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"Love Rollercoaster"
Song by The Ohio Players

from the album Honey

Released 1975
Genre Funk
Length 2:52 (Single version)
4:50 (Album version)
Label Mercury Records
Honey track listing
"Sweet Sticky Thing"
(5)
"Love Rollercoaster"
(6)
"Alone"
(7)

"Love Rollercoaster" is a SONG by American funk/R&B band The Ohio Players, originally featured on their 1975 album Honey. The song was a hit upon its initial release, reaching the top of both the R&B and pop charts, and still sees wide airplay on classic funk and R&B stations. The song uses the roller coaster, a common theme park attraction, as a metaphor for the ups and downs of dating and romantic relationships.

Contents

Urban legend

While the song is known within the music community for its distinctive and influential sound, within the popular imagination it remains best identified with a persistent urban legend. During an instrumental portion of the song, a high-pitched scream is heard (between 2:32 and 2:36 on the single 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.[1] [2] 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 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. Both of the latter two scenarios, however, are impossible as Ester Cordet is still alive.[1] [2]

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.

Red Hot Chili Peppers cover

"Love Rollercoaster"
Single by Red Hot Chili Peppers
from the album Beavis and Butt-Head Do America Soundtrack
Released 1996
Format CD
Recorded 1996
Genre Funk rock
Label Geffen Records
Producer Rick Rubin
Red Hot Chili Peppers singles chronology
"Shallow Be Thy Game"
(1996)
"Love Rollercoaster"
(1996)
"Scar Tissue"
(1999)
Beavis and Butthead Do America Soundtrack track listing
"Two Cool Guys"
(1)
"Love Rollercoaster"
(2)
"Ain't Nobody"
(3)

"Love Rollercoaster" was covered by the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1996, with lead singer Anthony Kiedis adding a rap to the song, and the horn section replaced with an approximation played on kazoos. Their version appeared on the soundtrack of the animated film Beavis and Butt-head Do America. There was also an animated music video that 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 itself, 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).

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Track listing

CD Single 1
  1. "Love Rollercoaster"
  2. "Lesbian Seagull - Engelbert Humperdinck"
CD Single 2
  1. "Love Rollercoaster" (Clean Edit)
  2. "Love Rollercoaster" (Rock Rollercoaster Mix)
  3. "Love Rollercoaster" (LP Version)

In the media

The song was featured briefly in the film Urban Legend, where a reference is made to the myth associated with it.

It makes a more prominent appearance in the third Final Destination film where Ashley (Chelan Simmons) and Ashlyn (Crystal Lowe) are listening to it on an iPod, during the scene where the two characters are killed in a tanning salon. It references the fateful rollercoaster ride that begins the film, a ride they should have died on.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers version of the song was featured in the movie After The Sunset.

This song was used in the Nickelodeon series The Adventures of Pete & Pete during a band scene.

The song was also in The Bernie Mac Show episode "Now You Got It" during the scene where Bryana was having her party and the kids were passing germs along the way.

This song is played in the movie Johnson's Family Vacation, when the family is being stalked by a Pampers Semi-Truck.

A cover version of the song, based on the Red Hot Chili Peppers version, is featured in the Nintendo Wii game Boogie. Some of the more sexually suggestive lyrics were changed.

The song was sampled by Rodney O & Joe Cooley in their 1991 song Get Ready to Roll, by Da Hool in Meet her at the Love Parade, by TTC in Travailler, by Federico Franchi in Cream, and by Pitbull in Krazy.

The song was also played in the movie Semi-Pro.

The original version featured on the 2004 video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas soundtrack on the game's funk radio station Bounce FM, where the DJ claims the scream in the song is the result of him "exposing himself".

The Ohio Players' version was used in a Suzuki Jimny advert during the mid 2000s.

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
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 25, 1975
Succeeded by
"Walk Away from Love" by David Ruffin

See also

References


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