Recorded by Ray Parker Jr. as the theme to the film of the same name (starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson), “Ghostbusters” started a three-week run at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on August 11, 1984 and #2 on the UK Singles Chart on September 16. It was also nominated at the 57th Academy Awards for Best Original Song, but lost to Stevie Wonder‘s “I Just Called to Say I Love You“.
According to Parker, the film’s producers asked him to create a theme song for the film in just a few days and while watching late night television Ray saw a cheap commercial for a local service that reminded him of a part in the film that had a similar commercial featuring for the fictional business. This inspired the artist to write the song as a pseudo-advertising jingle.
When the Ghostbusters theme was released, Huey Lewis (who’d also been approached to compose the theme song for the film but had to decline due to his work on the Back to the Future soundtrack) later sued Ray Parker Jr. for plagiarism, stating that Parker’s song was too similar to “I Want a New Drug“. The two parties settled out of court and the settlement were confidential until 2001, when Lewis commented on the payment in an episode of VH1‘s Behind the Music. Parker subsequently sued Lewis for breaching confidentiality.