Ray Parker Jr. Thinks the ‘Ghostbusters’ Sequels Have Been “Trying to Bury” His Iconic Song

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Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts) and Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) in 'Ghostbusters II'

Credit: Sony Pictures

American musician Ray Parker Jr. is nothing short of a living legend. There might be no other song for a movie that’s as well-known as “Ghostbusters”, which helped make lines from the 1984 film of the same name, such as “Who ya gonna call?“, even more iconic, while also creating its own, such as “I ain’t afraid of no ghost“.

However, in a recent interview with Cinema Blend, while discussing his appearance on this year’s The Masked Singer on Fox, in which he sang Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me”, Parker was asked about his chart-busting 1984 song. But his answer was surprising, as he revealed that he thinks the films might be trying to move away from the iconic track.

“It seems like after the original Ghostbusters film that they’ve been trying to bury the song” Parker said. “They don’t really use the song like I thought they were going to use it. I would think they would use it at the beginning or like the library scene to get the crowd up and cheering the song, but for some reason, they keep trying to get some — they keep wanting some new music. So, I’m not sure.”

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in Ghostbusters 1984
Credit: Sony Pictures

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The song bookends both Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters II (1989), while instrumental segments of the song can be heard throughout the films. In the 1989 sequel, it’s also played at a kids’ birthday party, where Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) and Dr. Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) have been hired as entertainers (this scene canonizes the song within the movies).

A re-recorded version is used in the controversial reboot Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (2016), although that film has a cover version by American rock band Fall Out Boy. The original song is also used in the closing scene in Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021), and previously inspired the title tracks for animated shows The Real Ghostbusters (1986) and Extreme Ghostbusters (1997).

Kylie Griffin (Tara Strong) in Extreme Ghostbusters 1997
Credit: Columbia TriStar Television Distribution Bohbot Entertainment

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Needless to say, the Ghostbusters franchise has become synonymous with the hit number one song “Ghostbusters”, which was nominated for Best Original Song at the 57th Academy Awards. Cinema Blend told Parker that, for fans, it’s “hard to disconnect” the song from the films, to which Parker replied:

“Yeah, that’s what people tell me. But if you think about it, the song is only in its original form up front in the very first Ghostbusters film in ’84. After that, they’ve been trying not to use the song.”

Firehouse sign in Ghostbusters Spirits Unleashed
Credit: IllFonic via YouTube

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Maybe Parker has a point. While the song has reappeared many times since the original 1984 film (even in 2009’s Ghostbusters: The Video Game), it has been used less and less. Here’s to hoping that next year’s Ghostbusters 4 (2023) decides to use the iconic track to its full potential. After all, there’s always room for Ray Parker Jr.’s classic (just like there’s always room for jello).

As per the Ghostbusters/Sony Pictures website, here’s the synopsis for Ghostbusters: Afterlife:

From director Jason Reitman and producer Ivan Reitman, comes the next chapter in the original Ghostbusters universe. In Ghostbusters: Afterlife, when a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind. The film is written by Jason Reitman & Gil Kenan.

Muncher the ghost in Ghostbusters Afterlife
Credit: Sony Pictures

Related: Could an Open-World ‘Ghostbusters’ Game Be on the Horizon?!

Ghostbusters: Afterlife stars McKenna Grace (Phoebe), Logan Kim (Podcast), Celeste O’Connor (Lucky), Finn Wolfhard (Trevor), Carrie Coon (Callie), Annie Potts (Janine Melnitz), Sigourney Weaver (Dana Barrett), Paul Rudd (Gary Grooberson), Olivia Wilde (Gozer the Gozerian), JK Simmons (Ivo Shandor), Bill Murray (Dr. Peter Venkman), Dan Aykroyd (Dr. Ray Stantz), and Ernie Hudson (Winston Zeddemore).

(L to R) Celeste O'Conner (Lucky), Finn Wolfhard (Trevor), Logan Kim (Podcast), and McKenna Grace (Phoebe) in Ghostbusters Afterlife
Credit: Sony Pictures

Related: The 2016 Reboot Wasn’t the First Female-Led ‘Ghostbusters’

Ghostbusters 4 will be released on December 20, 2023.

The new multiplayer video game Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is out now, and VR game Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord (2023) is expected some time next year. There’s also a Ghostbusters animated series and a Ghostbusters animated movie in the works.

A new “Ghostbusters” comic book series is also expected in 2023.

The Ecto-1 in Ghostbusters Afterlife
Credit: Sony Pictures

Related: Will ‘Ghostbusters 4’ Be a Christmas Movie?

Do you agree with Ray Parker Jr.? Let us know in the comments down below!

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