Popcorn (instrumental)

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"Popcorn"
Single by Gershon Kingsley
from the album Music to Moog By
Released 1969
Format LP
Recorded 1969
Genre Electronic
Length 2:24
Label Audio Fidelity Records, New York City
Writer(s) Gershon Kingsley
Producer(s) Herman D. Gimbel
Gershon Kingsley singles chronology
"Sheila"
(1969)
"Popcorn"
(1969)
"Twinkle, Twinkle"
(1969)

"Popcorn" is an early electronic pop instrumental, composed by Gershon Kingsley in 1969 and first appearing on his album Music to Moog By.

The same year it was released and recorded at Audio Fidelity Records label in New York City. The composition received its title during a meeting between Kingsley and Audio Fidelity; Kingsley indicated the track did not have a title and someone suggested "Popcorn", with 'Pop' standing for pop music and 'corn' for kitsch.[1] Some single sleeves (such as the one illustrated) presents the title as two words, "Pop Corn", but the title is generally presented as one word.

In 1972, Hot Butter's rerecording was a huge hit in many countries. "Popcorn" has since been covered by a great number of artists.

Original version

Background

Composer Gershon Kingsley (of Perrey and Kingsley) first recorded it for his 1969 album Music to Moog By. In 1971 the song was re-recorded by Kingsley's band First Moog Quartet. Stan Free, member of the First Moog Quartet, rerecorded the instrumental with his band Hot Butter in 1972. The record was one of a rash of Moog synthesizer-based releases that followed the 1968 Billboard pop Top 40 chart success Wendy Carlos had with Switched-On Bach and that characterized electronic music of the mid-1960s, 1970s and early 1980s.

The title refers to the short staccato or sharp "popping" sound used. A studio technician may have suggested the name "popcorn" because it was pop music and 'corny', meaning kitsch.[1]

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

Cover versions

Other cover versions of the song have been recorded, some of which add lyrics (lyrics have been added in at least six different languages). Artists who reworked it and made a cover record include:

In 1988 M&H Band made an uptempo cover of "Popcorn" that has subsequently been misattributed to Kraftwerk. The M&H version is also sometimes misattributed to synthpop artist Jean-Michel Jarre. There is also a version circulating on the internet that is claimed to have been made by avant-garde group The Residents even though it sounds vastly different from The Residents' usual experimental sound. This version is actually made by the hard house artists called The Rezidents, hence the confusion between the two.

Live performances include that of Muse. The band performed this song live in Teignmouth, UK during their two nights at The Den. The song featured prominent electric guitar along with heavy percussion and bass. A studio version of their cover was released on the 2010 single "Resistance". Faith No More covered the song live in Argentina in The Second Coming Tour.[2]

Hot Butter version

"Popcorn"
Single by Hot Butter
from the album Hot Butter
B-side "At the Movies"
Released 1972
Format 7" single
Recorded 1972
Genre Electronic
Length 2:30
Label Interfusion (AUS)
Musicor (US and Canada)
Writer(s) Gershon Kingsley
Charles Gordanne
Michaële
Producer(s) Bill Jerome
Steve Jerome
Hot Butter singles chronology
"Popcorn"
(1972)
"Skokiaan"
(1973)
Music sample

Hot Butter's version 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. The Hot Butter recording peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 4 on the Adult Contemporary Chart. The single had great success in Australia where it reached number 1 for 10 weeks. It was also number 1 in Switzerland, where it topped the chart for 10 weeks and stayed for 17 weeks in the top 10. In Norway, it was number 1 for 6 weeks and featured for 21 weeks in the top 10. It was also number 1 in Germany and reached number 5 on July 22, 1972 in UK and number 15 in Canada - October 1972. In France, this version of "Popcorn" is the 131st best-selling single of all time, with about 900,000 sales.[3]

