Ghostbusters Written and Performed by Ray Parker Jr. (as Ray Parker, Jr.) Courtesy of Raydio Music Corp.
  • String Quartet in Eb Major, Op. 1, No. 2 - Menuetto Written by Joseph Haydn (as Franz Joseph Haydn)
  • American Woman Written by Kallie North, Jessyca Wilson , Jason White and Butch Walker Performed by Muddy Magnolias Courtesy of I.R.S. Nashville Records Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
  • Rhythm Of The Night Written by Diane Warren Performed by DeBarge Courtesy of Motown Records Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
  • Ghostbusters (I'm Not Afraid) Written by Ray Parker Jr. (as Ray Parker, Jr.) and Missy Elliott Performed by Fall Out Boy featuring Missy Elliott Produced by Patrick Stump Fall Out Boy appear courtesy of Island Records Missy Elliott appears courtesy of Gold Mind Inc. / Atlantic Recording Corp.
  • Low Then High Written by Theodore Shapiro and Ryan Levine Produced by Theodore Shapiro Performed by Beasts of Mayhem
  • Want Some More Written by Theodore Shapiro and Ryan Levine Produced by Theodore Shapiro Performed by Beasts of Mayhem
  • Girls Talk Boys Written by Ricky Reed (as Eric Frederic), Teddy Geiger , Ammar Malik and John Ryan Produced by Ricky Reed Performed by 5 Seconds of Summer 5 Seconds of Summer appear courtesy of Capitol Records UK
  • Party Up (Up In Here) Written by DMX (as Earl Simmons) and Swizz Beatz (as Kasseem Dean) Performed by DMX Courtesy of Def Jam Recordings Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
  • You Should Be Dancing Written by Barry Gibb , Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb Performed by The Bee Gees (as Bee Gees) Courtesy of Reprise Records By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
  • End of the World (Party One More Time) Written by Seyed Milad Nazeri and Bryan Bonwell Performed by The PlaceMints featuring Kierra Gray Courtesy of BZEE Roc Music Group, LLC By arrangement with Spirit Music Group
  • Munchkinland Written by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg
  • Good Girls Written by Dave Bassett and Elle King (as Tanner Schneider) Produced by Dave Bassett Performed by Elle King Elle King appears courtesy of RCA Records
  • Ghostbusters Written by Ray Parker Jr. (as Ray Parker, Jr.) Produced by Timothy Alan Pagnotta (as Tim Pagnotta) Performed by Walk the Moon Walk the Moon appear courtesy of RCA Records
  • Get Ghost Written by Ray Parker Jr. (as Ray Parker, Jr.), Mark Ronson , Jeff Bhasker , Michael Angelakos , Brent Katz and A$AP Ferg (as Darold Brown) Produced by Mark Ronson and Jeff Bhasker Performed by Mark Ronson , Passion Pit and A$AP Ferg (as A$AP Ferg) Mark Ronson appears courtesy of RCA Records / Sony Music Entertainment UK Passion Pit appears courtesy of Columbia Records A$AP Ferg appears courtesy of A$AP Worldwide / Polo Grounds Music / RCA Records
  • Ghostbusters Written by Ray Parker Jr. (as Ray Parker, Jr.) Performed by No Small Children
  • Saw It Coming Written by G-Eazy (as Gerald Gillum), Max Martin , Savan Kotecha , Peter Svensson , Ali Payami and Ray Parker Jr. (as Ray Parker, Jr.) Produced by Ali Payami , Savan Kotecha and Peter Svensson Performed by G-Eazy featuring Jeremih G-Eazy appears courtesy of RVG / BPG / RCA Records Jeremih appears courtesy of Def Jam Recordings Under license from Universal Music Enterprises

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15 things you might not know about the Ghostbusters theme song

Four men stand shoulder to shoulder in matching grey coveralls. They all hold devices that have electrical impulses blasting out from them.

