Popcorn (instrumental)  

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"[...] In 1975, an edited version of "Autobahn" was a top 10 hit. It wasn't the first synth hit --that honor belongs to Gershon Kingsley's hissing "Popcorn," performed by studio group Hot Butter-- but it wasn't a pure novelty either." --"Machine Soul: A History Of Techno", Jon Savage

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"Popcorn" is a famous early synthpop instrumental. 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, which became the first primarily electronic-based piece of music to reach the American popular music charts. The record was one of a rash of Moog synthesizer-based releases that characterized "synth-pop" of the 1960s and 1970s.

It has since been covered by various artists, including DJ Voyager, Jean Michel Jarre (as the Popcorn Orchestra and also as Jamie Jefferson), Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops, Richard D. James or Aphex Twin, M&H Band, DJ Fantomas, Gigi D'Agostino, Iranian artist Shadmehr Aghili, Afrosound, the Time Frequency (TTF), Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, The Treble Spankers, the Boomtang Boys, Bass Bumpers (fronted by the Crazy Frog cartoon), Liars, Finnish band Seidat and Japanese electronic artists Denki Groove. It has also been remixed by Hexstatic on the Pick 'n' Mix album. In fact, more than 500 cover versions of the song exist , some of which add lyrics (lyrics have been added in at least six different languages). In 2003 Greek Synthpop Duo Marsheaux released a darker mix of Popcorn as their debut Single, which became a radio play hit in Europe. The song was also featured as the background music in the 1982 arcade game Pengo and the 1984 Mikro-Gen microcomputer game Pyjamarama.

The title refers to the short staccato or sharp popping sound used. Part of the song's fame comes from the rumor that the characteristic main melody was in fact written by a computer program created to compose music.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Popcorn (instrumental)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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