Popcorn (instrumental)

"Popcorn" (originally spelled "Pop Corn") is an early synth-pop instrumental, composed by Gershon Kingsley in 1969 and first appearing on his album Music to Moog By. It was recorded at the Audio Fidelity Records label in New York City.

The title may refer to the short staccato or sharp "popping" sound used, or to pop music and its being "corny", i.e., kitschy. The title is generally written as one word, although some single sleeves (such as the one illustrated) present it as two words, "Pop Corn".

In 1972, a re-recording of "Popcorn" by the band Hot Butter was a huge hit in many countries. The track has since been covered by a great number of artists.

Original version

Composer Gershon Kingsley (of Perrey and Kingsley) first recorded "Popcorn" for his 1969 album Music to Moog By. In 1971 the track was rerecorded by Kingsley's band First Moog Quartet; later he released a version under the name of The Popcorn Makers and was this the version that hit most successfully the charts. The record was one of a rash of Moog synthesizer-based releases, following the Billboard albums chart success Wendy Carlos had in 1968 with Switched-On Bach, and which characterized electronic music of the future.

There were two 7" covers, both released in 1972 under Musicor Records and Stateside Records labels.

Hot Butter version

In 1972, Stan Free, a fellow member of the First Moog Quartet, rerecorded "Popcorn" with his band Hot Butter, from the album Hot Butter.

This version of "Popcorn" became the second primarily electronic-based piece of music to reach the American popular music charts, three years after "The Minotaur" by Dick Hyman & His Electric Eclectics. It peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 4 on the Easy Listening chart, and had even greater success in Australia, topping the charts for 8 weeks. It proved equally as popular in mainland Europe, spending several weeks at No. 1 in numerous European countries, including France (4 weeks at the top) and Switzerland (10 weeks), ultimately becoming the biggest-selling single of 1972 in both countries. (In the former, this version of "Popcorn" is the 131st best-selling single of all time, with sales of approximately 900,000 copies). "Popcorn" was also a No. 1 hit in Germany (3 weeks), the Netherlands (7 weeks) and Norway (9 weeks).

Track listings

7" single # "Popcorn" – 2:30 # "At the Movies" – 2:31

Chart performance

Weekly charts

Year-end charts

Crazy Frog version

"Popcorn" was covered by Crazy Frog in 2005, and this remixed version was released on 22 August that year. Jamba! once again arranged the remix, and also marketed it as a ringtone. The song differs from the debut release "Axel F", as it does not contain the trademark "Crazy Frog sound" by Daniel Malmedahl.

The single was a hit in various countries, particularly in France, where it enjoyed its greatest success. Replacing Crazy Frog's own song "Axel F" at No. 1 on 24 September 2005, the track remained at the top spot for 7 weeks (with its best weekly sales of 71,777 copies in its second week). Being certified Diamond status just three months after its release by the SNEP, as of August 2014, this version of "Popcorn" is the 40th best-selling single of the 21st century in France, with 458,000 copies sold. The track also topped the charts in Belgium, New Zealand and Spain.

The music video was animated using computer-generated imagery, the music video was produced by Kaktus Film and Erik Wernquist of TurboForce3D, where Crazy Frog is seen causing chaos at the underwater sea labs of the drones.

Track listings

UK # "Popcorn" (radio mix) # "Popcorn" (radio mix instrumental) # "Popcorn" (potatoheadz mix) # "Popcorn" (radikal mix) # "Popcorn" (resource mix) # "Popcorn" (video)

Australia # "Popcorn" (radio mix) # "Popcorn" (potatoheadz mix) # "Popcorn" (resource mix) # "Who Let the Frog Out?"



Weekly charts

Year-end charts