Musical coincidences # 219

April 16, 2012

My friend Pete (Hi, Pete!) suggested today’s coincidence. I must admit, though, that I couldn’t just leave Pete’s suggestion alone – I added another track to the mix.

You may know about the “Ghostbusters” / “I Want A New Drug” kerfuffle that occurred in 1984. If you don’t, then here are the salient points:

  • Huey Lewis And The News‘s “I Want A New Drug” was released on January 3, 1984 to a suspecting* public. (*Huey and the boys were releasing records with alarming regularity, so the public had a fair idea the band was going to release something sometime.)
  • The Ghostbusters movie was released on June 7, 1984, containing the theme song (conveniently called “Ghostbusters”) by Ray Parker, Jr. It sounded suspiciously like “I Want A New Drug”. (It still does.)
  • Huey’s record company complained to Ray’s record company about the similarity. They settled out of court. As far as I know, there were no fisticuffs.

Now that you’re up to date (or, if you knew all of that, you’re way ahead of me), I want to mention that I think both of those tracks owe a little something to another song from five years earlier: “Pop Muzik” by M. Whenever I hear either of those later tracks I automatically think of “Pop Muzik”.

In order to show you the lineage of this “Hey, they’re all the same!” scenario, I’ve taken bits of each and put them together in reverse chronological order:

Ray Parker, Jr. – “Ghostbusters (1984) (excerpt) /
Huey Lewis And The News – “I Want A New Drug (1984) (excerpt) /
M – “Pop Muzik (1979) (excerpt)


Here are the full versions:

Ray Parker, Jr. – “Ghostbusters (1984)


Huey Lewis And The News – “I Want A New Drug (1984)


M – “Pop Muzik (1979)