Love Rollercoaster

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"
"Love Rollercoaster"
Honey track listing
"Sweet Sticky Thing"
"Love Rollercoaster"

"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

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

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.[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:

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.

Chart performance

Weekly charts

Chart (1975–76) Peak
Canadian RPM[5] 2
France[6] 5
US Billboard Hot 100 1
US R&B 1

Year-end charts

Chart (1976) Rank
Canada[7] 39
US Billboard Hot 100[8] 30

Red Hot Chili Peppers cover version

"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
Length 4:37 (album version)
3:31 (single version)
Label Geffen
Producer(s) Sylvia Massy, Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers singles chronology
"Coffee Shop"
"Love Rollercoaster"
"Scar Tissue"
Beavis and Butthead Do America Soundtrack track listing
"Two Cool Guys"
"Love Rollercoaster"
"Ain't Nobody"

"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.

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.


Chart (1996–97) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[9] 19
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[10] 10
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[11] 49
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[12] 35
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[13] 14
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[14] 22

Track listing

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

See also


  1. Alex Henderson. "Honey - Ohio Players | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  2. "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  3. 1 2 "The Ohio Slayers". Urban Legends.
  4. 1 2 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". Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  7. "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  8. "Top 100 Hits of 1976/Top 100 Songs of 1976". Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  9. " – Red Hot Chili Peppers / Engelbert Humperdinck – Love Rollercoaster / Lesbian Seagull". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
  10. " – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Love Rollercoaster" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
  11. "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9792." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
  12. " – Red Hot Chili Peppers / Engelbert Humperdinck – Love Rollercoaster / Lesbian Seagull". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
  13. "Red Hot Chili Peppers – Chart history" Billboard Alternative Songs for Red Hot Chili Peppers. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
  14. "Red Hot Chili Peppers – Chart history" Billboard Pop Songs for Red Hot Chili Peppers. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
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
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