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"Roller Coaster" is a song written by Michael Carter and Cole Swindell and recorded by American country music artist Luke Bryan. It was released in June 2014 as the fifth single from Bryan’s 2013 album Crash My Party.

"Roller Coaster"
Single by Luke Bryan
from the album Crash My Party
ReleasedJuly 14, 2014 (2014-07-14)
FormatDigital download
LabelCapitol Nashville
Producer(s)Jeff Stevens
Luke Bryan singles chronology
"Play It Again"
"Roller Coaster"
"I See You"


Background and writingEdit

Cole Swindell, who formerly sold merchandise for Bryan, wrote the song with Bryan's guitarist and bandleader, Michael Carter, on October 6, 2011 in Valdosta, Georgia. The inspiration for the song was the Miracle Strip Amusement Park in Panama City, Florida, a destination that Bryan, Swindell, and Carter had visited on summer vacations.[1] Swindell and Carter recorded a demo for Bryan, which featured Swindell singing. Upon hearing the demo, Bryan thought that Swindell had the potential to get a record deal of his own;[1] after Swindell became a recording artist himself, Carter produced his self-titled debut album.[2] Swindell said that he considered the song "one of my favorite songs I've ever written" and "special" because of his and Carter's friendships with Bryan.[2]


The song is a mid-tempo ballad about a man who encounters a woman while on vacation in Panama City. The first verse contains details specific to the area, such as Thomas Drive, a road near the former amusement park. In the song, the man befriends the woman, then states that "she's got [him] twisted like that old beach roller coaster" after she leaves. Swindell told Billboard, "Going down there, you always met a girl — like a day before you had to leave, you got up enough courage to finally talk to her, and then she's got to leave the next day." [1]

Tom Roland of Billboard described the song as "smooth and understated" and "reflective [and] melancholy". Carter noted that the melody of the chorus repeats a single note because he wanted the song to be easily sung along with by fans.[1] The original demo featured a cold open, but Bryan and his producer, Jeff Stevens, decided to create an intro because Bryan felt that "[s]tarting with a straight-in lyric, half the time you miss the lyrics." Stevens decided to "start it off with the easy beach feel and let it ride." The song features a bass guitar line performed by Jimmie Lee Sloas, and two backing vocal tracks both sung by session vocalist Perry Coleman.[1] The song is set in the key of A-flat major with a moderate tempo and a primary chord pattern of A-E/G-Fm7-D and a vocal range of D4-F5.[3]

Critical receptionEdit

Country music blog Taste of Country reviewed the song positively. The review contrasted it with "'Til Summer Comes Around" by Keith Urban in saying that it was more "positive" than that song, also saying that "The roller coaster metaphor is creative — it’s what separates this song from others that rely on an increasingly used country trope. Once again it’s Bryan’s natural charisma that lifts a lyric that wouldn’t work for someone less lovable. Little details like Thomas Drive feel personal. He’s becoming one of country’s top storytellers."[4]

Music videoEdit

The official music video for "Roller Coaster" was directed by Michael Monaco and filmed in Panama City Beach, Florida in the spring of 2014 as part of spring break festivities. It premiered June 20, 2014.[5]

Chart performanceEdit

"Roller Coaster" debuted at No. 60 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart for the week ending July 5, 2014.[6] The same week, "Roller Coaster" re-entered at No. 47 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.[7] For the week ending October 18, the song reached #1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart, making it Bryan's tenth #1 hit. As of November 2014, the song had sold 583,000 copies in the US.[8]

Chart (2014) Peak
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[9] 56
Canada Country (Billboard)[10] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[11] 43
US Country Airplay (Billboard)[12] 1
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[13] 5

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (2014) Position
US Country Airplay (Billboard)[14] 26
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[15] 19


  1. ^ a b c d e Roland, Tom (July 31, 2014). "Luke Bryan's 'Roller Coaster' is an ultra-smooth ride" (PDF). Billboard Country Mid-Week Update. Billboard. p. 2. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Conaway, Alanna (September 29, 2014). "Behind the Song: Ups & Downs". Country Weekly. 21 (39): 16.
  3. ^ "'Roller Coaster' sheet music". Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  4. ^ "Luke Bryan, 'Roller Coaster' [Listen]". Taste of Country. June 27, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  5. ^ Bjorke, Matt. "Luke Bryan Unveils New "Roller Coaster" Music Video". Roughstock. Cheri Media. Archived from the original on 16 July 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  6. ^ Trust, Gary. "Chart Highlights: Maroon 5's 'Maps' Makes Record Start; Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake Top Adult R&B Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  7. ^ Jessen, Wade. "Willie Nelson Scores First No. 1 On Top Country Albums In 28 Years". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  8. ^ Matt Bjorke (November 19, 2014). "Country Music's Top 30 Digital Singles: November 19, 2014". Roughstock. sales figure given here
  9. ^ "Luke Bryan Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard.
  10. ^ "Luke Bryan Chart History (Canada Country)". Billboard.
  11. ^ "Luke Bryan Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  12. ^ "Luke Bryan Chart History (Country Airplay)". Billboard.
  13. ^ "Luke Bryan Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  14. ^ "Best of 2014: Country Airplay". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2014. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
  15. ^ "Best of 2014: Hot Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2014. Retrieved December 9, 2014.