Love Rollercoaster

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For The Cleveland Show episode, see Love Rollercoaster (The Cleveland Show).
"Love Rollercoaster"
Single by Ohio Players
from the album Honey
B-side "It's All Over"
Released November 9, 1975
Genre Funk
Length 2:52 (Single version)
4:50 (Album version)
Label Mercury
Certification Gold (RIAA)
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 Ohio Players, originally featured on their 1975 album Honey. It was composed by Beck, Bonner, Jones, Middlebrooks, Pierce, Satchell, and Williams.[1] It was a number-one U.S. hit in January 1976, and became a Gold record. In Canada, the song spent two weeks at number two.[2]

History and description[edit]

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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 C down to the key of A and back up to the key of C.

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.[3][4] 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.[3][4]

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:

[citation needed]

Chart performance[edit]

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 Massy, 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, recorded and produced by Sylvia Massy. This version includes original rap-based verses and additional lyrics provided by guest female backup singers, as well as the horn section being replaced with an approximation played on kazoos.

This version appears on the soundtrack for the animated feature film Beavis and Butt-head Do America and Zootopia.

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. 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, peaking at #40 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart and at #22 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart, it did not enter the top 10 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart (peaking at #14) and it failed to enter the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

The band has never performed the song live.

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 was featured in the film Final Destination 3 during a scene where Ashley & Ashlyn are getting tans, but they get trapped in their malfunctioning tanning beds as the temperature rises.
  • The song was featured in the film Semi-Pro.
  • The song is sampled in Salt-n-Pepa's 1995 song "Champagne".
  • 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.
  • The song is available as downloadable content for Rock Band 3, along with The Ohio Players' other well known song, "Fire".
  • A 2010 episode of the short-lived FOX animated series called The Cleveland Show also called Love Rollercoaster (originally aired on January 10, 2010) is a reference to the hit song of the same name.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alex Henderson. "Honey - Ohio Players | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-02-02. 
  2. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-02-02. 
  3. ^ a b Snopes.com. "The Ohio Slayers". Urban Legends. 
  4. ^ a b Amy Hanson. "Love Rollercoaster - Ohio Players | Song Info". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-02-02. 
  5. ^ "RPM Top Singles" (PDF). RPM. February 21, 1976. Retrieved March 21, 2016. 
  6. ^ http://tsort.info/music/yr1976.htm
  7. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1976/Top 100 Songs of 1976". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-02-02. 
  8. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-02-02. 
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 (one week)
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