Track listings

7" single
  1. "Popcorn" — 2:30
  2. "At the Movies" — 2:31

Charts

Chart (1972-1973) Peak
position
Australia (Go-Set National Top 40)[4] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[5] 10
Canada (MOR Playlist)[6] 2
Canada (RPM 100 Singles)[7] 15
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista) 1
France (SNEP)[8] 1
Germany (Media Control AG)[9] 1
Ireland (IRMA)[10] 8
Italy (FIMI)[11] 19
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[12] 1
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)[13] 12
Norway (VG-lista)[14] 1
South Africa (Springbok Radio)[15] 13
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[16] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[17] 5
US Billboard Hot 100[18] 9
US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary[18] 4
Preceded by
"Song Sung Blue" by Neil Diamond
Swiss number-one single
22 August 1972 - 24 October 1972 (10 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Silver Machine" by Hawkwind
Preceded by
"Beautiful Sunday" by Daniel Boone
Norwegian VG-Lista number-one single
35/1972 - 43/1972 (9 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Matrinomy" by Gilbert O'Sullivan
Preceded by
"Hello-A" by Mouth & MacNeal
German number-one single
6 October 1972 - 20 October 1972 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Wig-Wam Bam" by Sweet
Preceded by
"Boppin' the Blues" by Blackfeather
Australian ARIA number-one single
16 October 1972 - 4 December 1972 (8 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Ben" by Michael Jackson

Crazy Frog version

"Popcorn"
Single by Crazy Frog
from the album Crazy Frog Presents Crazy Hits
Released 22 August 2005
Format CD single, CD maxi, Digital download
Recorded 2005
Genre Electronica
Length 3:12 (album version)
2:46 (radio edit)
Label Ministry of Sound
Producer(s) Erik Wernquist
Certification Diamond France, 2005
Crazy Frog singles chronology
"Axel F"
(2005)
"Popcorn"
(2005)
"Jingle Bells/U Can't Touch This"
(2005)

In 2005, "Popcorn" was covered by Crazy Frog, and this remixed version was released on 22 August 2005. 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. However, the music video is once again animated computer-generated imagery, produced by Kaktus Film and Erik Wernquist of TurboForce3D.

The single was a hit in various countries, but not as much as Crazy Frog's previous song, "Axel F". It peaked at number one in Belgium, France and New Zealand. In France, the single had its greatest success: it went straight to number 1 on 24 September 2005, whereby Crazy Frog replaced its own song "Axel F", and stayed at this position for seven weeks. Its best weekly sales were 71,777 in its second week.[19] The single remained for 11 weeks in the top 10, 21 weeks in the top 50 and 27 weeks in the chart. Certified Diamond three months after its release by the SNEP, this "Popcorn" version is the 621rst best-selling single of all time in France, with 480,100 sales.[20]

Music Video

In the music video for the song, the frog causes chaos at the underwater sea labs of the drones. A shortened version of the video was used for ''U Can't Touch This.

Track listings

UK
  1. "Popcorn" (radio mix)
  2. "Popcorn" (radio mix instrumental)
  3. "Popcorn" (potatoheadz mix)
  4. "Popcorn" (radikal mix)
  5. "Popcorn" (resource mix)
  6. "Popcorn" (video)
Australia
  1. "Popcorn" (radio mix)
  2. "Popcorn" (potatoheadz mix)
  3. "Popcorn" (resource mix)
  4. "Who Let the Frog Out?"

Certifications

Country Certification Date Sales certified Physical sales Digital downloads
Australia[21] Gold 2005 35,000
France[22] Diamond 1 December 2005 500,000 460,000[23] (454,716 in 2005)[24] 17,100 (in 2005)[25]

Charts

Preceded by
"Axel F" by Crazy Frog
French SNEP number-one single
1 October 2005 – 5 November 2005 (7 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Hung Up" by Madonna
Preceded by
"Sin rencor" by OBK
Spanish number-one single
2 October 2005 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Precious" by Depeche Mode
Preceded by
"Pon De Replay" by Rihanna
New Zealand RIANZ number-one single
17 October 2005 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"All I Ask" by Rosita Vai
Preceded by
"Je ne suis pas un héros" by Star Academy 5
Belgian (Wallonia) number-one single
22 October 2005 – 29 October 2005 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Petite Sœur" by Lââm

Other uses of the song

The "Popcorn" melody, played by an ensemble under Meshcherin since 1970, played every Sunday on the first channel of the Soviet television.

In 1976, the tenth episode of the Soviet animated series Nu, Pogodi! included this song as Volk (The Wolf) is chasing Zayats (The Hare) at a construction site.

A variation of "Popcorn" was used by WDIV in Detroit, Michigan as background music for the station's Michigan Lottery Lotto drawings during the 1980s.

