There is no denying how funk fabulous The Ohio Players "Love Rollercoaster" (1975) is, but the real reason it is so memorable to me is because of the great story that goes along with the song...a story of murder most bizarre! Read more after the jump!
As kids the rumor spread like wildfire: "Listen carefully, and in the middle of the song you can hear a girl being murdered!" The story behind the murderous scream in the middle of "Love Rollercoaster" varies from storyteller to storyteller, but the one that was floating around my neighborhood was that the band was performing at an amusement park in order to capture the sounds of the rollercoasters, and it just so happened on that very night a girl was murdered under the nearby rollercoaster. The band's microphones picked up the scream that was to be played over and over, for all eternity out there on the dancefloor. Now, as a kid I have to admit I truly believed this story and was amazed that something so incredible could have been captured in a song.
I learned from Snopes.com, a great urban legend debunking site, that there are several different stories about how the scream made it into the song. My favorite has to be that it is actually the model who appears on the Ohio Players album cover "Honey." The album cover inner sleeve, pictured above, depicts a model dripping honey all over her naked body. The story goes that the honey prop was actually some sort of liquid plastic that was heated up in order to make it drip more smoothly. Well, of course, the "honey" scorches the model thus destroying her career. Then the model makes a horrible decision...she bursts into the recording studio in the middle of the band laying down their hit song "Love Rollercoaster," she demands compensation for her injuries...and the band's manager decides that it is easier to murder her instead of putting things right. He stabs her during the perfect break in the song.
The band will neither confirm or deny any of the stories behind the scream...oh yeah, and Carly Simon won't tell you who "You're So Vain" is about either.
Although this video from Burt Sugarman's "The Midnight Special" does not have anyone being murdered in it, it still has so much going for it. If it was simply the Ohio Players performing the song it might have been enough, but this gem also has Wolfman Jack talking about how the music makes his girlfriend do crazy things with her tail, and if that wasn't enough watch for the dancers busting out The Robot moves around the 2:20 mark. By the way, I think they substituted the murderous screams with the dancers for this performance.
Get "Honey" on Amazon