Open main menu

"Love Rollercoaster" is a song by American funk/R&B band Ohio Players, originally featured on their 1975 album Honey. It was composed by William Beck, Leroy Bonner, Marshall Jones, Ralph Middlebrooks, Marvin Pierce, Clarence Satchell, and James 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]

"Love Rollercoaster"
Love Rollercoaster - Ohio Players.jpg
Single by Ohio Players
from the album Honey
B-side"It's All Over"
ReleasedNovember 9, 1975
GenreFunk
Length2:52 (Single version)
4:50 (Album version)
LabelMercury
Songwriter(s)James Williams, Clarence Satchell, Leroy Bonner, Marshall Jones, Ralph Middlebrooks, Marvin Pierce, William Beck
Ohio Players singles chronology
"Sweet Sticky Thing"
(1975)
"Love Rollercoaster"
(1975)
"Fopp"
(1976)

Contents

History and descriptionEdit

The song uses the roller coaster, a common theme park attraction, as a simile 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. Consistent with Casey Kasem's notes at the time, the song's Hot 100 top 40 run 34-16-12-6-5-4-4-4-4-3-1-6-7-33, with its rapid ascent, leveling off at number four, short climb to number one, steep descent to number six, slower descent to number seven, and its final, very steep, descent to number 33 before falling off, plotted as a moving function of chart date, resembles a rollercoaster's motion on its track, viewed from the side.

Urban legendEdit

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.[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, 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.[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 performanceEdit

Red Hot Chili Peppers versionEdit

"Love Rollercoaster"
 
Single by Red Hot Chili Peppers
from the album Beavis and Butt-Head Do America: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
ReleasedNovember 1996
FormatCD
Recorded1996
GenreFunk rock
Length4:37 (album version)
3:31 (single version)
LabelGeffen
Songwriter(s)James Williams, Clarence Satchell, Leroy Bonner, Marshall Jones, Ralph Middlebrooks, Marvin Pierce, William Beck
Producer(s)Sylvia Massy, Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers singles chronology
"Coffee Shop"
(1996)
"Love Rollercoaster"
(1996)
"Scar Tissue"
(1999)

"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 song 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 single cover).

Although the song became a crossover hit, peaking at number 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart and at number 22 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart, it did not enter the top 10 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart (peaking at number 14), let alone hit number one, and it failed to enter the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The band has never performed the song live.

ChartsEdit

Weekly chartsEdit

Chart (1996–1997) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[10] 19
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[11] 10
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[12] 49
Canada Rock/Alternative (RPM)[13] 3
Ireland (IRMA)[14] 24
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[15] 35
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[16] 6
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[17] 7
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[18] 14
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[19] 22

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (1997) Position
Australia (ARIA)[20] 83
Canada Rock/Alternative (RPM)[21] 45
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[22] 119

Track listingEdit

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)

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  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. ^ "Songs from the Year 1976". Tsort.info. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  7. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  8. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1976/Top 100 Songs of 1976". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  9. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  10. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Red Hot Chili Peppers / Engelbert Humperdinck – Love Rollercoaster / Lesbian Seagull". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
  11. ^ "Ultratop.be – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Love Rollercoaster" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
  12. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9792." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
  13. ^ "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 9795." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  14. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Love Rollercoaster". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  15. ^ "Charts.nz – Red Hot Chili Peppers / Engelbert Humperdinck – Love Rollercoaster / Lesbian Seagull". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
  16. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  17. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  18. ^ "Red Hot Chili Peppers Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
  19. ^ "Red Hot Chili Peppers Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
  20. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 1997". ARIA. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  21. ^ "RPM '97 Year End Top 50 Alternative Tracks". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  22. ^ "Najlepsze single na UK Top 40-1997" (in Polish). Archived from the original on June 4, 2015. Retrieved July 2, 2019.