"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.
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.
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.
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."
Jacob from Alamogordo NM