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For 32 years, almost everyone has learned the answer to the age-old question: "Who you gonna call?" The iconic theme song for the 1984 film Ghostbusters was written and performed by Detroit artist Ray Parker Jr., and has undoubtedly become his biggest hit. The menacing, upbeat number took on a life of its own after the release of the movie, and lines from the track, including "I ain't afraid of no ghosts," have found a permanent place in pop culture history — including references in American Dad and Anchorman 2 .

A new Ghostbusters film, starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon, will hit theatres tomorrow and while that film boasts its own new version of the theme song , we wanted to take a look back at the original. Here are 15 facts about Ray Parker Jr.'s original Ghostbusters theme.

1. The song was a number 1 hit

Two months after the release of the film, "Ghostbusters" reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on Aug. 11, 1984. It stayed at the top of the chart for three weeks.

2. Lindsey Buckingham almost wrote the theme

Rumour has it that the Fleetwood Mac singer and guitarist was approached to write the theme, but he passed on it. Buckingham didn't want to be pegged as a soundtrack artist as he had already written a song for National Lampoon's Vacation the year before.

3. Parker Jr. was 'sort of retired' when he was approached to write this song

Before Ghostbusters , Parker Jr. made a name for himself with a number of hits including " The Other Woman " and " I Still Can't Get Over Loving You " but he had, according to his interview with HLN (below), "sort of retired because my parents had gotten sick." But, he later went to Los Angeles to work with New Edition on the band's song "Mr. Telephone Man" and it was there that Parker Jr. was approached by a friend at Columbia Pictures to write for the Ghostbusters soundtrack.

4. Clive Davis didn't want Parker Jr. to write the theme song

Davis, the founder of Arista Records, was not crazy about the idea of having his artist write the theme song for a film about ghosts. In an interview with Screen Crush , Parker Jr. revealed: "All of my songs are romance songs, so in Clive's defense, we had built an entire career …of me singing to girls. So, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, Clive gets a phone call and I'm singing about a ghost. So, he just thought that was a little strange."

5. There were a lot of theme songs submitted

Before Parker Jr. signed on to write the theme song, Columbia Pictures went through roughly 60 songs that were submitted, and they didn't like any of them.

6. It was supposed to be a short clip, not a full song

When Parker Jr. originally signed on to write music for the film, he was told the theme would only be "20 to 25 seconds long," to soundtrack a scene in the library. When he was told to turn the snippet into a full song, he used a tape machine to splice together a four-minute track.

7. Parker Jr. had a very short deadline

He only had approximately two-and-a-half days to write this song but luckily for him, " Everything just went perfectly. "

8. A TV commercial inspired Parker Jr. to write the theme

According to reports, Parker Jr. had trouble writing the Ghostbusters theme until he saw a commercial on TV that inspired him to write an advertisement jingle, which explains the slogan-like refrain, "Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!"

9. The music video included 12 famous cameos

In addition to the Ghostbusters stars Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson and Harold Ramis, the music video for "Ghostbusters" featured cameos of actors shouting "Ghostbusters!" inside a neon frame. These guests were Carly Simon, John Candy, George Wendt, Jeffrey Tambor, Melissa Gilbert, Al Franken, Peter Falk, Teri Garr, Danny DeVito, Chevy Chase, Irene Cara and Ollie E. Brown. None of the actors were paid to appear in the video, instead they were all favours asked by director Ivan Reitman. In fact, the crew made an impromptu visit to the set of John Candy's film Brewster's Millions to get his shot.

10. Parker Jr. almost became an Oscar winner

"Ghostbusters" was nominated for best original song at the 1985 Academy Awards, but lost to Stevie Wonder's "I Just Called to Say I Love You," a song from the 1984 romantic comedy The Woman in Red .

11. Huey Lewis sued Parker Jr. over this song

Lewis was another artist who turned down the opportunity to work on the Ghostbusters theme, but when Parker Jr.'s song came out, Lewis sued for the track's similarities to his song "I Want a New Drug," which was released earlier that same year. The lawsuit was settled out of court but in 2001, Lewis revealed in an interview with VH1's Behind the Music that Columbia Pictures paid Lewis a settlement. Parker Jr. quickly sued Lewis for breaking his confidentiality agreement from that case.

