It was composed by William Beck, Leroy Bonner, Marshall Jones, Ralph Middlebrooks, Marvin Pierce, Clarence Satchell, and James Williams. 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.
The song has a persistent urban legend, that 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.
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, as 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. 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.
For this version, an animated music video was made directed by Kevin Lofton. In the video, the members of the band are shown performing the song and riding together with other characters on a gigantic roller coaster, while playing some scenes from the film.