Album: The Best of Disco One Hit Wonders (1972)
Charted: 5 9
  • songfacts ®
  • Hot Butter was the alias of American keyboard virtuoso Stan Free. Free had been a member of the pioneering Moog synthesizer ensemble, the First Moog Quartet, and during their 1969 tour of the States they had used "Popcorn" as an encore. In 1972, remembering the positive response the song had received, Free released it as a single and it became a worldwide hit peaking at #5 in the UK and #9 in the US. It was one of the first pop hits to be entirely played by a synthesizer.

    Since then, the spacey pop instrumental has appeared in many computer games and film soundtracks and in 2005 Crazy Frog had a #12 hit in the UK with a cover version.
  • The song was written by the German performer Gershon Kingsley, who was the leader of the First Moog Quartet and the first person to use the Moog synthesizer in live performance. He told Reuters in a telephone interview: "I am glad I was born in Germany and partook of German culture. Because whether you're talking about Beethoven, Goethe or Wagner, it's unique in the history of humankind.

    Popcorn is a classical melody, it could easily be incorporated into a Bach piece. It's so transparent - it's like why you can't change a Mozart melody. It took me five minutes. But I could never do it again."
  • Unfortunately for Kingsley, he discovered that he had unwittingly sold half the publishing rights to the song before it became a hit. "It took a long time to get over that," he told Reuters.
  • Kingsley was close to 50 by the time the tune became a hit, prompting disbelief among many that he had written it. He recalled: "When I went to pick up my first golden record in Germany, they said to me, 'You wrote Popcorn?'"
  • Hot Butter were the first act whose name starts with "Hot" to reach the top 10 of the Hot 100. The other 'Hot' acts who have heated up the Top 10 are:

    Hot Chocolate ("Emma," "You Sexy Thing," "Every One's A Winner")

    Hot ("Angel in Your Arms")

    Hot Chelle Rae ("Tonight Tonight")

    Another group with "hot" in its name who has heated up the Top 10 is Red Hot Chili Peppers ("Under The Bridge," "Scar Tissue," "DanI California")
  • The Muppets made a video for this song in 2010 featuring the Swedish Chef, who inadvertently starts the tune when microwaving popcorn. As you probably guessed, mayhem ensues in the kitchen.
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Comments: 4

  • Chris from Germany the original was by gershon kingsley and was the first synthpop hit ever
  • Hot-shot from Osijek, CroatiaI love the way some people re-make the songs from the older ones again.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn July 2nd 1972, "Popcorn" by Hot Butter entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 at position #89; and on October 15th, 1972 it peaked at #9 (for 1 week) and spent 18 weeks on the Top 100...
    For the three weeks prior to peaking at #9 it was at position #10...
    It was sextet's only Top 100 record...
    R.I.P. keyboardist Stanley Free (1922 - 1995).
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxKingsley co-wrote the whimsical electronic music still used by the Disney parks for their 'Main Street Electrical Parade.'
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