Seven Times A Roller Coaster Made a Music Video Cameo

Recently, MTV held their 39th annual Video Music Awards. You may read this sentence and think one of three things. First, “39?!” Second, “Music videos are still a thing?” and third, “MTV is still a thing?” (We agree on all sentiments.) But, those three sentences also got us thinking about music videos of the past, and how several videos have been set in amusement parks, and in several cases, have taken place on roller coasters themselves while the musical acts lip-sync the lyrics while riding.

If you long for the days of “TRL,” we wanted to take you back to seven (plus a bonus!) times a roller coaster made a cameo in a music video.

Chained to the Rhythm – Katy Perry

Taking place at the fictional “Oblivia” theme park, Katy Perry’s 2017 music video sees the pop singer walking through scenes of a CGI-version of a futuristic theme park, which also features scenes inside of Six Flags Magic Mountain. In the background shots, you can see X2, and oddly enough, the Incredible Hulk Coaster before Perry and her friends board SFMM’s “Full Throttle” roller coaster. Perry can even be seen singing the song’s chorus in the video while taking on the world’s tallest vertical loop!

Fantasy – Mariah Carey

From one pop icon to another, Mariah Carey’s 1995 hit, “Fantasy,” took a different route on filming location. While many music videos would (and have chosen to) film in major metropolitan areas, the setting for the “Fantasy” music video was Rye, NY and Playland, 30 miles north of New York City. In the video, Carey can be seen roller blading outside of Rye Playland before boarding the park’s iconic “Dragon” wooden roller coaster to sing onboard.

XO – Beyonce

We head to the iconic Coney Island for the setting of the next music video on this list, XO by Beyonce. While much of the 2013 (so pre-Thunderbolt) music video takes place in and around Coney Island’s amusements and arcade (with plenty of shots of the iconic Deno’s Wonder Wheel), several scenes in the video depict Beyonce riding the historic Coney Island Cyclone. Eagle-eyed viewers will also be able to catch Steeplechase, the Circus Coaster, and Soarin’ Eagle!

Baby It’s You – JoJo

While the 2004 music video for “Baby It’s You” didn’t see pop artist JoJo riding any roller coasters, the beginning of the video is very roller coaster heavy, featuring Scream!, the original X, and more in the video’s first several seconds. While much of the music video takes place on the midways of Six Flags Magic Mountain, it concludes with a very “mid-2000’s” hip-hop group breakdancing number in front of Goliath and Colossus.

Longwave – Tidal Wave

Indie rockers Longwave headed to the now-defunct Scandia amusement park in 2003 to film the video for their song “Tidal Wave” aboard the park’s “Screamer” roller coaster. Oddly enough, it looks like the footage is slowed down, but the lead singer’s vocals still match the regular-paced audio of the track, and he hits every note while riding through one cycle on the E&F Hi-Miler. If you wanted to recreate this video, likely sans confetti, you could head to Texas’ Prairie Amusement park where the coaster has a new life as “Prairie Screamer.”

Sane – Fozzy

Longwave walked so that Fozzy could run. The most “modern” music video on this list, Fozzy frontman Chris Jericho, perhaps better known for his professional wrestling career, along with his band, hops aboard The Voyage at Holiday World for a wild ride that begins with his guitarist launching his guitar from near the top of Voyage’s 159′ lift hill. While it’s unclear how many takes it took for “Sane” to film, the editing makes it look like a pretty convincing “single shot” filming, with Jericho singing the entire way. Edit: According to an inside source at Holiday World, filming of “Sane” took six takes over three hours.

Brand New – Ben Rector

In one of the more unique takes on a music video we’ve seen, artist Ben Rector tells a story about how his record label was adamant that his 2015 song “Brand New” had a music video, so he took the budget, and flew six fans to Dallas, Texas for a visit to Six Flags Over Texas, because, in his words, “roller coasters.” The video sees Rector riding both Titan and Pandemonium with fans as they take on what looks to be an otherwise empty Six Flags, and as any cliche theme park visit features, the group all ended up with airbrushed t-shirts!

Bonus: Love Rollercoaster – Red Hot Chili Peppers 

It’s animated. It’s a cover song. We don’t care. You can’t have a list of roller coasters in music video without at least one song with “Rollercoaster” (don’t mind the spelling) in the title, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ 1996 version of the song originally made famous by the Ohio Players that appeared on the Beavis & Butthead Do America soundtrack is a “must-include” in this list.

What’s your favorite song that either features a roller coaster in the title or in the music video? Let us know in the comments below!


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1 Response

  1. Stephen Peck says:

    The Who had a video for their song “You” in the early 1980’s filmed on Colossus at Magic Mountain also the Rolling Stones “Paint It Black” had a video with “Great American Scream Machine” at Six Flags over Georgia. The Stones video was kind of creepy where the parents of a young boy leave him to ride by himself and he gets paired up with ghost who looks like a construction worker. Awesome night footage of Scream Machine and every time I hear Paint It Black I think of that coaster.

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