12. It's been covered by a number of artists

Along with thousands of renditions that can be found on YouTube today, artists such as Conor Oberst , Kasabian and Hoobastank (remember Hoobastank?) have covered the Ghostbusters theme.

13. Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig have also put their own spin on the theme

As a joke, McCarthy and Wiig, two stars of the new Ghostbusters , came up with a folk version of the theme song as a way to enrage sexist online trolls who criticized the film's casting of female leads. McCarthy and Wiig were called on by director Paul Feig to perform it on The Graham Norton Show .

14. No, Parker Jr. is not sick of this song

When asked if he was tired of getting approached by people shouting, "Who you gonna call?" Parker Jr. responded , "It's like, am I tired of holding the best lotto ticket of the best thing to ever happen? No." He added, in an interview with HLN , "In my kids' schools, it makes me famous to the young kids."

15. Parker Jr. thinks the new Ghostbusters theme is 'interesting'

In an interview with Inside Edition, Parker Jr. finally revealed his thoughts on the new Ghostbusters theme song performed by Fall Out Boy and Missy Elliott: "Interesting. I'm not going to say it's good or bad," he said, diplomatically. "I'm just going to say well maybe I'm an old guy now and I like it the old way." He added that the film didn't call him to work on the soundtrack, but that he wished he had been contacted to work with the newer artists.

Ghostbusters Wiki

Ghostbusters (song)

  • 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 . [1] 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. [2] [3] 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. [4] [5] None the demos submitted in 1983 from Pat Thrall and Glen Hughes were used for the movie. [6] They did use the Pat Thrall and Glenn Hughes song for the film's ShoWest exhibitor reel. [7] [8] 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. [9] [10] 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. [11] [12] 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". [13] 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. [14] [15] 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. [16]
  • 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. [17]
  • 2009 Re-Recording (3:42) - available on the Atari Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime website for a limited time in 2011. [18] 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. [19] )

Official Releases [ ]

Music video [ ].

The Times Square scene for the music video was shot in the last week of May 1984. [20] 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

Cameo non-film

  • Chevy Chase
  • Melissa Gilbert
  • Ollie E. Brown [21]
  • 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. [22]
  • 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. [23]
  • 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. [24]
  • 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. [25]
  • 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. [26]
  • 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. [27] [28]
  • It cost $80,000 for the song to be used on Ghostbusters: The Video Game. [29]
  • 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 [ ]

35th Anniversary Edition Vinyl Unboxing

Overall [ ]


"Girls Are More Fun" Music Video Screens [ ]

Ray Parker Jr Girls Are More Fun01

Unreleased Updated Music Video [ ]

(Credit: Ray Parker, Jr.)

IDW Comics [ ]

Non-Canon Cameo in Ghostbusters Volume 2 Issue #20

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ghostbusters songs in the movie

Entertainment News


The best opening scenes in movie history

Want to grab a movie audience? It helps to have a great opening scene. That’s especially true these days, with more and more people watching films at home with a litany of potential distractions around them. If you want to be hooked from the first moments of a movie, these are the movies with the best opening scenes.

“Casino Royale” (2006)

As we get introduced to Daniel Craig as James Bond, we are also introduced to what kind of movies this version of Bond was going to star in. Going back to the beginning, we see Bond becoming a double-0 agent after getting his necessary confirmed kills. The only quibble? The first time we saw it, we thought the black-and-white was a technical glitch.

“Ghostbusters” (1984)

Before we ever see the titular Ghostbusters, we get a nice introduction to the world of the film. It’s a little funny, a little scary, and a lot of fun. Pity that poor librarian, but she’s vital to setting the tone, and also setting up the killer theme song.

