By 1988, the A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET franchise was a household name. Well on it’s way to becoming more “camp” than “scares,” the saga of the razor-gloved FREDDY KRUEGER had come a long way since being birthed by director WES CRAVEN back in 1984. With merchandising tie-ins, a 1-900 hotline number, and millions at the box office, it was only a matter of time before the series had a proper musical tie-in by established artists (unlike 1987’s horrible FREDDY’S GREATEST HITS by “The Elm Street Group”).
On January 17, 1988, DJ JAZZY JEFF & THE FRESH PRINCE released “A Nightmare on My Street,” an unauthorized homage to the series, featuring the iconic piano hook from the film, and a Freddy impersonator terrorizing the duo throughout the song. Released two years before the ‘Prince would haunt BEL-AIR, and nearly a decade before Will Smith became a box office king, the song caught a vengeful eye from New Line Cinema, who demanded a disclaimer be stamped on retail versions of the single denying any affiliation. In addition, it’s long been rumored that a video for the song was filmed and banished to hell.
On March 18, 1988, THE FAT BOYS released “Are You Ready For Freddy?,” the authorized rap accompaniment to the ELM STREET movies, prompting many to question whether the song was genuinely a pre-planned tie-in to the forthcoming A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4: THE DREAM MASTER (released in August of that year), or if it was inspired by the unauthorized song that preceded it by three months.
Unlike the Fresh Prince track, The Fat Boys’ song featured series star ROBERT ENGLUND as Freddy, rapping throughout, and heavily featured in the music video for the song.
Commercially, DJ JAZZY JEFF and THE FRESH PRINCE won the battle for sales, but which one was the better song? Share your opinions in the comments section below!
Personally? I like them both and still have the original vinyl releases that my parents bought me when I was 12…
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