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« Incomplete Special Features on the 2019 Ghostbusters 1&2 4K/Blu-ray Set - Watch The COMPLETE ShoWest Exhibitor Reel!!!Ghostbusters In-Movie Commercials »

Unused Ghostbusters Theme Songs

 By Paul Rudoff on Mar. 19, 2020 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Ghostbusters 1

I ain't afraid of no Ray Parker Jr., and neither were the Ghostbusters.

Long before Columbia Pictures enlisted his help for a theme song to the 1984 classic film, they approached other musicians. None of the fans know how many other artists submitted music for the film, or even who all of those artists are, but two of these unused theme songs are now known... one of which is getting its first general public appearance right here on Spook Central today!

Before I get right down to it, let me make one thing clear. Both of the songs listed below were used as the backing track for a video. Dialog is laid over the song, and it can't be removed. What is presented below is the best available copy of the songs that the public currently has. Maybe Sony has a perfect copy, maybe they don't. We don't know, and they don't care, because they would not pay the exorbitant music fees needed to make it officially available to the public even if they had a perfect copy. This is abundantly clear when you realize that they edited the source of the second song when they made it public so as to REMOVE the song!

The first song, by an unknown artist, is used in the film's Teaser Trailer. The only lyrics I can definitively make out are, "Who's that creepin' down the hall?" and "Whoa ooooooo... Ghostbusters".

Unknown - Ghostbusters

Sony included the Teaser Trailer on the Ghostbusters 1 & 2 4K/Blu-ray set released in 2019, which was the first time it appeared on a Ghostbusters home video release since the Criterion Collection laserdisc in 1989. The 320kbps MP3 file embedded above was taken from the audio track of the teaser from the 4K/Blu-ray set.

The second song is making its GENERAL PUBLIC WORLD PREMIERE here today on Spook Central. I'm just as thrilled as you are!

Originally, Ghostheads thought that the song from the teaser was performed by Hughes/Thrall, as they had been previously mentioned as providing a song for the film that wasn't used. However, on June 26, 2019, I spoke with author James Greene Jr. for a Ghostbusters book he was writing, and he told me that he played it for Pat Thrall, who said that this particular song was not theirs. Their song was more "groove rock, very '80s, with an overly big drum sound".

Well, the song below has been confirmed by James Greene Jr. to be the one performed by Glenn Hughes and Pat Thrall. It is used throughout the unedited ShoWest exhibitor reel. Yes, I said UNEDITED. The copy on the previously-mentioned Ghostbusters 1 & 2 4K/Blu-ray set from 2019 has been edited. Thankfully, Zed Richards managed to get a VHS copy of the original reel, and Derek Osborn helped him fix it up. With their permission, I will be premiering the full unedited ShoWest exhibitor reel in my next article here on Spook Central in a few days, in which I will fully go over everything that's incomplete on that 4K/Blu-ray set. For now, let's stick to the song, which is presented in three parts in the reel. I've edited them together into this single 3-minute 320kbps MP3 file. Take a listen, then continue reading for more history.

Hughes/Thrall - Ghostbusters

Although there is still dialog and talking over the song, much more of the lyrics are discernible than in the other song. Here are a few bits and pieces I was able to make out.

Street light, so bright, coming through the dark.
Something's in your heart
There's a shadow on the wall

Front line, anytime
Take it right to the Ghostbusters
Cool heads under fire
Never mess with the Ghostbusters

Ride all night
We're gonna ride all night
We're gonna blast 'em right out of this world

I gotta be honest...the more I listen to this, the more I like it. It makes Ray Parker Jr.'s song seem so pedestrian. I'm starting to think the filmmakers chose the wrong song.

Anyway... Although the song wasn't used in the film, it was actually a big boon to the career of the Hughes/Thrall band.
The launching pad for Hughes/Thrall part II was, surprisingly enough, 'Ghostbusters'. The two had been asked to write some songs for the film and took the opportunity to apply themselves to something not directly related to the Hughes/Thrall band in order to get some momentum going. It worked, and although the material was turned down at the last minute in favour of Ray Parker's more 'poppy' offer, Glenn and Pat threw themselves into each other's musical arms with relish, writing and rehearsing some incredibly strong material which would form the basis of their long-awaited vinyl return. With a new, more efficient management secured and all sorts of tour proposals being considered (even a spot on 1984's Donington bill looked likely) it seemed, once again, as if Glenn's sparkling talent would be unleashed. - Kerrang magazine, Feb. 1985
Plans were made recently for a reformed Trapeze consisting of Mel Galley, Don Airey, Ted McKenna and of course Glenn . So what happened? Back in 1983 Glenn and Pat Thrall renewed their partnership to work on some material for a movie called Ghostbusters (the title given at the time was 'Ghost Business'). The stuff was rejected at the last minute in favour of something more commercial (I suppose nobody can argue with that given the title song's success!), but Hughes/Thrall decided to take up the threads of their group and began work on a second album early in 1984. - Darker Than Blue: The Deep Purple Appreciation Society Magazine, Issue 31, June 1985
As of this writing, these are the only two unused Ghostbusters theme songs that we're aware of. I'm sure that there are more, but either they've long since been destroyed, or are locked away in a proverbial vault somewhere.

I'd like to close by saying that it's not too late for the Ghost Corps team to track down the original recordings and include these songs in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. If those recordings don't exist anymore, I think that all of the artists are still alive and can re-record the songs. Let's turn these songs from "unused" to "used".

(Special thanks to Alex Newborn for mentioning the song in his Pet Peeves #116 video, which got the attention of James Greene Jr., who was able to confirm it with the management of Hughes/Thrall.)


Comment from: Gianni Belotti [Visitor]

I'm always impressed with huge discoveries like this. I guess the Sonic movie isn't the only one that had a similar theme situation (those songs being Wiz Khalifa's Speed Me Up and Chizzy's Gotta Go Fast) even if the swap was for other reasons. I do remember typing down a set of lyrics for the Unknown song tho, it was based on the teaser snippet and a fanmade full version if I recall. Either way, I'm pumped for the unedited ShoWest reel!

Mar. 20, 2020 @ 06:53
Comment from: James Greene, Jr. [Visitor]  

Hey Paul, thanks for the credit here. I'm still working on the book! It'll be out in 2021 via Lyons Press. It's an exhaustive, detailed history of all the "Ghostbusters" films, including the ones they never made, getting into a lot of stuff other books gloss over or ignore completely. There'll be tons on the music, especially from the first film.

According to Ray Parker, 60 songs were submitted before he was hired, with some artists turning in multiple options. Also, when I was on the phone with Pat Thrall, he read that "Kerrang!" excerpt and dismissed it as baloney!

Mar. 20, 2020 @ 19:09
Comment from: [Member]

Hi James

I'm glad to hear that the book is progressing nicely. It's good to have that to look forward to next year.

Thanks for the additional information on the song count and about the "Kerrang!" excerpt. Your comment helps add some perspective on that.

-- Paul

Mar. 21, 2020 @ 14:42
Comment from: Aidan White [Visitor]  

Hi, Paul. My name's Aidan and I'm an armature GB expert. I'm not sure if you seen this, but I found a fan recreation of the 1984 teaser song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDyIdG2ETY8

If you have any updates on finding the original version of this song, I would love to hear it.

Thank you for your time.


Mar. 31, 2020 @ 22:44

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