“The Long Goodbye” (1973)

How do you start a revisionist film noir that will see Philip Marlowe going into the world of rich, vain Californians? By having Marlowe scramble to get his cat some cat food in the middle of the nice. Does that sound good? Guess what? It’s absolutely riveting and shows the genius of Elliott Gould as an actor.

“Jaws” (1975)

Another cold open of an ending that doesn’t feature any of the main characters. A couple of partygoers on the beach sneak off to go skinny dipping. The one guy never enters the water, but the poor woman does. Next thing we know, she’s the first victim of the killer shark that has come to terrorize Amity Island.

“Scream” (1996)

One of the most-famous opening vignettes to a horror movie ever. Drew Barrymore was the movie’s biggest star, and the film starts with her. The marketing focused on her. She gets a phone call, scary movies come up, and things go poorly from there. Let’s just say Barrymore’s screen time turns out to be fairly limited.

“The Lion King” (1994)

An animated film can grab you from the opening as well. “The Lion King” wastes no time getting the movie revved up. It opens not just with a song, but with the epic “Circle of Life” number, which features many animals showing up for the reveal of young Simba.

“Jurassic Park” (1993)

There are so many great set pieces in “Jurassic Park.” There’s a reason it became one of the biggest films ever, and the progenitor of arguably the franchise with the most diminishing returns ever. It begins with the opening scene, though, which sees Muldoon and his crew trying to get a new raptor into the park. Things go poorly, and it immediately sets the scene for this epic action movie.

“Sunset Boulevard” (1950)

We bet in 1950, the ending of “Sunset Boulevard” felt even more daring and interesting. The film opens with narration. Police officers and photographers huddle around a pool. A victim floats face down. It belongs to Joe Gillis, who happens to be the aforementioned narrator. The movie opens with our main character dead and then flashes back to tell the rest of the story.

“Inglourious Basterds” (2009)

It feels a little weird to be like, “You know what is a great opening scene to a movie? When that Nazi finds a Jewish family and murders them.” That being said, it is a gripping, harrowing scene. Christoph Waltz effectively won his Oscar based on this scene alone. And, fortunately, Shosanna gets away from Hans Landa, which sets into motion the rest of “Inglourious Basterds.”

“Goodfellas” (1990)

This is an opening that really sets the stakes. Henry Hill pulls his car over and opens the truck. There’s a body inside. He was supposed to be dead already, and soon he will be. Cut to Ray Liotta’s face and the opening bit of narration: “As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.”

“2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968)

Leave it to Stanley Kubrick to start a film with the dawn of man before jumping to literally millions of years into the future from that point. An early, humanlike tribe, is visited by a mysterious monolith. Suddenly, they are using bones as tools…and weapons. The music swells, the bone is tossed in the air, and we are off to outer space.

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981)

Want to open a movie with excitement? How about a giant boulder chasing down Indiana Jones? Indiana’s journey to get the idol is a great introduction to the character, as well as his nemesis Belloq, and has so many fun moments to it. Like that boulder, the movie gets on an unstoppable roll.

“The Sound of Music” (1965)

Like “The Lion King,” this is a musical that opens with a song. Not just any song, though, “The Sound of Music” opens with Julie Andrews singing the titular song. That’s how you put your cards on the table from the opening moments.

“Once Upon a Time in the West” (1968)

Sergio Leone’s epic Western opens with a 10 minute opening scene that is largely silent, but also rich with tension that will explode into violence. Three men are waiting at the train station in effectively the middle of nowhere. It is clear they have ill intent, but they wait, and we wait. Then, Charles Bronson’s “Harmonica,” one of Leone’s men with no names, arrives, and things are about to kick up several notches.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014)

James Gunn sets the tone for his “Guardians of the Galaxy” series right from the opening scene. We meet Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord. We get the needle drop, we get the undercutting of our protagonist, we get laughs, and we also get action. The opening scene doesn’t take itself seriously, but it also isn’t flippant. That becomes the crux of what makes “Guardians of the Galaxy” work.

