Clive Cringes Part Two: Ghosts Stole my New Drug

on Jul 23 in Music by

Ray Parker Jr.

 “Clive’s Cringes” is an ongoing series examining Clive Davis’s more “interesting” signings  for Arista Records. Check out part one for a full explanation.

Respect first:  Ray Parker Jr. is a legendary guitarist who owns past stints with Dizzy Gillespie and Barry White. The Detroit native was merely a teenager when he played guitar on Stevie Wonder’s funk heavy tune, “Maybe Your Baby”. He also fronted the successful 70’s R &B band, Raydio.

Arista signed with Raydio in the 70’s,  and then signed Parker Jr. as a solo artist in the 80’s. Unfortunately, Parker’s most famous tune for Arista still casts a ghastly shadow.

The “Ghostbuster’s Theme” was created in only two days under intense pressure from the studio.  Parker Jr., citing a late-night commercial as inspiration, created a fictional ghost-laden jingle. The song soared with the public. Three weeks on the Billboard #1 list as well as an Academy Award nomination (ironically lost to Stevie Wonder) made Parker Jr. an 8o’s icon.

Then Huey Lewis came and ruined the party.

Lewis claimed that Parker’s beat was very similar to his song, “I Wanna New Drug” from his album, Sports. The lead singer sued Parker Jr. and Columbia. The two parties eventually settled out of court.

Luckily, the movie still holds up.

Is the “Ghostbuster’s Theme” a complete rip-off? Decide for yourself:


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