The song was also featured as the background music in the first version of the 1982 arcade game Pengo, the 1983 IBM PC game Digger, the 1984 Mikro-Gen microcomputer game Pyjamarama, and as one of the background tunes of the 1984 microcomputer game Trollie Wallie. Many cover versions were made on popular home computers such as Atari, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Amiga, often by anonymous artists. On 17 September 2007, Electropop group Plemo released a free track on micromusic.net based on the original "Popcorn" melody. It includes samples from "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)" of the Beastie Boys.

British electronic artist Richard D. James recorded a cover on his EP Joyrex J4 EP under the alias Caustic Window in 1992.

A remix of Popcorn is in the game Need For Madness 2 after you unlock MASHEEN. It is played in A flat instead of B minor.

References

  1. ^ a b Documentary, interview with Kingsley
  2. ^ "setlist fm". setlist fm. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "Les Meilleures Ventes Tout Temps de 45 T. / Singles" (in French). Dominic DURAND / InfoDisc. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Go-Set Australian charts - 11 November 1972". Poparchives.com.au. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "Hot Butter – Popcorn – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  6. ^ "Adult Contemporary - Volume 18, No. 5, September 16, 1972". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 18, No. 10, October 21, 1972". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "Toutes les Chansons N° 1 des Années 70". Dominic DURAND / InfoDisc (in French). InfoDisc.fr. 2 June 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Hot Butter - Popcorn". Charts.de. Media Control. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  10. ^ a b "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". IRMA. Retrieved 2 June 2013.  Only results when searching "Popcorn"
  11. ^ "I singoli più venduti del 1972". HitParadeItalia (in Italian). Creative Commons. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
    88. Popcorn - Hot Butter [#19, 1972/73]
  12. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Hot Butter - Popcorn search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  13. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Hot Butter – Popcorn" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  14. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Hot Butter – Popcorn". VG-lista. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  15. ^ John Samson. "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 - 1989 Acts (H)". Rock.co.za. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  16. ^ "Hot Butter – Popcorn – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  17. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  18. ^ a b "Hot Butter awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  19. ^ Likeadream. "Chiffres de ventes hebdomadaires Singles - Edition 2006". Chartsinfrance.net (in French). Webedia / IP.Board 3 - IPS, Inc. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  20. ^ "Les Meilleures Ventes Tout Temps de 45 T. / Singles" (in French). Dominic DURAND / InfoDisc. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  21. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2005 Singles". Aria.com.au. ARIA - Australian Recording Industry Association Ltd. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  22. ^ "Certifications Singles Diamant - année 2005". SNEP (in French). Snepmusique.com. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  23. ^ "Les Certifications (Singles) du SNEP en 2005" (in French). Dominic DURAND / InfoDisc. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  24. ^ "Les 100 Singles les plus vendus en France en 2005". SNEP (in French). Fanofmusic.free.fr. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  25. ^ a b "Les 20 Singles les téléchargés en France en 2005". SNEP (in French). Fanofmusic.free.fr. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  26. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Crazy Frog – Popcorn". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  27. ^ "Crazy Frog – Popcorn – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  28. ^ "Ultratop.be – Crazy Frog – Popcorn" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  29. ^ "Ultratop.be – Crazy Frog – Popcorn" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  30. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Crazy Frog – Popcorn". Tracklisten. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  31. ^ a b c d "Crazy Frog - Popcorn". Top40-charts.com. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  32. ^ "Crazy Frog: Popcorn" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  33. ^ "Lescharts.com – Crazy Frog – Popcorn" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  34. ^ French digital download - Ifop.com (Retrieved 16 December 2007)
  35. ^ "Crazy Frog - Popcorn". Charts.de. Media Control. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  36. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Crazy Frog – Popcorn" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  37. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Crazy Frog – Popcorn". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  38. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Crazy Frog – Popcorn". VG-lista. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  39. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Crazy Frog – Popcorn" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  40. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Crazy Frog – Popcorn". Singles Top 60. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  41. ^ "Crazy Frog – Popcorn – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  42. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  43. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 2005". Aria.com.au. ARIA - Australian Recording Industry Association Ltd. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  44. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Dance Singles 2005". Aria.com.au. ARIA - Australian Recording Industry Association Ltd. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  45. ^ "Rapports Annuels 2005". Ultratop 50. Ultratop & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  46. ^ "Classement Singles - année 2005". SNEP (in French). Snepmusique.com. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  47. ^ 2005 French Airplay, TV and Club Charts - Yacast.fr (in French) (Retrieved 19 January 2007)
  48. ^ "End of Year Charts 2005". RIANZ. NZtop40.co.nz. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 

External links