|Single by Ohio Players|
|from the album Honey|
|B-side||"It's All Over"|
|Genre||R&B, disco, funk|
|Length||2:52 (Single version)
4:50 (Album version)
|Ohio Players singles chronology|
"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. 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.
History and description
|This section does not cite any references (sources). (May 2014)|
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.
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. 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.
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.||”|
Weekly singles charts
Red Hot Chili Peppers cover version
|Single by Red Hot Chili Peppers|
|from the album Beavis and Butt-Head Do America Soundtrack|
|Producer(s)||Sylvia Massy, Red Hot Chili Peppers|
|Red Hot Chili Peppers singles chronology|
"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.
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. 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.
The song "Love Rollercoaster" had already been covered in 1988's album Something New, Old and Borrowed by Royal Crescent Mob, a punk/funk band based in Columbus, Ohio. Curiously, Royal Crescent Mob was Red Hot Chili Peppers' support act during a tour many years before this 1996 release.
|US Billboard Hot 100 Airplay||40|
|US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks||14|
|US Billboard Mainstream Top 40||22|
- CD Single 1
- Promo Single
- "Love Rollercoaster" (Clean Edit)
- "Love Rollercoaster" (Rock Rollercoaster Mix)
- "Love Rollercoaster" (LP Version)
In popular culture
The song is featured in video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on radio station Bounce FM.
The song was featured in the film Semi-Pro.
The song was sampled in "Observation" by Korean pop group g.o.d.
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".
"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
"50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" by Paul Simon
"Full of Fire" by Al Green
|Billboard's Hot Soul Singles number one single (Ohio Players version)
December 27, 1975
"Walk Away from Love" by David Ruffin
- Honey at Allmusic.com
- Snopes.com. "The Ohio Slayers". Urban Legends.
- Allmusic.com. "Love Rollercoaster". Review.