Love Rollercoaster

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"Love Rollercoaster"
Single by The Ohio Players
from the album Honey
B-side "It's All Over"
Released November 1975
Genre Funk, disco
Length 2:52 (Single version)
4:50 (Album version)
Label Mercury
The Ohio Players singles chronology
"Sweet Sticky Thing"
(1975)
"Love Rollercoaster"
(1975)
"Fopp"
(1976)
Honey track listing
"Sweet Sticky Thing"
(5)
"Love Rollercoaster"
(6)
"Alone"
(7)

"Love Rollercoaster" is a song by American funk/R&B band The Ohio Players, originally featured on their 1975 album Honey. It was composed by Beck, Bonner, Jones, Middlebrooks, Pierce, Satchell, and Williams.[1]

History and description[edit]

The song uses the roller coaster, a common theme park attraction, as a metaphor for the ups and downs of dating and romantic relationships. The roller coaster metaphor is also suggested musically as the guitarist plays a funk riff which slides up and back down repeatedly throughout the song, from the key of G down to the key of E and back up to the key of G.

Urban legend[edit]

The song has a persistent urban legend. During an instrumental portion of the song, a high-pitched scream is heard (between 1:24 and 1:28 on the single version, or between 2:32 and 2:36 on the album version); this was Billy Beck, but according to the most common legend, it was the voice of an individual being murdered live while the tape was rolling. The "victim's" identity varies greatly depending on the version.[2][3] The supposed sources of the scream have included an individual who was killed at some prior time, her scream inexplicably recorded and looped into the track. Another version says that a girl has fallen off the roller coaster and was screaming to her death. Another version tells of a rabbit being killed outside the studio whose scream was accidentally picked up by the band's recording equipment — highly implausible, since professional recording studios are soundproof. The most widespread version of the myth, however, tells that Ester Cordet, who appeared nude on the Honey album cover, had been badly burned by the super-heated honey used for the photo shoot, which occurred simultaneous with the recording session, and her agonized screams were inadvertently captured on tape. A further variation had Cordet suffering permanent disfigurement due to the burns; she interrupted the band's recording session, threatening to sue, at which point the band's manager stabbed her to death in the control room. The latter scenario, however, is impossible as Ester Cordet is still alive.[2][3]

Casey Kasem reported the urban myth of the woman being killed in the studio recording booth on his radio show, American Top 40, when the song was on the charts in 1976.

Jimmy "Diamond" Williams explained that the scream was nothing eerie or disturbing:

There is a part in the song where there's a breakdown. It's guitars and it's right before the second verse and Billy Beck does one of those inhaling-type screeches like Minnie Riperton did to reach her high note or Mariah Carey does to go octaves above. The DJ made this crack and it swept the country. People were asking us, "Did you kill this girl in the studio?" The band took a vow of silence because you sell more records that way.

Red Hot Chili Peppers cover version[edit]

"Love Rollercoaster"
Single by Red Hot Chili Peppers
from the album Beavis and Butt-Head Do America Soundtrack
Released November 1996
Format CD
Recorded 1996
Genre Funk rock
Label Geffen
Producer(s) Sylvia Massey, Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers singles chronology
"Coffee Shop"
(1996)
"Love Rollercoaster"
(1996)
"Scar Tissue"
(1999)
Beavis and Butthead Do America Soundtrack track listing
"Two Cool Guys"
(1)
"Love Rollercoaster"
(2)
"Ain't Nobody"
(3)

"Love Rollercoaster" was covered by the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1996. This version includes a rap performed by lead singer Anthony Kiedis, and the horn section is replaced with an approximation played on kazoos. The version appears on the soundtrack for the animated feature film Beavis and Butt-head Do America. An animated music video was made for the song, featuring Beavis, Butt-head, and the band riding an amusement park roller coaster, intercut with scenes from the film. Like Soul to Squeeze that was recorded during the Blood Sugar Sex Magik sessions and was not released on the album but the Coneheads soundtrack, "Love Rollercoaster" was the same way: it was recorded during the One Hot Minute sessions, but it was not released on the album and was only released on the "Beavis and Butt-head Do America" soundtrack, it was also released from Geffen instead of the band's label, Warner Bros. Records. The song is played early in the movie as well, when Beavis and Butt-head arrive in Las Vegas. In the dance hall scene, a fictional funk band is shown performing the song live (the one appearing on the background of the single cover). Although the song became a crossover hit peak #40 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart and #22 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart, it didn't enter the top 10 or hit #1 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, but it did peak at #14 and it failed to enter the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

The band has never performed the song live, along with other songs with Dave Navarro's guitar playing.[citation needed]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1996-97) Peak
position
US Billboard Hot 100 Airplay 40
US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 14
US Billboard Mainstream Top 40 22

Track listing[edit]

CD Single 1
  1. "Love Rollercoaster"
  2. Engelbert Humperdinck – "Lesbian Seagull"
Promo Single
  1. "Love Rollercoaster" (Clean Edit)
  2. "Love Rollercoaster" (Rock Rollercoaster Mix)
  3. "Love Rollercoaster" (LP Version)

In popular culture[edit]

The song is featured in video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on radio station Bounce FM.

The song featured in the film Final Destination 3.

The song featured in the film Semi-Pro

The song was sampled in "Observation" by Korean pop group g.o.d.

A cover version of the song, based on the Red Hot Chili Peppers version, is featured in the Nintendo Wii game Boogie. Some of the more sexually suggestive lyrics were changed.

At UFC 155 fighter Chris Leben used it as his entrance song.

In the Nickelodeon television show The Adventures of Pete & Pete, reference is made to the song as attracting Artie, the Strongest Man in the World, like a "giant funk magnet".

Rock Band Music Gaming Platform[edit]

It was made available to download on April 19, 2011 for play in Rock Band 3 Basic, and PRO mode which utilizes real guitar / bass guitar, and MIDI compatible electronic drum kits / keyboards in addition to vocal harmony.

Preceded by
"Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)" by Diana Ross
Billboard Hot 100 number one single (Ohio Players version)
January 31, 1976
Succeeded by
"50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" by Paul Simon
Preceded by
"Full of Fire" by Al Green
Billboard's Hot Soul Singles number one single (Ohio Players version)
December 27, 1975
Succeeded by
"Walk Away from Love" by David Ruffin

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Honey at Allmusic.com
  2. ^ a b Snopes.com. "The Ohio Slayers". Urban Legends. 
  3. ^ a b Allmusic.com. "Love Rollercoaster". Review.