“Saturday Night Fever” (1977)

As a film, “Saturday Night Fever” is a little hit or miss, and much darker than people often expect. It’s not a fun movie about disco dancing, just so you know. The opening, though, is iconic for a reason. Set to the tune of the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive,” we see John Travolta’s Tony Manero, immaculately dressed, walking with purpose down the street. All he’s doing is carrying a bucket of paint, but it remains utterly compelling.

“Up” (2009)

Is it cheating to include a montage in our list of the best opening scenes? Perhaps, but “Up” has one of the most memorable, effective openings since the turn of the millennium, even if it is maybe a stretch to call it a “scene.” It’s the only reason people fondly remember a movie that, frankly, becomes kind of middling after that opening. Ah, but the saga of Carl and Ellie absolutely floors, and usually devastates, setting the table for the rest of the film.

“No Country for Old Men” (2007)

First, we hear Tommy Lee Jones’ Sheriff Ed Tom Bell giving a little monologue about a depraved killer, which sets the tone for the cynicism, or outright nihilism, at the core of the Coen Brothers’ Best Picture-winning movie. This sets up our meeting with Anton Chigurh, played indelibly by Javier Bardem, who also won an Oscar. A poor police officer who has arrested him doesn’t know what he is dealing with. He turns his back on Chigurh for only a couple minutes, but that’s all it takes to seal his fate.

“Star Wars” (1977)

At this point, basically, every moment of the original “Star Wars” trilogy is indelible. While the opening scene to the first film is perhaps not the top moment of the movie, it’s definitely a great opening scene. First, we get the scroll, and then we get thrown right into the action with our droid pals C-3P0 and R2-D2. It’s controlled chaos, and perfectly sets the tone.

“The Matrix” (1999)

The sci-fi world of “The Matrix” is set with an intriguing opening scene. Before we meet Neo, aka Mr. Anderson, we meet Trinity, who is cornered. That is, until she isn’t. Trinity shows powers and abilities beyond what humans can do, runs into some men in suits and sunglasses with similar skills, answers a ringing phone, and then vanishes. With that, a movie that changed cinema begins.

If you like these classic opening lines, be sure to to check out our  greatest final lines in film history as well !

Chris Morgan is a sports and pop culture writer and the author of the books  The Comic Galaxy of Mystery Science Theater 3000  and  The Ash Heap of History . You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisXMorgan .

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ghostbusters songs in the movie

Ghostbusters Soundtrack (2016)

The soundtrack from Ghostbusters, a 2016 Movie , track list, listen to full 14 soundtrack songs, play 21 sample OST music & view who sings all the songs used in the movie. Read scene descriptions when the film plays at the cinema.

Ghostbusters official soundtrack album tracklist

ghostbusters songs in the movie

Song credits – Additional film music – songs that are not included in the official soundtrack list, but are playing in the movie

2. Low Then High – Beasts of Mayhem

Ghostbusters official OST album tracklist, original motion picture score. Original release date: July 8, 2016 Label: Sony Classical Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes Original music composed by Theodore Shapiro

1. The Aldridge Mansion

2. The Garrett Attack

3. Never Invited

4. Distinct Human Form

5. The Universe Shall Bend

6. Subway Ghost Attack

7. Ghost Girl

8. Mannequins

9. Ghost In a Box

10. Dr. Heiss

11. Ley Lines

12. Pester The Living

13. I Will Lead Them All

14. The Power of Patty Compels You

15. The Fourth Cataclysm

16. Balloon Parade

17. Battle of Times Square

18. Entering The Mercado

19. Behemoth

20. Into The Portal

21. NY Heart GB

ghostbusters songs in the movie

Ghostbusters Film information Genre: Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi Release date (wide): 15 July 2016 Runtime: 1h 56min

ghostbusters songs in the movie

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Awesome! Its in fact amazing paragraph, I have got much clear idea regarding from this piece of

I’ve watched the movie and the entire credits roll once but I missed the Pentatonix cover of Ghostbusters, because I did not yet know about it . Since I’ve now just found out about it I’m curious to find out where in the movie does it appear.

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