Buttered, Salted, Caramel, Cheese, Kettle...

I was driving with some friends over the weekend and scanning what was on satellite radio and I heard a brief bar of a song that caught by ear before he switched it.

"Go back!"

And that was when I discovered Popcorn by Hot Butter (1972 version). Digging on the internets, I found that this song has a pretty interesting history considering it has been covered over 500 times over the past 30+ years starting in 1969 with the original version by Gershon Kingsley. It is widely considered the first primarily electronic-based piece of music to reach the American popular music charts. Paving the way for other synth-pop bands and increasing the Moog synthesizer's popularity.

Aphex Twin, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Bim Skala Bim, the Boston Pops and Hot Butter have all covered the song. Hot Butter produced the most famous version and was the one that had caught my attention. There was a rumor around the time that it was released that a computer had generated the melody for it.

Because it has been covered so many times, many of the versions are mislabeled. One of the most common versions is attributed to Kraftwerk. It sounds nothing like them and was actually released by the M&H Band. It sounds more like Pet Shop Boys.

MP3: Hot Butter - Popcorn
MP3: M&H Band - Popcorn

It even has its own web page! Go check out for snippets of other versions.

No comments: