Flashback Video: 'Ghostbusters' by Ray Parker Jr.

Ever since the dawn of MTV and Friday Night Videos, the music video has significantly impacted musical tastes and pop culture. It might not be as extreme as when the Buggles declared that "Video Killed the Radio Star", but there is no arguing that the music video certainly could make or break a song's popularity. So this regular Flashback Video feature will serve to remember some of the music videos from the great '80s decade that made an impact on me in one way or another.


This issue we will cover "Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker Jr. The song was of course from the blockbuster film of the same name and was released as a single on June 8, 1984, the same day as the movie. Ghostbusters the movie was hugely popular ending up the second-highest-grossing film of that year (the highest-grossing comedy of all time at that point) and remained the number-one film in theaters for seven consecutive weeks. This surely helped the song's popularity along with it being played pretty regularly that summer on the radio and on MTV. "Ghostbusters" the song climbed the U.S. pop charts quickly reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August and holding the top spot for 3 weeks. It was also a worldwide hit reaching #1 in at least five other countries and the Top 10 in eleven more.


The music video for "Ghostbusters" was directed by Ivan Reitman, who also directed the film. The video features Ray Parker Jr. apparently a ghost himself haunting an attractive young lady (played by actress Cindy Harrell) in a house with everything lined with neon lights. There are some clips from the movie mixed in, but the video really stands out to me for two reasons. First and foremost are the cameos made by other celebrities who had nothing to do with the film, but appeared as a favor to Reitman. Here is a list of those who make a cameo in the video to yell "Ghostbusters!":

Al Franken Chevy Chase Irene Cara John Candy Melissa Gilbert Ollie Brown Jeffrey Tambor George Wendt Danny DeVito Carly Simon Peter Falk Teri Garr

The other awesome part is near the end and features the stars of the movie, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson, with Ray Parker Jr. dancing down the street in Times Square, New York City. The little shuffle they do together is one of the iconic pop culture images of the decade in my opinion. Those two aspects make the music video memorable to me and now you can watch the music video for “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr.…


The part at the very end when Bill Murray gets down on the ground to do the back-spin was not scripted. As Murray is prone to do, he ad-libbed that attempt at break-dancing. He needed a little help from Parker and Dan Aykroyd to actually spin. According to Parker, “He [Murray] just got down there and did it and next thing I know, there were his feet. So I'm like, 'Oh, he's trying to do that breakdance thing, he needs a spin. He's a little older, I have to spin him a little bit.'" It's funny that they even left that part in the video. Maybe they had limited footage since they probably had to shoot quickly with Times Square temporarily shut down. Or maybe they just wanted to add a little of Bill Murray being Bill Murray. Either way, it was a fun way to end a fun video (along with Chevy Chase)."Bustin' makes me feel good" and so does watching this video which transports me back to 1984 in an instant.


Hope you enjoyed another trip back to the '80s thanks to Flashback Video!

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