Monday, July 11, 2016

Gaming Soundtracks: Ghostbusters II


This is post number 11 in the series “31 Days of Ghostbusters,” a celebration of the franchise’s return to the big screen.

I feel like I'm not being completely fair in rating both this album and the original Ghostbusters soundtrack, because while I've listened to the original movie's music lots and lots of times since I was a teenager, I only got around to trying out Ghostbusters II a few years ago. Some of the tracks from Ghostbusters get a pass from me for the sole reason that I've been listening to them since childhood. That won't be true of any tracks below.

Listen. I didn't love this movie. And I didn't love this soundtrack. But I'm gonna power through and see if there's anything worth mining out of it for a Ghostbusters game. Let's get this over with.

The Ghostbusters II soundtrack was released in 1989. Where the Ghostbusters soundtrack at least had two tracks pulled from the film score, this one did not; it contained only pop and rap songs, most (but not all) of which were used in the movie. The album tracks are:

  1. On Our Own by Bobby Brown. Average. It IS a Ghostbusters-specific song, as much as, say, "Cleanin' Up the Town" from Ghostbusters, in that it mentions the Ghostbusters. It just doesn't scream "ghost-busting" to me like that song does.
  2. Supernatural by New Edition. Skippable. Has nothing to do with the movie. File with Air Supply in Ghostbusters.
  3. The Promised Land by J. T. Taylor. Same as above.
  4. We're Back by Bobby Brown. Like "On Our Own," this track does feel specifically related to the Ghostbusters, so that's a plus. The only way I could see it applying to an in-game scene is if your player characters are returning to ghostbusting after a long absence.
  5. Spirit by Doug E. Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew. If you or your players are fans of '80s rap, then this track might work. Like the Bobby Brown tracks, this is a Ghostbusters-specific song, and could accompany an action scene or a montage.
  6. Ghostbusters by Run D.M.C. As Ghostbusters theme songs go, this one is the second. Still, it is sort of a tribute to the original song, and if you're in a rap mood, it gets the job done. Use it to start a session when your players are tired of the original, or nostalgic for Ghostbusters II.
  7. Flesh 'N Blood by Oingo Boingo. As a song, this one works for me more than any of the others on this album. As music for a Ghostbusters game, not so much. Still, if your game has a need for a new wave sound, you might pair this one with another appropriate Oingo Boingo song, "Dead Man's Party."
  8. Love is a Cannibal by Elton John. I'm an Elton John fan. I own Elton John albums. This is an okay Elton John song, but not for Ghostbusters. Skip it.
  9. Flip City by Glenn Frey. Next. Oh, that's the last track? Good.