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One of the most iconic things about the original Ghostbusters film was its insanely catchy theme song. The reboot has now released its version of the tune and...it's...music. Yeah, it is absolutely 100% a song. Rather than go with an artist who wasn't a huge name, as the first movie did, the new Ghostbusters has chosen pop favorites Fall Out Boy to record the tune, with a little bit of help from Missy Elliott, because you can't make a pop song without a rap interlude, I believe that's a federal statute. Are you ready for this? You're actually not, but try anyway.
Music, like movies, is one of those things that people will endlessly argue about. Tastes differ, and as such, people have different opinions about what qualifies as good. Generally speaking, I don't have a problem with Fall Out Boy as a band. Their music is, by and large, pretty dumb, but it's a fun kind of dumb, and as I'm a big fan of fun in general, it works for me. When I first saw that Fall Out Boy were the ones recording the new theme, I was, for the briefest of moments, incredibly excited. Fall Out Boy is silly. The Ghostbusters theme song is silly. It's a perfect match. This excitement ended as soon as I pressed play.
What is this amelodic nightmare fuel? The song keeps repeatedly telling me that it's not afraid, but now I'm scared. In fact, that single phrase is a perfect example of the problem. It's trying way too hard. The classic line used in the original version is "I ain't afraid of no ghosts." It's a line spoken by an overly cocky Ghostbuster who is confident in their abilities, whether or not they really should be. "I'm not afraid," says something different. It's somebody trying to convince themselves that they're not afraid, and they're obviously lying to themselves.
In the end, however, there's probably a very simple reason that this drastic change to the theme was taken: money. In the 1980's Ray Parker Jr., who wrote and performed the original theme, was sued by Huey Lewis due to the song's baseline being awfully similar to his song "I Want a New Drug." The suit was settled out of court but Lewis was paid a hefty sum. If the new theme had been too similar to the old theme, they would have opened themselves up to another suit. Still, as I need to get that sound out of my ears, here's the old theme to calm me down.
I've tried to give the new Ghostbusters the benefit of the doubt, and I still will to some extent. I will wait to see the movie before I declare its quality. However, I've heard the song, and it's bad.
Unless I'm crazy. Is this song better than I think? Please convince me I'm wrong in the comments below.